Tuesday, 15 December 2009

We walked in the cold air. Freezing breath on a window pane, lying and waiting......

Thank you all so much for your kind wishes for my birthday trip to Vienna.
I was so lucky to have my family with me to celebrate. The journey starts at St. Pancras Eurostar train station.
We travelled to Brussells, then a connecting train to Cologne, then an overnight (12 hour) train journey through Austria to Vienna. A sleepy hand dangling from top bunk on the morning we arrived in Vienna. I actually looked and felt like scarecrow when we arrived, so we were all pretty happy to book into a beautiful hotel, have breakfast and a wash a brush up.
Off we set to explore Vienna! Our first afternoon was spent in the inner or centre of Vienna. Glorious shops, very wealthy, perfectly clean and tidy with stunning Christmas lights. Architecture was a picture postcard on every blink of the eye. Take a closer looksee at these friezes, need I say more?

On our first evening, we visited our first Christmas market. This was held outside the Town Hall. I can't begin to tell you what a glorious Christmas atmosphere this place had. The lights were stunning. The wooden cabins selling decs of every nature, food and drink a plenty and the Austrians, standing with friends, mug of punch in hand, food in the other, enjoying each others company. Wonderful!


Next day and more of the City. Vienna is a very easy city to navigate. The underground is usually only one set of stairs below ground, clean, reliable and not too crowded. Over ground there is a tram line and plenty of bus routes. The inner city is pedestrianised too, so it was a joy to wander from street to street.

The photo below was taken in an exquisite shopping arcade, rather like Burlington Arcade in London and this view was to the side. It reminded me of the film Labyrinth!
Oh the cake! I wasn't really very bothered about it, take it or leave it....ahem ;-)
Another Market ....
The Hofburg Palace below houses the famous white Lipizzaner horses.
Talking of horses we all enjoyed a horse and carriage ride. The sound of the horses and wooden wheels on the cobbles, evocative of days gone by.
On the evening we visited another Christmas market at the Schloss Schobunn Palace. It absolutely threw it down but it did not dampen the atmosphere.




Next day being the 'old girl's' birthday.....I was treated to a couple of hours at the local flea market. Extortionate prices for most items for sale. Purchased a couple of items but disappointed that even one plain vintage bauble was £12!
In the afternoon we visited the Spittelburg area. I loved it here, cobbled, narrow streets lined with wooden chalet vendors...lots to eat and drink again. Below pic of the current husband, Weiner in hand! By now soft, sweet, gentle snow flakes had started to fall. It was like being on a film set!
Beautifully decorated shop window. The Austrians certainly adore Christmas and seem to specialise in the use of white lights rather than coloured.
I do love a door handle or two!
Foolishly went on this in the evening....

I nearly pooped myself, I have never been so frightened in my life! 60m high....view looking down
Later that evening had the most glorious meal in Central Cafe. A vaulted ceiling, colonnaded, palace of splendour.
Our two girls.

Can't say I was very interested in this piece of cake either!
Our last morning was spent at Belvedere Palace to see Klimt's 'The Kiss' and several of Egon Shiele's work. My husband doesn't 'get' Schiele's work, so a healthy art debate ensued.
Looking out of the Belvedere. All is grand in Vienna!
Well, that is a whistle stop tour of Vienna. Thank you for staying with me through my ramblings. A truly remarkable and beautiful place, where there is national pride in a stunning city, high standards and the best Christmassy atmosphere I have ever been fortunate enough to relish.
Thank you for stopping by. x

35 comments:

Angela said...

Ooh Viv, Vienna looks like a wonderful city and you all look as though you really enjoyed yourselves. I don't envy you the train journey though. Cake looked good!

sea-blue-sky & abstracts said...

Hi Viv, I've really enjoyed this wonderful tour of Vienna and am so glad that you all had such a lovely time. Shame you had to eat all of that chocolate cake though! Life is tough sometimes! x

Annie said...

Wow, it looks wonderful, romantic and so festive. Thanks for sharing your lovely pictures. It sounds as though you had a wonderful Birthday experience to remember.
Ann x

Elizabeth said...

Waht a glorious tour and a fabulous time of year to visit!! My bro and familyspent last Christmas in PRague and I was so jealous!! SOme day maybe........
Thank you so much for taking me there electronically!!
Hugs!
Elizabeth

Hen said...

Oooh golly, I know where I want to go next Winter... Glad you had a lovely time.
Hen x

Country Cottage Chic said...

How fabulous! I'd love to visit the Christmas markets but I have dreamt of seeing the Spanish Riding School since I was a little girl....one day....

Can't say I fancy any of that cake either...hahaha!

Jayne

Vintage to Victorian at Dairy House Antiques said...

Hi Viv

So glad you had such a lovely birthday - and great that your girls were able to go too. Such a shame that cake is obligatory on such occasions!

Sue xx

Jacqueline Taylor said...

