We arrived in Vienna in the early afternoon and went to check in at the hotel. Have I mentioned that I love the perks that come along with traveling with my sister? We are staying in the executive suite, and we even have a hallway between the living room and the bedroom, which has a marble bathroom. We do fancy things like relax in the executive lounge, feasting upon complimentary diet coke and gummy bears. Awesome.
Eventually we tore ourselves away from the hotel (and recovered from all the traveling and settling in) and we set out to explore the city. Our first stop was Stephens Dom, an incredible gothic cathedral. It was so beautiful and so different from the other big churches we had been in our trip. We took a tiny little elevator up the North Tower for a great view of the city. We also went to Karlsplatz to see Karls Kirche and eat a small dinner in the old train station. It was my first experience with the pay-to-use Water Closets that I remember learning about in German class. (Although we got a token from our server to use instead).
Next up: Hofburg Palace, the winter home of the Hapsburg Dynasty. One sad thing about coming to Vienna in July is that the Lippizaners are on vacation from performing and practicing at the Spanish Riding school, the boy’s choir is also on holiday, as is the opera. There was still plenty to take in just walking around the imposingly large palace grounds. We relaxed for a bit in the Volksgarten, enjoying the roses, before heading back to the hotel to resume our fancy lives (we did things like sitting on the roof with our free beverages and cooling off in the crisp night air). We will see more of the city in a couple of days.