Austria 2010 Holiday ... 1 ... Vienna

Date & Time: Monday 24th May 2010.

Location :Cumbria to Vienna in Austria.

Holiday details : A week in Austria visiting Helmut Huddler and his family.

Places visited : Manchester, Frankfurt & Vienna airports and the the Vienna Donauturm restaurant. The next day we set aside to enjoy the city.

Highest point : An evening meal revolving slowly at 150m (nearly 500 ft) above the city.

With : Helmut, his wife Susan and my wife Ann.

Weather : Sunny but thundery showers not far away.


 Austria 2010 Holiday

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The first day of our holidays saw us flying from Manchester via Frankfurt to Vienna.

We were invited across by Helmut Hudler who we had met and become friends with through the Uk On-line fellwalking club

He and his wife Susan met us at the airport and whisked off to an evening meal

high up in Vienna's revolving restaurant, the Donauturm Tower.

Helmut, Susan, Ann and myself.

as we waited for the lift to take us up the tower in Vienna.

But I jump ahead a little . . . . this was Vienna !

The story starts with the anxiety of the Icelandic dust clouds, which had halted European flights just a week before.

Would they clear in time for our planned departure.

Fortunately they did and this photo of an Icelandair aircraft taxiing was a welcome sight.

We were on our way !

Our Lufthansa aircraft landed at Frankfurt where we changed planes for our onward flight to Wien-Schwechat Airport.

The Frankfurt departure lounge and duty free . . .
. . . looked more like a department store.

Somewhere in the second photo was an arrow and sign to guide us on our way to our second departure lounge.

Arrival at Vienna Airport late afternoon and one hour time difference to Cumbria.

Helmut and Susan were ready and waiting to whisk us away across the city.

This is Vienna.


Our evening meal was booked

at the revolving restaurant

high up on the Donauturm Tower.


Fortunately they have a lift !


From 150m above the ground, the city is spread out to view.

The river is the Obere Alte Donau, an oxbow lake now separated from the main Danube River.

It is a parkland and a favourite area for boating and water activities within the city.

With the restaurant revolving once every 28 minutes or so we soon get to see the main part of the Danube as it flows through Vienna.

The impressive curved buildings and many of the high rise structures below are part of the United Nations Organisation.

Old buildings, modern Ferris wheels, fun fairs and large River Boats on the main Danube river.

In the clear evening air we get our first glimpse of the high summit of Schneeberg that we had seen so many times in Helmut's Austrian web site Landschaftsfotos

Schneeberg is the last of the 2000 metres mountains on the extreme eastern part of the European Alps, the other end of which are places such as India, Mount Everest, the Himalayas and Switzerland.

The city is rotated for us as the meal and conversation progresses

so that now we look down on the motorway bridge that featured in the first city photo I took a few pictures above.

From here we can look down on the bright colours in the ornamental garden in the park below.

Round again and during dessert, the funfair and the city are now staring to be illuminated.

The last of the sun over the distant hills.

Looking down on the river bridge again.

Was it the wine or the rotation of the restaurant that blurred this final longer exposure photo ?

- - - o o o - - -

After a lovely meal Helmut and Susan drove us to our town centre hotel

where we settled in , slept and awoke next day to a fine morning.

The Best Western Das Tigra Hotel . . .
. . . situated in the downtown Vienna.

The hotel, or at least the older, lower part of it was where Austria's beloved composer Mozart and his father once lived.

We had set the day aside to explore the city and some of it's attractions.

Walking up towards the centre of town . . .
. . . a classic Horse and Carriage passes us by.

One of the main central squares and the entrance to the Alte Hofburg Palace.

Interestingly, the left hand side of the palace is undergoing restoration though you'd hardly notice it at first glance.

The protective hoardings have photos printed on them.
One of the restored sculptures at the palace.

The contractors had erected scaffolding and covered it with screen printed tarpaulins with original views of the building.

What a clever idea . . . practical without spoiling the building for the visitors.

- - - o o o - - -

Vienna is also home to the famous Spanish Riding School

so we bought tickets to their morning practice session and found a seat (eventually) overlooking the indoor arena.

The elegant hall is used as a practice area between performances

and today the horses are being exercised to the sound of gentle classical music.

The time is used to practice the dressage moves that they incorporate in their main productions.

The view from the higher seating area.
A classic equine pose.

I cheated slightly here as the third photo was taken from their promotional brochure.

The central picture was my attempt to capture the same move but photography was difficult without using flash.

There was no organised display but viewing the horses was a delight in itself.

The end of an exercise session and the horses are led back to the stables across the road.

After the morning session Helmut met up with us . . .
. . . and we decided to walk across town in search of a cafe.
St Stephan's Cathedral Square.
All the sights of the big city.

The square was full of people, lots of activity, a street market and this classic roundabout.

It was very different from the quiet that we usually experience in our part of Loweswater !

The Cathedral is well worth a visit . . .
. . . these are the east and west windows.

The building resonated to the sound of a Latin American choral group which attracted a large audience.

Hear a short clip of the sound from the Cathedral that day. 

St Stepan's has a fine bell tower which is open to view.
From the balcony, you can get close to the colourful roof tiles.

From here we get a fine view across the city, all the way to the foothills that surround Vienna.

Looking carefully down, there are the horse and carriages which are available for hire.

That sounds like a great way to see the city.

A romantic carriage ride around the city . . .
. . . but who is this in the third seat !
Helmut and the driver point out all the old buildings . . .
. . . including the Palace Church of the Habsburgs.


Neue Hofburg . . now home for Austria´s national library.

Will the driver fit back through that arch without removing his hat ?

Returning through the city . . .
. . . we're back at the Cathedral Square.

Our excellent transport . . . two beautiful white horses and a classic carriage.

You may think I took it for the modern form of transport

but in fact I had also noticed the name on the shop behind . . . Fisher's in Vienna.

After saying goodbye to Helmut we walked back to our hotel . . .
. . . passing this wonderful church, one of the oldest in Vienna.

It has been a lovely sunny day but we returned to our hotel with minutes to spare . . . as there was rain in the air.

A thundery downpour drenched the streets in minutes . . .
. . . and then cleared as quickly.

As if to show how fast it cleared . . . it's the same carriage in both photos.


All was clear and dry as we walked out locally . . .

. . . for an evening meal on our second night in Austria.

- - - o o o - - -

Technical note: Pictures taken with either Ann's Canon 75 or my Canon G10 digital camera.

Resized in Photoshop, and built up on a Dreamweaver web builder.

This site best viewed with . . . . an enthusiastic Austrian welcome.

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A reciprocal visit to us in the Uk - 3rd May 2006 Helmut's World Tour of the Lakes