A Travellerspoint blog

Austria

Vienna

sunny

Spent all day driving on 22 August driving to Vienna through some beautiful countryside. I am sick of the bus (Daniel).

The tour director has really started flogging the optional excursions which totalled 1,600 euro each. Ouch. We are not doing too many but that seems to disadvantage us as the whole thing is geared to get you to them.

On 22 August, we wandered round Vienna by ourselves while the rest of them went to dinner in the Vienna Woods. We saw a chamber orchestra playing Strauss and Mozart. Jane saved the show by releasing an skinny girl from the toilet cubicle at intermission. Jane thought she might have been a drug addict due to her appearance and urgency in leaving the cubicle but she was the ballerina for the performance! The show was excellent.

Today, we had a guided tour of the Hapsburg city. It is beautiful and impressive. We went to the crypt of the family which is full of bronze coffins and it would have been great if they had an english guide. Not much in english here.

We have just toured the Hofburg apartments where Emperor Josef and Empress Sisi lived. It was OK but a bit dull. Tomorrow we drive to Budapest which is not too far away.

Thanks to those who have left messages. We have appreciated them as we are a long way away. Jane still misses her boys although she saw a Austrian Schnauzer today.

Posted by janeanddan 06:51 Archived in Austria Comments (0)

Heidelberg, Munich and Innsbruck

sunny

We had an early start this morning to get to Heidelberg to see the town and the ruins of the castle. It was the first town that we've seen which is what you would expect from Germany or Austria.

Narrow cobble streets and lovely houses (though brick, not wooden, which is apparently more typical). The castle sits above the town, which is on the hill up to meet it. We braved the wander up to the top. We have a teenage girl on the trip who has torn some ligaments and it took her a while to get there. Daniel, with gentlemanlike concern, walked with her so she didn't feel lonely.

It was very quiet when we arrived but by the time we got back down there were people galore running around. The food they have at these places is amazing, there was a market with fresh fruit, Daniel practised his German and got himself some rasberries.

Back on the bus on the way to Munich. I was dreading seeing the olympic village but thankfully we were literally only 'seeing' it. Not having been around at the time we have to admit that the stadium is actually pretty impressive, it doesn't look 30 years old, the style is completely contemporary.

We were all a bit nervous when we got into the city, it looked as though the entire German Police force had converged there and we had to pass road block after road block.

It turned out to be because of an antic-fascism protest, on the way out we passed it, there wasa huge crowd watching and about, say 20(!!!) people sitting in the middle of the road. With a ratio of about 20 police to one protestor I would say everything went smoothly.

We had a little while to wander around town. We were shattered to see a cheap national costume shop just as we had to leave, we would have both snapped one up at the price. Daniel had a nectarine, his excitement over the fruit still abounds (what an exciting life we lead).

From that afternoon things started to go downhill just a wee bit. Our tour guide is an absolutemaster of spin. He wanted us to tryall of the optionals for Innsbruck and Venice to learn to trust him with the others.

(Just as an aside, the smoking here is unbelieeable, sitting in a stifling, non airconditioned internet cafe we can hardly see the screen throught the smog).

Anyway, back to the spindoctor, leaving Venice to one side, the trip to Innsbruck was a delightful folk evening. We wereassured that it was not a tourist night, that the local people came along and joined in and it would be a great night.

We showed great presence of mind and declined.

We then weakened and decided to give it a go because there was apparently nothing to do in Inssbruck. Daniel wandered down to the old town (500 metres away from the Hotel) before dinner and came back saying there were cafes everywhere, horse drawn carriages etc. Nervous fluttering begin.

We arrive at the 'show'. I think at least 3 coaches werein the car park before us. We were lined up before a stage in rows, there were locals there. They were outside in the beer gardens.

Possibly one of the worst nights of our life. We were in the front row so we enjoyed every rolled eye that was passed between the dancers, singers etc. Poor little performing monkeys. Some peolple actually bought the DVD!!!!!!!!!!

Others joined with us, although as they werein the back row they were free to laugh their heads off and 'almost wet themselves'.

Off to bed after the joy!

Posted by janeanddan 06:11 Archived in Austria Comments (0)

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