Day 5: Vienna

Day 5 consisted of a full day in Vienna. In the morning there was a sightseeing tour of Vienna mostly by bus with some walking in the downtown area. Perhaps the highlight of this tour was the Austrian or Hapsburg crown jewels. The afternoon was free to do as we wanted. I think most people shopped but some rested and some went and saw Beethovens either house or grave or both. In the evening there was a special after hours tour of Schonbrunn Palace with a special dinner in the restaurant on the palace grounds and a concert featuring Mozart and Strauss.

A Vienna subway station. Even though it looks quite
old the subway system is actually fairly modern.
This is the concert hall that the Vienna Philharmonic
orchestra plays in. It is the hall that each New Years
eve a concert is held that is carried around the world
featuring the music of Strauss. In North America it's
usually seen on the US Public Broadcasting System.
The Beautiful Blue Danube. Blue??? Well not really.
It's a muddy brown most of the time. I was here
something over 10 years ago and it does look better
now than it did then. The hills in the background are
part of the famous Vienna Woods.
This is a large church near the centre of Vienna. The
name St Stephens seems to ring a bell but at this
writing I don't remember for sure. A large place with
quite ornate decorations.
The same church as above right from the outside.
How would you like to maintain this roof. The dark
stone work is caused by pollution and smoke. Being
a form of sandstone (very soft) it can't easily be
cleaned, if at all. Usually needs replacement.
In one of those odd turns in urban planning the Vienna
city government allowed this very modern building to
be built just across this very old square from the very
old church. Somehow seems out of place.
The last stop on the city tour was the Hapsburg or
Austrian Crown Jewels. This crown has been used
for hundreds of years by many Austrian rulers.
(mostly the Hapsburgs). That's Pete Byerlay on the
other side of the display case.
This is a bible that dates from Charlimains time and has
been used to swear in Austrian rulers ever since.
This is a hand woven tapestry. I think at one time it
may have been used as kings cape.
Here is a close up of some of the weaving. Think how
long it would take to hand make one the size of the
one in the picture to the left.
Here we are arriving at Schonbrunn Palace for our
special tour, dinner and concert. That's Grant Wilkes
waving to the camera.
This is the backyard, you might call it ,of Schonbrunn
Palace. I don't remember the exact numbers but it
consists of many acres of land, fountains, monuments,
gardens and even a small zoo.

I didn't take any photos or videos of the meal and you were told not to take them at the concert so there aren't any pictures of these. The concert was held in a building what that were once stables, or was it a greenhouse? My mind fails me on which one, but, it was certainly very alive accoustically. Many Mozart and Strauss favorites were played including the Radezsky March and at the end, the On the Beautiful Blue Danube waltz. As I said to some people at the time, I'm a product of the 2nd half of the 20th century with an interest in Science Fiction so the first thing I thought of when hearing the Danube waltz was the famous earth to moon space flight segment in Stanley Kubricks movie 2001: A Space Odyssey not the romantic waltz it is.

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Created: August 18th, 2000.
Last Updated: September 1st, 2000.