Monday, January 07, 2008

Vienna third day (2)

On our third day in Vienna we had the afternoon to ourselves. So we walked to St. Stephanplatz to see the church. Known as Stephansdom, it is the soul of the city itself. The giant doorway and the twin towers at the entrance are apparently from a 13th century heathen Romanesque shrine. The tiled roof of the church is very eye catching as is the steffl or spire, which is an important landmark in Vienna, towering over all nearby buildings. Once inside, I made it a point to search out the self portrait of Anton Pilgram, the master craftsman of the present church. Pilgrams pulpit, with its intricate gothic design and beautiful carved stairway is another stellar work not to be missed inside the church. The high altar, of course, is most impressive as is the Wiener Neustader altar, commissioned by Friedrich III in 1447.

The children then wanted ice cream. So we stopped at an ice cream store and paid outrageous prices for gelato. I managed to get pick pocketed ~ fortunately I lost only my mobile phone.

We decided to take a buggy ride around the town of Vienna. This is becoming quite a tradition for us! It cost us 65 Euro for a 40 minute ride. Getting off the buggy in front of the Hofburg palace we walked towards a multi ethnic food festival we had seen on our ride. This took us through some beautiful rose gardens which have hundreds of varieties of roses. The food festival was not bad at all with rows upon rows of stalls. Everything from Indian to Thai to Mexican was available. The only problem was the table we found – it was so close to a fountain that we shivered all through dinner! A brisk walk back to the hotel soon set us right and ready to pack to leave Vienna the next day.

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