Our first city stop was Vienna in Austria. Here of course we had no problems talking to the “natives”, as Austria is considered holiday destination number one for many Germans, especially skiers and climbers / hikers/ bikers. Except for a few words that are different, we speak German. Our apricots are their Marillen, our tomatoes are Paradeiser, our pancakes are Frittaten and an adhesive sticker is a Pickerl.
Our tour guide schleppte us through the town in a bus, past the Hundertwasser tower, but then we got off and looked at the lovely rose gardens where you can ‘adopt a rose’. Almost all smell heavenly
Below you can see the Sissi Monument of (Emperor Franz Josef I and) Empress Elisabeth made of Laaser marble in the Volksgarten. It seems she was rather anorexic and also very outdoorsy. She had her portrait done as long as she was still pretty and always wanted to be seen that way. The Volksgarten is near the Parliament building, the Burgtheater and the Neue Burg. The statue depicts Prince Eugen riding a horse.
One of the most delightful shops (besides Manner waffles and Trszniecki sandwiches) is the stuffed animals by Steiff, once created by Margarete Steiff who sat in a wheelchair all her life.
Farther on you walk past the Wiener Hofreitschule where you can see the horses that are bred and trained to perfection. One is not allowed to go closer, but you can buy tickets. In the pedestrian zone there are more fountains and the St. Stephans Dome (cathedral).