Vienna, Austria – the Jewel of the Habsburg Empire

in Eastern Europe

We set off on our 2+-hour tour of Vienna armed only with a large map in German/Austrian that only showed the streets on one side and descriptions of what we were trying to view were on the back. Though we weren’t thrilled about feeling as if we had been dumped into the city, we bravely embarked on our brief but intense tour of Vienna.

We stopped to look at the exterior of the Opera House then headed toward a place to eat. I recognized that the Sacher Hotel was likely to be the place where the Sacher Torte cake was invented, so we stopped there to have a snack–my Sacher Torte was just ok, a bit dry, but Rick’s chocolate molten cake was tasty.

It became obvious very quickly that it was impossible to read the minimal description while trying to use the street map, so Rick traced on the map where we were walking so that later, we might guess what we had seen. The buildings’ names were in Austrian


so even those were only guess-able. My overall impression was that the Habsburgs’ Beaux Artes and Art Nouveau architects and designers “frosted” all buildings with lacy accessories, statues, urns, carvings, ceramics–5 times more than needed! That is my best description of Vienna.

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