Vienna & Budapest – Day 3, 8 March 2013

That was a good night's sleep. Sometimes it is good just to unwind and relax. The all you can eat breakfast is a great way to start the day. In my own mind I know what I want to do today. The thing is not to rush about and try to fit everything in one day but go at a pace I can enjoy. Anything I miss I can always catch up at a later date.

First stop after purchasing my Vienna Card is St. Stephen's Cathedral. This time I am going inside. It is a spectacular building. Initially I walked around the outside section clicking away on the camera like it was going out of fashion. I do admit to clicking too much when it comes to photography. I decided that I might as well pay the full admission fee. This will give me access to the Catacombs and entrance to the North and South Tower.

I took the self guided tour with audio guide. I followed the map and everything seemed to be going well until I reached the chapel. As I was about to look inside I was I informed that it was about to close. A christening was about to take place. Obviously, there are some well heeled families in Vienna. So I moved on to complete the rest of the tour.

When I returned my audio guide back to the counter I was told if I was quick I would make the tour of the Catacombs. I was waiting for the tour to start. However, the guide was trying his best to persuade a homeless woman that she should not be sleeping in the cathedral. She was trying her best to ignore him. So eventually we set off on the tour. There was no photography allowed so I can only describe to you what I saw. First off we were shown the final resting places of the Archbishop's of Vienna. Then we were taken to see the coffins of old Emperors. Bizarrely there were numbered containers on shelves. Each container held the internal organs of the Austrian Royal Family. The organs were preserved in vinegar. We were taken further below the cathedral. It began to feel cold and damp. The guide said this was down to the recent snowfall in the city. We were shown rooms where the bones were stacked on top of one another. There were rooms where bones appeared scattered everywhere. Then like that the tour was over and I made my way back to the cathedral. To my horror everything was closed as a service was being conducted. I asked the attendant if I could come back later to use the rest of my ticket. He said yes so it was off to the Hofberg.

From the outside the white building was a perfect photo opportunity. It is a beautiful structure.

Using my Vienna Card to get a discount I first entered the building to see the Silver Collection. It is not just about silver, there are displays of porcelain tableware as well. I came away with the impression that some people had more money then they knew what to do with.

Next stop was the Sisi Museum. I found this place to be interesting. Empress Elizabeth (Sisi) is held in great affection. This affection came after her assassination. What is interesting was that during her lifetime she was disliked for the way she treated her husband the Emperor Franz Josef. My impression was that she was a vain and self-centred woman. I could not but compare her to Princess Diana.

The final part of the tour was the official apartments belonging to the Emperor and Empress. What was pleasing about the whole Hofberg experience was the free audio guide. It helped with the whole visit.

I thought I would then make my way back to St. Stephens Cathedral to use the rest of my ticket. Again it was closed for a service. Somethings were not meant to be.

Feeling worn out I thought it would be best that I cook myself something to eat tonight. Chicken Wraps should do the trick. I just felt that I may have cooked too much.

Until the next post stay safe, stay healthy and keep smiling.

Steve

 

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