Monday, July 14, 2014

Vixens in Vienna

Princesses was pretty much the only game I played growing up, with several plot variations, so I felt right at home in Vienna.

What a view!

Vienna was a city I did not know too much about tourist wise when we decided to go. But once the research started I realized we might not have budgeted enough time to see all the things this amazing city had to offer.

Our first stop was the Hofburg Palace in the center of town. On our way there we passed a GIANT statue of Marie Teresa, a personal hero, I'm all about ambitious/powerful women and she had both in spades.

MT & Me

Our first stop within the palace was the treasury. I'm a sucker for treasure, plundered or otherwise acquired, and this collection came highly recommended.

Too good to pass up
Scepters need to come back into style
Orbs as well
Very imposing wouldn't you say?
Queen Bee
The baby cradle of Napoleon's son, I think my brother had a similar one
Jewel Trees?
The prize for winning the Order of Maria Theresa, she's not messing around
Emerald perfume holder? Brilliant idea
Nail used to Crucify Jesus
Wood from the True Cross
Hand Selfie
Table cloth from The Last Supper

Ghost Meagan
Silver thread? Pearls? Quality just doesn't exist anymore
The thing that struck me most about this collection was the amount of religious relics they have or claim to have. I went through a treasury in Prague as well and they had pieces of the cross and nails from the crifixion of Jesus and cloth from the last supper as well. I would be very curious to know how many of them are authentic and how many were bought from a peddler with false claims. Regardless of their authenticity, they were cool to see.
For the rest of our royal visit we opted for the Sisi ticket because we wanted to visit Schönbrunn as well as the imperial apartments. But the ticket came with a bit more than we bargained for, enter the Silver Collection. 

The silver collection was vast, I mean 30 rooms of just different place settings for different occasions. They even had a whole set made to travel with,  to Greece, with dolphins on it. The opulence was overwhelming. 

Silver name plates?
What a cute teacup
I think this would look fantastic in my dining room
Wax Seal is the only way to go
Princess Nicki
Diorama project?

Hey Sisi
The Sisi collection was focused on the Empress Sisi. It included her clothes and personal effects and the story of her life. She was rather eccentric and removed herself from public life to focus on exercise, poetry and travel. 

If you are planning to see the royal apartments be prepared to hear all the same information again inside Schönbrunn. Through the surviving period pieces are wonderfully crafted and just beautiful. 

After a quick lunch we headed off to Schönbrunn, which is fantastic! The summer home of the Habsburg family it was built in the Rococo style. 

Carriage ride anyone?
Twirling around! Loved that little girl
What a garden!
We were very lucky the flowers were in bloom!
I love porticoes
Make sure you stop here for a cafe or ice cream!
We did the tour of the palace with our Sisi ticket, there are different levels of tours for the palace, make sure you buy one that allows you access to everything. What is the point of going all the way there to only spend 20 minutes inside? My favorite thing that we saw was Maria Theresa's bed. It was giant, unlike most beds of the day. It was where she had all 16 of her children who, through advantageous marriages arranged by their mother, would most all become members of royal families throughout Europe. The youngest and most famous being Marie Antoinette. 

I was lucky enough to buy the last ticket to the Vienna Opera for 13 euro. The only catch is the seat had a "partial view" which was a lie, I couldn't see the stage at all. But the experience was amazing and I would have paid to go inside the building anyway, why not hear some music while I was at it. 

I was very excited

So much culture

Up we go!

The lobby

And so begin the selfies

My box

Take a bow

Opera is not a particular favorite of mine. Not being able to see the stage in conjunction with not speaking the language they were singing quickly lapsed into me watching and enjoying the music. The musicians were divine, and I have always been fascinated by conductors. 

Our last stop was the Hotel Sacher, it is right across the street from the Opera House. Do not leave Vienna without trying the tort at the hotel. It's their most famous dessert!! It was pretty decadent if I do say so myself.
 P.S.- the ice cream in this town is amazing and so cheap, we recommend Zanoni & Zanoni

Too many choices!

A few quick tips about Vienna: 
1. Go to Schönbrunn, bring a picnic, make a day of it
2. Buy an Opera ticket, just going inside the building is worth it
3. Don't miss Zanoni & Zanoni
4. It is very windy
5. There are carriage rides everywhere, give in, take one!


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