We continue our series describing our trip on the Danube. In case you missed it, here’s the previous post New Year’s eve in Vienna.
Vienna, Jan 1st 2020
Dave did a bike tour through Vienna. Although it was cold, it was a perfect day to bike: because it was a holiday there were not many cars and the dressed correctly, we felt like a local. Still Vienna is very bike friendly with many bike lanes and pathways throughout. From the ship, we biked along the river pathway; there were dozens of river ships docked in Vienna – New Year’s eve brings a lot of tourist trips to the city. We stopped just outside of Prata at the Vienna University of Economics and Business. We drove through Prata, a giant park (much larger than NYC’s central park) which includes a large amusement ride area and a giant ferris wheel.
Next we crossed the old Danube river (the river was relocated to it’s current position to avoid flooding and allow city expansion 100 years ago). We stopped at Regierungsgebäude, the old defense ministry. The building is filled with military power symbols including a huge double eagle statue at the top. Across the Ringstrasse (Stubenring) is Österreichische Postsparkasse, which is a modern post office designed & built by Austrian Otto Wagner. The two buildings were built in similar times with the defense ministry using traditional / conservative architecture while the post office much more modern, including heavy use of aluminium.
Our next stop was the Strauss Monument, a gleaming gold statue in a beautiful park setting. It was next to a large concert hall, Kursalon Hübner. Next we headed to Musikverein, which was hosting the annual New Year’s day concert by the Vienna Philharmonic. We arrived about 30 minutes prior to it’s start and watched concert goers arriving all dressed up – tuxedos and gowns were the style. This concert is broadcast to 60 million viewers and we saw many of the TV stations setting up shop outside the concert.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vienna_New_Year%27s_Concert
Next we went by the Opera house, past the Albertina Museum and stopped at the Hofburg Palace. Finally we headed down the Ringstrasse past the Ministry of Defense, and went along the old Danube. Graffiti is allowed here and some of it is great art, while some of it is just plain ugly. We reentered the Prater by the amusement area and returned to the ship. An excellent experience – a very nice tour of Vienna without a lot of traffic!
A little wellness
Later that afternoon we did a power walk with the Wellness instructor, Victor. This was an hour long walk across the bridge to a park on Donauinsel – a thin island on the Danube. But I should mention that Victor held various classes each day including circuit training, stretching, 100’s, power walking and yoga. Some classes were filled to the brim while others, we were the only one there. This made it easy to keep active during the cruise. Victor is well trained and couldn’t do enough to help anyone that asked.
That night, most guests go to the Mozart & Strauss concert in town. We had seen that before and decided just to relax on board. Wiener Schnitzel for dinner? Of course (except it was chicken not veal but excellent nonetheless) – we were in Austria.
Next: The Wachau Valley