When in Vienna, we had a few days to relax as we needed to change our British summer tyres to all weather tyres to be able to carry on our journey around Europe. This turned out to be a very beautiful stay and a beautiful capital
Our first day in the city we wanted to get a feel of Vienna and what it had to offer. When we go to a city, we look for history through its architecture and monuments, so when we got out of the car in Vienna we knew we had found just that. Even the simplest of buildings had been finished with such beauty that you would believe it was meant for something more.
We just spent a few hours looking at the buildings around us and weaving in and out of the small streets to see what hidden gems we could find.
In Vienna, there is a permanent market up which has many different sections depending on what you want to find, from fish and meat to little trinkets. There is a map in various parts of the market that clearly marks where everything is so you can’t get too lost. It was nice to just walk down it, smelling the various fresh foods and seeing the cafes with throws hanging over there seats.
It is small and thin as you would expect a market to be, so be confident if you do have dogs that they will be safe and secure doing this.
Spanish riding school
This is exactly what it states on the tin, it’s a riding school but it is one of the most famous and beautiful riding schools you will ever see.
You know you are near by when you start seeing more and more horses, carrying the many tourists, trotting down the street.
From every direction, you will come down a normal street and then you will enter a big open square, and from there you will be able to see the beauty of this building. It’s a great atmosphere seeing the masses of people around and horses getting ready for there next ride.
Outside of the school though there is something I was not aware even existed. It was a Roman ruin in the middle of the square protected by glass as it goes down! Walk around the barrier and you will be able to look down at all of the buildings that have been overshadowed by new buildings over the years, you can even see the masses of coins (and some notes I have to add) at the bottom that have been chucked over for good luck.
We walked through the archway and entry point of the riding school, which is open to the public. You can enter the riding school itself but with having dogs we didn’t go inside, we just walked through the courtyards. It is beautiful to walk around and see the beauty of the architecture.
When we walked through this part of Vienna we didn’t realise at first where we were. We walked through a park and then saw a lot of military equipment. Well when I say equipment, I mean tanks, helicopters and other military vehicles. It seemed that we had hit a military fayre that we didn’t know was happening. It seemed to be on all weekend and it was showing all the different parts of the Austrian military. It was nice to walk around and see what it is like, we especially liked the bit when it showed you the military canine (which happens to be a Rottweiler), and they even had puppies on hand to show you!
We didn’t get to see too much of the palace as we were obstructed by the exibits going on, but it was a lovely setting to walk around.
St. Stephen’s Cathedral and Stephansplatz
As you can guess from the name, you can’t visit the Stephansplatz without seeing the cathedral of Vienna. It is probably one of the main sights you see see in Vienna and Austria itself.
The Stephansplatz is a busy and now tourist area with off shoots of streets full of shops and restaurants. It’s a huge area so you don’t feel cramped when walking around even during the tourist times.
The cathedral itself is a beautiful one. You can see the spire for miles around as it hangs over everything else in the city. It is a highly impressive building in the centre of a big city.
On our second day we decided to do more of a scenic walk so we parked a few miles out of the city and walked the river. The Danube river runs through Vienna and doesn’t just stick to Austria, it runs through several countries in Europe. It was the perfect setting so we followed the river into the centre.
We hit the centre at lunch time so we walked towards the food part and had some food. Austria has been the easiest countries so far with our boys to eat food out and about. In Austria many people get food from a stall that has a few standing tables to eat your lunch. This is easy for us and it saves us trying to sit down at a busy restaurant with two large dogs.
In the centre they have many places to eat, today we wanted something quick yet traditional so it was an easy choice to eat a bratwurst. Now it was time to decide the place we would get it. Your first instinct is to go to the place with little people so you can get your food quick. Always a rookie mistake, next time you do this think why would this be? Does it look nice? Is it off peak? If it doesn’t add up sometimes you have to follow the crowd and that’s what we did. There was a particular stand that had crowds of people around so we got in the que to wait for the food. Though busy it was efficient and didn’t take long to get our food, and it was worth it! Our challenge whilst in Austria and Germany is to try all the different types of bratwurst that you can get, so starting with the original is a good start.
After lunch we made our way back along the river and back to the car, just in time before the rain caught us up.
We were a bit lost on this day as we were expecting to be out of Vienna by now but a delay in getting tyres would keep us here anther day at least. We had driven past Schönbrunn Palace but hadn’t seen it up close, so we decided to park up and take a walk to the palace and gardens. There is also a zoo attached, this is the oldest zoo in the world, but with the boys chances are we couldn’t go in.
We parked just outside of one of the entrances of the park and, to our disappointment, we couldn’t go into any section of the park as no dogs were allowed. Nothing had said anything before this so already being here, we just walked along the outside of the palace through the town so we could at least get a good view of the palace from the front. It was still a lovely walk and we stopped off to have a cake on the way from a wonderful bakery.
As we were close to the end we got a call saying that the tyres were in and ready to be fitted! Best news we could have heard – we drove to the garage and gave over the keys, and took the boys for a walk so the new tyres could be fitted.
We took a walk in the nearby park for an hour or so and just relaxed not having to worry about anything. It was a nice time that we didn’t need to concentrate on where we were going next or what we needed to see, we could just walk and look at the leaves falling around us.
After the tyres were fitted, we had finished our trip around Vienna, and for now it was time to move on…we hope to see it again some day….