The abiding feeling that I get from Vienna is that it was the centre of an empire and therefore the buildings and whole layout of the place is designed to impress- and it does.
My sister Caz, describes it as the city with the three 'C's'- coffee, culture, and cakes. This seems pretty accurate to me.
After meeting at the airport and making our way back to the hotel we decided that we would have a meal and a bit of city exploring, then go as a group on the Monday and go our own ways on Tuesday.
The Gods must have finally been smiling on us because these proved to be the best two days for weeks and we were able to explore the city in warmth and sunshine.
I thought that a few photos and one or two comments would give a flavour of our short Viennese break.
First evening in the hotel- showing our route to Anthea and Hilary.
Champagne to toast the trip and the reunion.
Went for a big meal that evening- decided that we still needed carb loading. Mind you, it is nigh on impossible not to load on the carbohydrates in Vienna. I read in some guide book that it is described as ' the city of the knife and fork.'
Three views of St Stephen's Cathedral. We took a lift up to the roof hence the shot of the ornate tiling.
Three typical views of the museum section- everything is on the grand scale but it works and all blends in together.
Shame about the cars but this gives some idea of the scale of the place.
A typically modest statue.
The horses and carriages do give the place a certain atmosphere but I'm happy to leave it to others to pay the forty pounds or so for the ride.
We were determined to have our meals in typically turn of the century Viennese settings- this we achieved admirably.
And so, after two sunny days in Vienna we awoke on the Wednesday to rain. Anthea and Hilary took a taxi and all the luggage to the airport and we took the bikes by train.
Checking in bikes is not easy and it took the counter staff a good ten to fifteen minutes to do so- we could feel the weight of disapproval from the increasingly long queue behind us. Couldn't be helped. We then had to wheel the bikes to the other end of the airport and pack them into bike bags- not easy. However, all this was achieved and a good flight back took us to Gatwick where we wheeled the bikes onto the airport bus, loaded them onto the car and drove home.
After two very good days in Vienna was a fitting finale to a memorable journey