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Day Three and Four on the Lord Byron

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    Day Three and Four on the Lord Byron

    Sorry for the delay in posting my day 3 and 4 shenanigans on the Lord Byron but the internet was very poor and our days were so jammed packed I didn't get time to stop at a internet cafe to up load.

    I spent both days in Vienna and WOW what a city!! It is literally like the hidden gem in Europe (well seeing it is 4 times the size of Paris it can't be hidden too well!). With almost 47% of the city as public parks you really get a open air feel to the place. We went on an escorted bus tour with a 90 min walking tour at the end. Our guide was fab and was really eager to share his love for the city - that was really apparent during the day. The main thing I took from it is that each resident in Vienna feels like they own a small piece of the city. They are very proud of their long history and also how it recovered after the Second World War. Over 30% of the city was damaged and repaired with exquisite detail. As we were driving through the Ringstrabe (circular road surrounding the old historic city of Vienna) the buildings and details on the buildings were fab. It really seems to be a huge case of out doing the Jones's with each building more grander and made with more finesse that the one before.

    The Hofburg Palace, or the Winter Palace as it is also known, is very central and has a nod to modern living with its multi purpose buildings, churches, Spanish Riding School and surprisingly a number of private apartments that local people live in. The Rose garden and the other grounds of the Palace have to be seen to be believed and we were told there is almost not a spare inch to sit in during summer months.

    We also spent some time around the Old Vienna centre, which is now pedestrianised. Here is where old meets new and the grand St Stephens Cathedral stands surrounded by H&M and cafe's and bars. It is a fantastic example of how the old and the new can rub together perfectly.

    The next day I took the opportunity of doing a tour in St Stephen's Cathedral, what an impressive building! It is Gothic in structure and feels cold and imposing - until you get inside. There is a huge, vast space and it should feel cold and large but it is one of the most comfortable feeling Cathedrals I have ever been in. There was a lot of tourists about and you are allowed to take photos, even with flashes on which is unusual, but it also is open for prayer and has a separate section for quiet reflection. It was lovely to see and I am very glad I took the opportunity to tour it.

    I also had a look around some of the Christmas Markets being set up. Vienna does not always scream out to me when I think about the markets but it has 25 separate markets throughout all different parts of the city so you would most definitely be hard pressed not to find what you were looking for, They are not fully open until 15th November but it was nice to mill around them and imagine the city a little bit colder, the stalls full of their wares with fairy lights and people walking around with some hot Gluehwein (mulled wine to you and me) and now Vienna is number one on my Christmas market wish list and I will be planning a trip there again next November to see if it is as good as I imagine it!

    We enjoyed Vienna very much but, unfortunately, we were only there for one day. The Christmas markets sound a must see!
    Cheers Drew and Linda


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