Vienna, called by locals as Wien, is the bustling capital of Austria. It is centrally located in east Europe and is well connected with other tourism hot spots of the region. Locals in Wien commonly converse in modified German. We reached in the evening and headed to S.C.S shopping city for dinner at a Chinese restaurant. The chilly chicken and chicken noodles which they served had a striking similarity with taste of China town dishes in Kolkata. I inquired the waiter whether there was a Bengali cook and to my surprise he started speaking in Bengali. We had a great fun conversation on Bong foods and how he moved to Austria 3o years ago. After a heavy meal we headed to hotel and dozed off in a flash.
Early next morning after a sumptuous continental breakfast we headed for the city tour. We started with the iconic Schönbrunn palace tour. The palace was constructed during the 13th-14th century. It had been rebuilt several times during the last 500 years under the Habsburg and Turkish dynasties. From the 17th century, it was independent. We had booked a palace tour for 14.5 Euros.
The main entrance led to the spectacular palace. We reached at around 10.30 am and had 1.5 hours to explore the gardens and the hill before the palace tour began. After exploring the gardens we headed towards the walkway leading to the Gloriette hill. On.the way, there were many statues in a small water fountain – the Neptune fountains. We planned to climb and soon began the race to reach the top. In around 30 minutes we reached the top of the hill.
There was a small lake where I surprisingly found several ducks basking in the sun. They resembled Northern Shoveler, found in the Indian subcontinent during the winters when they migrate to avoid the freezing temperature elsewhere around the globe. The monument on top had a panoramic view of the palace and the gardens with the city in the background. We hurried the way downhill to be just on time for the palace tour.
We took wireless headphones which were connected to the guide’s head piece. We followed through the spectacular rooms where the renowned queen Maria Theresa, the famous Habsburg ruler has lived. She was known for her beauty and had sixteen children (yes you read it correct, it is 16 !). We crossed the living room, dining rooms and entered the gigantic ball room where meetings were conducted in the 17th century. As photography was prohibited, I could not capture its grandiosity in my lens.
We then headed towards the old town of Vienna. The St Michael’s Church was the center of attraction. The Main spire of the church was towering up into the blue sky. Since it was Sunday most shops were closed. After the short sprint in Schönbrunn palace we were hungry and headed to a seafood restaurant ‘Nordsee’ in the main square. We had a dish with octopus and shrimps and a shrimp salad for 14 Euros. Though the quantity was little less it was delicious and had us craving for more. We explored the alleys of old town and rested in a garden around the Imperial palace.
As it was the National Marathon day, which happens yearly, most of the roads were blocked and traffic was diverted. We enjoyed a live performance at one of the squares cheering the athletes and participants running across the road.We left for the airport at around 6 pm in the evening. It was time to say goodbye to Europe for the moment.
Schönbrunn palace-it is better to book the tour earlier if you want to enter inside the palace. Ticket starts at 14 Euros. It is totally worth the money and time. More info click here . If you want to burn a some calories hike up to the Gloriette hill. The panoramic view of the city is totally worth it.
The old town area is a UNESCO World heritage site and has plenty of museums, art galleries, expensive souvenir shops, restaurants.
Language spoken- German
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