Sadly it’s time to say farewell to Vienna! – Marilyn and Alf

Hofburg Neue Burg section, seen from Heldenpla...

Hofburg Neue Burg section, seen from Heldenplatz. The statue of Prince Eugene of Savoy is also pictured. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today we must leave Vienna for Bratislava and end our wonderful five-day introduction to Vienna.

Yesterday, we strolled into the City Centre and stopped for some photos of the Austrian Parliament but this soon gave way to further internal exploration. We were able to join an organized tour of the Parliament and found it really interesting. The building itself is quite stunning in traditional Greek style, with extensive marble pillars, statues and carvings. We shall post some photos in a later blog. The irony was not lost on Greek democracy being currently challenged by conservative EU economic policies from Germany and Austria.

After the Austrian Parliament, we crossed the inner ring road and entered the Hofburg Imperial Palace. We initially spent some time strolling round the magnificent gardens and it was amazing how the buzz of the traffic soon subsided.

It’s easily possible to spend days in the Hofburg (in effect, a city within a city), so we settled on the audio tour of the living quarters and the silver and porcelain collection consisting of early Meissen, Herend, Minton, Sevres and, of course, Vienna porcelain, plus many other early factories. This was so amazing that we diverted the rest of the day. If you visit Vienna, it’s well worth allowing a full day for the Hofburg but be prepared for it being very crowded in places.

After the Hofburg, we stopped for a drink at one of the lovely city centre cafes and did some people watching before catching the metro a few stops back to where we were staying in Josephstradt, a trendy area with lots of cafes, restaurants, and even Vienna’s famous Town Hall.

Yesterday, we had seen both the Hapsburg dynasty at the Hofburg Palace and the modern Austrian Parliament – we were able to reflect on six hundred years of Austrian history.

Sadly, it’s time to pack and move-on but we are already tentively talking about coming back to Vienna…..

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