On Tuesday morning, 16 August 2005 (our 30th wedding anniversary), we found it still raining when we awoke. After we ate the hotel's complimentary breakfast, we met our group in the hotel lobby at 9:20.
Our Austrian guide today was Eureka (nickname Eulee). She shared a considerable amount of history as the bus drove around central Vienna for about one hour. We learned that Vienna has a population of 1.6 million.
We got off the bus at the Kunsthistorisches Museum. The museum was built to resemble an ornate palace. Eulee gave our group a wonderful educational tour of this incredible art museum for about two hours.
After the museum, our afternoon and evening were free time. No one in our tour group returned on the bus to the hotel. The two of us found a pizzeria for lunch. We enjoyed insalta caprese and an authentic Italian pizza.
After lunch we finally located an ATM, where we could finally obtain some euros, the currency of Austria and Spain, as well as most of the rest of the European Union.
After spending some time shopping (and trying to spend some of our euros), we took a 45-minute guided tour of the State Opera House. In front of every seat in the audience there is a small screen that, if desired, provides the opera goer with a German or English translation of what is spoken or sung on stage. The size of the area beside and behind the stage is beyond belief. After the guided tour was completed, we returned to souvenir hunting (in the rain) till it was time for supper.
We discovered the Ephesus Restaurant, which we think was Greek. Perhaps it was Turkish, but we ate Greek food. We shared a farmer's [Greek?] salad, then ate mussaka, and for dessert we split an order of baklava.
We were excited to find that the sprinkling rain had finally stopped. We walked back to the opera house, near which we boarded the U-bahn (subway) and rode two stops to Pilgrimgasse. Our hotel was just across the street from this station.
Copyright © 2005, Michael & Jeannie Cole
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