Europe Week Eleven: Vienna
"I can assure you that this is a marvelous place, and for my profession the best place in the world," Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wrote to his father in Salzburg regarding Vienna in 1781.
Following in Mozart's footsteps, I traveled to Vienna from Salzburg on the next stop of my solo trip to Austria. Vienna is such a beautiful city, historically prestigious yet also modern and liveable. Taking advantage of the exceptional public transportation system, I rode around the Ringstrasse, and explored the city center, strolling down Karntner Street (finally caught sight of high fashion and shopping stores), eating Wiener Würstchen, gasping at the interiors of St. Stephen's Cathedral, and taking in the beautiful exteriors of the majestic Hofburg Palace.
That night, I got standing tickets to the ballet showing at the Vienna State Opera. I bumped elbows with classy opera-goers and blogged about it here.
The second day I visited Schloss Schonbrunn and took the grand tour of the breathtaking Habsburg Summer Palace, where I walked through state rooms of the imperial monarchy and private apartments of Austrian emperor Franz Joseph and his wife Sisi. The extremely well-preserved 18th-century Baroque and Neoclassical interiors from the time of empress Maria Theresa and the history of the palace and Habsburg monarchs had me replaying my audioguide narrations and gasping at every chandelier and painting that captured the essence of royal opulence at its finest.
Vienna is the gate to Eastern Europe, and witnessing how its history influenced the city was beyond fascinating. I only had less than two days to spend, but it was a beautiful eye-opening trip.