This article was originally published (in print) in the Downend Voice (November 2017, Issue 57) and the Emersons Green Voice (November 2017, Issue 14).
It’s not always necessary to travel to distant lands (especially when we have so much beauty in Europe to marvel at!) This time, I want to share with you a story of spending a long weekend in Vienna, where everywhere you look, buildings evoke daydreams of fairytales and magical kingdoms.
Upon arriving at the airport, my fiancé and I chose to purchase the Vienna City Card as we knew we were going to devote most of our time to Vienna’s famous museums and palaces. With our Vienna cards tucked away in our pockets, we raced for our train. But, in all of our hurry and excitement to get to the city’s centre, we jumped onto the wrong train! The inspector noticed our tickets weren’t correct just as the doors were closing. We looked at each other in anticipation, but thankfully, the inspector took pity on us and opened the doors so we could find a different train on the neighbouring platform.
Now settled on the correct train, we were still itching to sightsee. St Stephen’s Church was first on the list before even dropping our suitcases off at our apartment. Once inside, mahogany pillars, colourful stained glass windows and purple lighting shone down on us from all sides, transporting us into a simpler world. We may have looked amusing pulling our little suitcases around this incredible place, but we were unaware of anyone or anything. Our eyes were entirely focused on this incredible church. And this was only the first part of one day!
Across the following few days, we gathered as much beauty and culture as we could from the Austrian capital. From romantic walks along the Donaukanal, to marvelling at the crown jewels inside Hofburg Palace and gazing at exquisite artwork inside Belvedere Palace, we tried to see as much as we could.
However, a few extraordinary highlights would have to include: the Egyptian exhibits within Kunsthistorisches Museum, the Gloriette and zoo at Schonbrunn Palace, admiring the city lights from on top of the Wiener Riesenrad ferris wheel and standing, awestruck, facing row upon row of ancient books and documents inside the Nationalbibliothek.
Kunsthistorisches Museum offers many hours of admiring history, but it was the several rooms of Egyptian artefacts that took my breath away. There were intricately decorated tombs, plaques carved out in hieroglyphs and golden treasures just waiting to be discovered.
The infamous Wiener Riesenrad ferris wheel, which dates back as far as 1897 is where you should come if you want to see Vienna sparkle in the pitch black sky; whilst the Gloriette at Schonbrunn Palace offers incredible views across the skyline by day. Both sights emit extraordinary beauty.
If you decide to embark on a city break in Vienna yourself, I’d recommend you partake in not just these extraordinary sights but also some delicious Sachertorte with a coffee on the side. It’s an Austrian delicacy and is the perfect addition to a jam-packed sightseeing weekend in a truly captivating city.
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