A group of 24 set off on Monday, 9th December on a sightseeing/Christmas markets trip to Vienna. We stayed in Art Hotel, Anna En Zein which was very convenient for travelling around Vienna. The tram stop and train station was only 200 metres from the hotel and the city centre was within walking distance too.
We all visited the main attractions-
St.Stephen’s Cathedral: a Romanesque/Gothic building which is the catholic cathedral of Vienna. Some of us attended Mass there and heard lovely organ music.
Schonbrunn Palace: This was the summer residence of the Habsburg rulers and is set in wonderful gardens. There are over 1400 rooms and on a tour you can visit both state rooms and private apartments and you can see the interiors from the time of Maria Theresia (18th century).
Belvedere Palace: This is another grand palace of the Baroque era, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to a wonderful art gallery where we saw the biggest collection of Klimt’s works anywhere in the world. Other art works there include paintings by Monet, Manet, Van Gogh, Schiele and Funke. Klimt’s “The Kiss” was the highlight for many of us.
Concerts were being held in various buildings and many of us took in Viennese music at its best – Strauss, Mozart, Vivaldi, Opera, Ballet and Organ music. You couldn’t visit Vienna without that experience.
All over the city there were Christmas markets and the delicious Gluhwein beverage was freely available -much like our mulled wine. In one indoor stable the Lippizaner horses could be seen and of course we had to see the Danube.
The boat trip was cancelled though and left some people very disappointed. They will just have to go back! On our last night we had a very enjoyable singsong in our hotel and managed a fair few Christmas songs to the delight of the hotel staff.