Thursday, July 27, 2006

(If you want, skip all the chit-chat and see all the Vienna Day 2 pictures). Caitie and I decided to just walk around Wien today, and see what we could see. We walked around the RingeStrasse, and then through the StadtPark. It was a pretty quiet way to spend the afternoon. We took pictures of a neat staircase that runs, fairly treacherously, down to the StadtPark's Canal . We also continue to be amused by the apparent absurdity of all public notices in German . The Viennese also have a deep love for their cars. Nearly all the taxis are Mercedes, and I have never seen so many Bentleys and Porsches. Our hands down favorite, though, was a vintage Jaguar parked on the street by the hotel . After the StadtPark, we decided to hoof it up the hill to Belvedere, which is behind SchwarzenbergPlatz. The SchwarzenbergPlatz has quite a bit of nice architecture and a slick fountain. The fountain stands in front of a massive stone monument to the Russian liberation of Vienna. The monument is a unique curiosity in Vienna, since the entire tribute is written in Russian. The walk to Belvedere is a bit long (though it makes for a terrific run), but the view of the palace over the reflecting pool is well worth it . Caitie and I thought about checking into the Belvedere hotel, but had some trouble with our key... just kidding . The front of Belvedere is magnificent, and the rear stretches out in long formal gardens, which are still beautiful, despite their state of reconstruction . On the way home, we walked passed KarlPlatz, home to a gorgeous church and associated museum . Finally, the Germans may have Hasselhoff, but the Austrians will always have ... ... Toto.

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