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Forging a Dynasty

It’s our final day here in Vienna and we are heading slightly out of the city to visit Schönbrunn Palace. Referred to as ‘The Summer Palace’, it’s where the Habsburg’s spent the warmer six months of the year when they were not holding court at The Hofburg.

After a hearty breakfast, we take a cab past the industrial and more run-down outskirts, to what would once have been considered countryside and where it would have taken about three days to reach by horse and carriage. It takes us only 20 minutes by car, and as we round our final turn, suddenly there it is – lit up in all it’s glory by the mid-morning sun.
Continue reading “Forging a Dynasty”

Walking in a Wiener Wonderland

It’s a couple of degrees colder this morning and we’re all slightly shivery as we arrive at The Albertina to begin our walking tour. Our guide today is a lovely gentleman named Wolfgang (yes, like Mozart) and he begins by taking us up onto the roof of the gallery so we can look out across the city of Wien – what the Viennese call Vienna in their native German tongue. He points out the famous Vienna Opera House, which was built around 150 years ago and was the first major structure to be built on the now-busy Vienna Ringstraße, which also plays home to the Civic Hall and Parliament building. This boulevard was where the old city walls used to stand before being torn down by Emperor Franz Josef, Vienna’s longest reigning Emperor, and part of the Habsburg Dynasty that ruled over Austria for over 600 years. Continue reading “Walking in a Wiener Wonderland”

Oh, Vienna

Today we are up before it’s light, only slightly marred by the effects of last night’s wine consumption, to head to the airport and jet off to Vienna.

Austria’s capital is our chosen destination for celebrating the baby bro’s 30th birthday, and as none of us have even been before, we are all pretty excited (despite the hangovers).

It’s a short two hour flight and we take off as dawn is breaking and land mid-morning – the whole day still ahead of us. The airport is in the industrial outskirts of the city and so we hop a cab to our hotel which is central.

Once we leave the smoky chimneys behind we are greeted by strange trees whose leaves grow in little blobs, reminding me of a child’s painting, and apartment blocks in varying shades of cream and yellow, their windows framed by ornate stucco trims. keeping us company on our ride is the great Danube river, not so blue today, but rather a murky green.   Continue reading “Oh, Vienna”

The Lonely Islands

It’s our last day here in Venice and with most of the key attractions covered we decide to venture a little further afield and visit some of the lagoon’s other islands.

Murano and Burano are a must for any traveller with a keen eye for photography. Known respectively for glass blowing and lace making, both islands are also famous for their brightly coloured houses. Gracing the pages of Pinterest and Instagram alike, i’ve already seen hundreds of beautiful images of the homes on my computer screen but am keen to see them for real. Continue reading “The Lonely Islands”

If I like it then i’m gonna get a ring from it…

Right that’s it. I need to get myself a millionaire American husband. Taking a jaunt yesterday down ‘Country Club drive’ (I kid you not) a street of houses just casually retailing at 4.5 million dollars apiece, I decided I want in. I must have been feeling optimistic when I packed for this trip as I appear only to have arrived laden with lacy lingerie and no granny pants in sight. I figure I can make this work-as long as I go light on the Peggy Mitchell twang. Continue reading “If I like it then i’m gonna get a ring from it…”

The kindness of strangers

“I have always depended upon the kindness of strangers”. Those famous lines delivered by Blanche DuBois at the end of Tennessee Williams’ play A Street Car Named Desire. Although not remotely within the same context, (Seeing as I’m not being carted off to the looney bin) I am somewhat reminded of this sentiment during my stay here in NYC. Continue reading “The kindness of strangers”

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