Man! But it was damn near impossible to narrow down the pictures I wanted to capture in the blog for our visit to Vienna, Austria. We only spent a weekend there, but we managed to see and do an incredible amount in that stunning city.
We were so happy to be able to meet our friends from Salem — the Schild family — while there. They had been vacationing in Switzerland and were wrapping up their time back in their old stomping grounds: Vienna. They invited us to join them back in November. It gave us all something to look forward to through the winter months of our new move.
We had never been to Vienna before. It’s been on my list forever, but the closest I came was Vienna, Virginia. We started this visit by joining the Schild family and friends at a Heurigen — a special gathering at the vineyards. We strolled through the vineyards at dusk and watched the city light up in the distance. Then we headed in to the restaurant for sustenance and great company. We count ourselves so very fortunate to be included in such an intimate gathering. We loved meeting new people, listening to German being spoken all around us, and trying new foods and wines. Everyone was so kind and we are so grateful.
Then, en masse, The Schilds and the Underhills headed into the heart of the old city center. We walked and wandered and took in so many sights. The architecture is overwhelmingly beautiful. So ornate and decorative and lavish and grand. Truly, truly beautiful. Because we were with the Schilds we had an added benefit of really getting the insiders’ guide to the city, popping in to amazing chocolatiers and petite sandwich bars, resting for Viennese iced coffee and the famous chocolate torte cake at the Sacher Hotel. We throughly enjoyed the Easter Markets and the sights and sounds of that unbelievable city.
Too soon we parted with the Schilds, who had to fly back to Salem the next day. We continued exploring on our own, and Larry and I made a point of finding Zum Schwartze Kameel, on the recommendation of our neighbor. We were not disappointed. Vienna at night is stunning. Not only the lights and the sculptures, but the classical musicians busking in the streets. Full formal wear and intensely talented people. Just playing in the walkplatz. Like you do.
The following day we took our friends’ advice and visited the Schloss Shonbrunn with little planning or understanding what we were in for. The crowds were immense, but we persevered and were well rewarded for our patience. The Easter Market there was rather impressive, and the grounds and house were beyond description. The gardens were still winter beds — I can only imagine what the summer looks like. After that, we made our way back to Munich, where we less than 24 hours to do laundry and repack for Milan.
Overall, I’d say our first spring break in Europe has been quite successful.