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Three nights in Vienna

rain

I am a teacher so I am fortunate enough to have very long summer holidays. This summer's holiday went like this: We flew from Hong Kong to Vienna where we spent three nights. Then we travelled by train from Vienna to Linz where we stayed for just one night. After that we travelled onwards to a very small place in the Tyrol called Heiterwang and stayed there for four nights. Our stay there included a couple of visits across the border into Germany. Next we flew from Nuremberg to Stanstead and stayed overnight next to the airport. The following day we travelled to Horley near Gatwick and slept one night there before flying to Cuba via Madrid. We spent eleven nights in Cuba, visiting Havana, Santa Clara, Trinidad, Cienfuegos and Varadero. After that we returned to Britain and travelled up and down the country visiting family and friends for three weeks. Our only sightseeing involved two nights in Birkenhead. Finally, we flew to Warsaw and stayed there for two nights before returning to Hong Kong.

Vienna is a place well within our comfort zones. My husband is half-Viennese and speaks fluent German. He previously taught in Vienna for a year and we come here all the time. Thus, Vienna is a place where we can be active or not depending on how we feel. We have already done the sights and can do them again, or just relax, or go and visit hubbie's relatives.

This visit we stayed away from the city centre in Schwechat, which is near Vienna Airport. Our hotel was called the Arion Airport Hotel. It was about twenty minutes walk from Schwechat train station. On route we crossed the Schwechat River after which the area is named. We arrived very tired after a long flight via Doha, Qatar, but were told no rooms were ready. This made me quite angry, but in the end our room was made up and available after five minutes, making us wonder why the receptionist had made such a fuss, going on about catastrophes and washing bedding disasters - obviously not well-trained in marketing. When we got our room, we showered and had a nap before going for a short walk round Schwechat which has an attractive church, a lot of supermarkets and a pleasant bar opposite the church. As we were tired from the journey, we just ate in the hotel restaurant and had a much needed night's sleep.

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Schwechat River

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Dinner at our hotel

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The town of Schwechat

On our first full day in Vienna we decided that since we had bought a three day travel pass, we would buy some rolls, cheese and meat from one of Schwechat's plethora of supermarkets then take the train to Wien Mitte Station and walk to the Stadtpark where we would eat our breakfast. At that point the sun was high in the sky, but sadly that was not going to last.

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You can't visit the Stadtpark without going to see Strauss.

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The kursalon which used to be known for its health giving waters and now hosts concerts.

After breakfast we strolled through the Stadtpark, then jumped on a public tram to travel part of the way round Vienna's famous Ring with all its impressive buildings. I've said we know Vienna well, but that does not mean we get everything right. After only about one stop we were off the Ring and heading across the Donau Canal, in other words, we were going in the wrong direction. We decided not to worry and just enjoy the ride until the end stop Friedrich Engels Platz. However, on the way there, the world began to turn black, huge thunderclaps echoed around the skies and torrential rain began beating down. At Friedrich Engels Platz we got off our tram to wander around, took one look at the weather and got straight back on. We decided just to ride transport until the rain lessened. We next tried to get off at Karlskirche and lasted a short time there till the rain started pounding down again.

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Karlskirche in the rain.

Then we boarded the underground to Schwedenplatz. From there we walked past Vienna University to the town hall or Rathaus in light drizzle. There were lots of outdoor eating places near the Rathaus as there always seem to be in summer, but they were deserted due to the weather. We crossed the Ring to the Burgtheater with its impressive carvings, then headed into my favourite place in Vienna the Volksgarten with some of the loveliest roses I have ever seen.

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Rainy day at the town hall

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Outside the Burgtheater

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Outside the Burgtheater

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The Volksgarten

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The Volksgarten

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The Volksgarten

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The Volksgarten

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The Volksgarten

From the Volksgarten we crossed into Heroes Square in front of the Hofburg Palace. This square has two equestrian statues: one of Archduke Charles of Austria and one of Prince Eugene of Savoy. The Hofburg was once Vienna's Imperial Palace, home to the Habsburg emperors until 1918. We wandered through the grand statue lined archway of the palace onto Saint Michael's Square which was filled with fiakers - horse drawn carriages which trot tourists around the sights of Vienna.

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Archduke Charles of Austria

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Prince Eugene of Savoy.

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The Hofburg

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St Michael's Church

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Hofburg and fiaker

My husband suddenly realised that it was nearly time to rush home and watch France v Belgium in the world cup, so we abandoned sightseeing to hurry home. I saw a tram going to the Prater and mistakenly thought it would take us to Praterstern Station which is on the line back to Schwechat. That was our second error of the day. The tram took us to the other end of the Prater Park and we had to walk through the rain to the station. By the time we got there, Peter was complaining that if we ate dinner we would miss the match, so we stocked up on provisions from the Billa supermarket in the station and ate in our room in front of the TV.

Next day we decided to return to the Prater as we had not really done it justice as we rushed through it in the rain the day before. The Prater is a huge green park which contains an amusement park that is home to Vienna's famous big wheel. There are wide open spaces and many places to eat here. We bought breakfast from Billa and ate in the park.

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Vienna's Riesenrad or big wheel.

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Nostalgic Prater

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The Prater

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Nostalgic Prater.

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Green Prater

After breakfast we strolled through the green tree filled Prater Park to the tram we had taken by mistake the day before. We had noticed it passed by some of Vienna's famous Hundertwasser architecture and we decided to revisit it. We began at Hundertwasser House and Village and then had a look at Hundertwassser Museum. Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser disliked straight lines and flat floors. He loved colours and trees. His designs are unusual and well worth seeing. Hundertwasser House is filled with private residences and can only be viewed from the outside. The village has lots of shops and stalls. In the museum, we just visited the cafe.

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Hundertwasser House

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Hundertwasser House

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Hundertwasser House

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Hundertwasser Village

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Hundertwasser Museum

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Hundertwasser Museum Cafe

After that we took transport to the Danube River, walked along the New Danube for a while. Then headed to the Old Danube or Alte Donau where we spent the rest of the day swimming.

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The New Danube

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The Old Danube

Finally, we headed back to Schwechat where we had dinner in a bar opposite the church. The bar was filling up with Croatian fans, so it was time for my husband to head home to watch England v Croatia in our hotel. Next day we said goodbye to Vienna and headed for Linz.

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Dinner in Schwechat.

Posted by irenevt 05:22 Archived in Austria Tagged vienna swimming sightseeing

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Comments

I've never heard of Schwechat but it looks quite pretty. Glad you got into your room. Nothing like an adventure . . .

by Beausoleil

We have friends who live an hour south of Vienna so have often flown into Schwechat but never stayed near there - only in the city centre or (more often) with our friends in Oberpullendorf :) The hotel receptionist sounds a nightmare after a long tiring journey!

by ToonSarah

I wish I could write TP blogs like yours Irene, mine look like a dog's dinner ( regurgitated).....

by Bennytheball

Thank you for visiting my blog everyone.I have not actually finished it. I was so jet-lagged I fell asleep while writing it. Now I'm back at work so it will be the weekend before I get back onto it.

by irenevt

I hope to visit Vienna one day!

Hugs from Italy!

by Maurizioagos

Hi Maurizio,

Hope you make it to Vienna. It is a beautiful city. By the way I did not know you were 110. Haha.

All the best,

Irene

by irenevt

No, I suppose it was a mistake of mine! I am "only" 56!

by Maurizioagos

Actually I was not too pleased to see my age on display on my page at all. Wonder why they do this.

by irenevt

Anyway you' re younger than I!

by Maurizioagos

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