Thursday, November 13, 2008

Vienna


After Frankfurt, we traveled by overnight train to Vienna, Austria (Wien if your speaking German). At 8:30 in the morning we arrived at Wien Westbahnhof, wheeled our bags through the train station and down into the subway. Thirty minutes later we were standing in the middle of a busy market in the center of Venice. As we surfaced from the subway tunnel, Hung typed the hotel address into our Garmin Nuvi GPS. Our Garmin is a hand held model and has a great pedestrian feature--I have to thank my dad and Jason for giving me this excellent gift a couple years ago. The Garmin calculated that we needed to walk 0.6 miles through some winding streets. We arrived at our hotel around 10:00 am, intending to ask if they could hold our luggage until check in time. However, we received a pleasant surprise, our room was ready!! Over the next three days we enjoyed many more pleasant surprises and were sad to leave Wien. 

One of the older style trams. The public transportation was excellent in Vienna. We bought a 72 hour Wien Card, good for unlimited trips on the trains and trams. Also when you showed your Wien Card, a discount was given at most tourist sights.

When the tram pulls up, don't forget to push the button next to the door (drucken means push). If you don't the door won't open and you'll be left standing at the tram stop as the tram pulls away...this may haven't happened to us.

Schonbrunn Palace


Buying Chestnuts
The Giant Ferris Wheel (Riesenrad) was erected in 1897 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the reign of Empereror Franz Joseph I. The wheel itself spans 200 feet (about 60 m.). 15 cabins and the upholding structure weigh a total of 430,5 t and rotate at the speed of 0,65 m/sec.





Hung listens to an audio tour as we walk through The Schatzkammer (Imperial Treasury). The Treasury is home to the 9th-century saber of Charlemagne, the holy lance which was thought to be the weapon that pierced the side of Christ, artifacts connected with the Order of the Golden Fleece (romantic medieval order of chivalry), and the Imperial Crown -- created in 962 covered with emeralds, sapphires, diamonds and rubies.   The Treasury was an amazing display of artifacts and jewels.




-amb





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