Toward the end of 2009, after over a year living and working in the UAE, Sam and I wanted to get a little more traditional Christmas spirit. So at the end of November and beginning of December 2009, we travelled to Vienna, Austria, where we enjoyed (relatively mild) winter weather, lots of coffee and sachertorte, and European-style Christmas markets.
Our first night in Vienna, we had forgotten it would darken so early — this picture on the Zollamtssteg Bridge was taken about 5pm! You can also catch a glimpse of our *fabulous* long coats that we bought specially for this trip. We still refer to these coats as our “Vienna coats” — we picked up both coats in the UAE (mine from Mango, and Sam’s from Zara).
This was one of my favorite pics from our trip! This is of the Neues Rathaus, the ornate “new” city hall built in the late 19th century, glowing over the lighted trees and Christmas market of Rathausplatz.
In the Milo Café next to the Architekturzentrum Wien (the Vienna Architectural Center) in the MuseumsQuartier. Our hotel was just one street over from the MuseumsQuartier. We stopped here for a coffee and a light lunch after visiting the Leopold Museum.
Another personal shot in the Milo Cafe. I tend to take pictures “on the bias” (on an angle), and this is one of my favorite pictures of Sam.
Another favorite moment during our trip! This is in the Kunsthistoriches (Art History) Museum, and I was on the hunt for the lone Vermeer painting in the museum, “Allegory on the Art of Painting.” When we got to it, a painter was painting a copy of Vermeer’s painting, which depicts a painter in the middle of painting! Life imitating art — moments like these keep you smiling!
The Christmas tree in the Stephansplatz, with the huge Stephansdom Cathedral looking (looming?) over it.
Pausing in front of the small chapel that accompanies the Friedhof der Namenlosen, located outside the city. It took quite a few trains and buses (and an extended walk) to get there, but it was well worth the visit. The cemetery, whose name means “Cemetery of the Nameless,” was established during a brief period in the 1930s to bury the bodies of unknown or unclaimed drowning victims and suicides that washed up on the shores of the Danube Canal nearby. It’s also featured in one of our favorite films, Before Sunrise.
At the zoo on the grounds of the Schloss Schönbrunn, the summer palace of the Habsburgs. One section of the zoo held a few yaks and some Himalayan birds, as well as Tibetan prayer flags and prayer wheels. (Foreshadowing our trip to Thailand!) You can also see a better view of Sam’s fabulous Vienna coat.
Me on the tree-top walkway, with the Schönbrunn palace in the background. This view was billed as one that not even the Emperor had — the zoo walkway was built after the fall of the Empire. It was an impressive city view, to be sure.
Another trip, another pic of me sitting on a bench. 😉 This time, he caught me petting one of the very friendly zoo cats, who followed us into the Monkey House.
At the top of the Belvedere gardens, with the Lower Belvedere in the distance behind. The Upper Belvedere was one of the best museums we’ve ever visited! That’s where the best of the Gustav Klimt paintings are held, including The Kiss.
And I know it looks like I’m wearing basically the same outfit in every pic from this trip! I did wear a standard look combining:
a sweater (I brought thin sweaters in blue, pink, and purple)
a layering piece (for warmth underneath the sweater)
a pair of pants (I brought 2 pairs of jeans and my black trousers)
a pair of black shoes (sneakers or rubber-soled ankle boots)
a long coat (my grey Vienna coat)
a shoulder bag (a deep pink/purple bag that I had had for years)
accessories (a scarf, silver or purple, and a grey beret)
The Danube Valley:
We took one organized tour during our trip, a one-day trip down the Danube. There’s an old saying that the Danube River looks blue only to those in love. It sure looked blue to us! ♥
Having fun in front of the “proposal” statue in Krems, a little medieval town where our tour bus stopped for a coffee break and an hour of sightseeing/shopping. We bought that black-and-white tweed hat Sam is wearing in a tiny but charming little hat shop in town.
Posing in front of the main room of the library in the Benedictine abbey and monastery in Melk. (Told y’all I visit a library in every new place we visit! 🙂 )
The beautiful winter sunset over Melk, the abbey, and the Danube-valley hills.
Hope you enjoyed a winter view of Vienna. Tomorrow, I’ll see y’all in Scotland!