Your photos are so beautiful and I'm so glad that you had such an amazing time! Fabulous and 50 I think! x x

LOVE STITCHING RED said...

It looks such a wonderful magical place. Christmastime and a birthday is the perfect time to visit. Glad you had fun xx

lilylovekin said...

Thanks for the tour of Vienna, I'm glad you had such a wonderful birthday trip!

Tilly Rose said...

Hi Viv. What a lovely post....you sound as if you had such a fab time! That's made me really want to go there myself.
Thanks for sharing it with us.....Have to say I feel a bit like you over the cakes...they looked rubbish! (Hee hee!)
Hugs Karen x x x

Micki said...

OOh everything looks so clean and sparkly in vienna, even the cake looked precision cut, now I really want to go visit ;)
I'm glad you had a great time.

Micki x

lemonade kitty said...

So, a good time was had by all, what wonderful memories of a special birthday for you to treasure. Those cakes look truly scrumptous...Lucey xx

sarah-jane down the lane said...

Happy Happy Birthday lovely lady!

Aahhhhh Vienna....played over and over and over in my bedroom driving my Mum crazy and causing serious muso brother to have doubts about me!

Looks very beautiful, what a wonderful Birthday, I am glad!

Love Sarah x

jenny elkins said...

Thanks for sharing your trip and birthday with us. Just wonderful!

Kayla coo said...

Hello Viv,
It looks a beautiful place to visit.
I would so love to see the Klimt painting.

Clare said...

Wow Viv it just looks wonderful! Vienna has been on my 'to do' list for ages and your photos really look wonderful! I'm so glad you had such a great time.....mmmm cake....

JP said...

great photos - glad you had such a brilliant time

Amelia said...

This looks simply amazing! What a wonderful trip. I want to go there now. Have been feeling the urge for an adventure and at the moment it has to happen from my front room in the form of postal adventures ;)

Belated birthday greetings too, and hope you have a fantastic christmas!

Amelia.x

a mermaids purse said...

magical delights through your piccys what a wonderful trip and beautiful market with all the oldy woldy charms- lovely post x

Margaret said...

I'm so pleased you had a fab time Viv, what a wonderful place to celebrate your birthday. Lovely photos, you captured the atmosphere so well. Mx

twiggypeasticks said...

Looks wonderful, I went to Austria for a holiday with my parents way back in 1985 and loved it. So pleased you had some festive fun.
Twiggy x

julie Haymaker thompson said...

OMG I loved this post it took me back to the year my husband and I spent chrsitmas in Bourduex .He passed away 5 1/2 years ago . I love my memories of time with him and they often are promted in a clearer light with images like your post .

Jackie said...

Oh Vov.What a treat . Thank you so much for showing this. I've never been and its such a treat to see it through the eyes of someone with such lovely taste.

karen said...

Hi Viv, just stopping by to wish you an amazing christmas!x

OhSoVintage said...

What a wonderful trip. It all looks amazing expecially at this time of year.

silverpebble said...

Ooh this is such a gorgeously Christmassy post. Fabulous to see the festive goings on in another, very beautiful city. Mmm, cake. Mmm peely paint. Mmm twinkly lights. Thanks for the gorgeous trip Viv x

meleen dupré said...

viv,

oh you lucky lucky girl!!! just beautiful!!! ....i can't do rides any more, something changed inside...but cake...oh yeah...i can still do cake!!!!

happy birthday and a merry christmas to you and your family!!!

meleen

Cowboys and Custard said...

How utterly divine Viv.
I would love to go to Vienna and even more so now.
Thank you for the wonderful tour.. and next time you go.. don't forget to bring back all the cake you didn't want.
Happy happy belated Birthday my friend.
Have a super Christmas with your loved ones.
Michele xx

Cathy said...

Wow, what a fabulous place - lucky you. They certainly know how to do Christmas. Loved all the photos and want to be there at this very minute. My favourite pic was of the ?mosaic lady holding a bowl - magical. Have a lovely Christmas and a very Happy New Year.

BusyLizzie said...

Thank you for sharing your special trip. I love Austria too! I know what you mean about the white lights & decorations.. all very beautiful! Have a great Xmas Viv. Lizzie xxx

Vintage Fairy Tales Rebecka said...

I wish you a Very Merry Christmas and A Happy Creative New Year, Viv!
See you soon again
Becky

cocoa and blankets said...

Oh Viv I want to go...it looks lovely as do your girlies....Thank you for all the pleasure that your posts have given me Viv...and your friendship and suport my new years resolution is that we should meet...Every blessing to you and yours this Christmas....H

jane and the happy crow said...

What a lovely trip, you lucky girl! Have a really smashing christmas. Christine gave me one of your christmas cards, its the bestest one I got this year. Loads of love, Jane xxxx

The Vintage Magpie said...

Hi Viv, wow looks like you had a wonderful time! Happy Christmas to you and yours xx