(Last post with full complement of pictures)
We arrive in Vienna early in the morning and set off on the bus/walking tour shortly after breakfast.
On the way to our walking tour portion we pass by the Imperial church, Vienna’s iconic ferris wheel, the Opera House, Parliament building, and the votive church. Finally we are dropped off at the Museum square by the statue of Maria Theresa, the only female ruler of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
We walk through the grounds of the enormous Winter Palace and see the porch from which Hitler announced the annexation of Austria to the cheering crowd. Our tour guide is quite frank about the Austrian complicity in anti-Semitism and Nazism.
Our walking tour takes us to Vienna’s great cathedral, St. Stephen’s. We are set loose at this point and John and I along with Peg and Ted take a look inside the cathedral. We want to buy tickets for a self-guided tour but are told that they are about to hold mass and we will have to leave. Rats! Mostly we have to be content with looking at the beautiful sculptures and artwork from a distance.
Peg and Ted rejoin the tour and will visit Schonbrunn Palace and gardens later today. John and I will walk back to Museum Square independently and visit the Kunsthistorisches museum.
It is very nice to be on our own. We stop for lunch at the museum cafe and have a yummy lunch of Sacherwurstel in a beautiful venue.
The museum has two picture galleries – one with southern European works and the other with northern European works. The art is mostly from the 16th and 17th centuries, not totally in my wheelhouse. But I enjoy many of the works especially those by Arcimbaldo, an Italian painter best known for creating imaginative portrait heads made entirely of objects such as fruits, vegetables, flowers, fish, and books. There is also a lovely Vermeer, The Art of Painting, which is frustratingly housed in a blocked off room. Museum workers make seeing it very difficult.
We take a taxi back to the boat, have dinner, and exhausted from our long day, turn in.