Thursday, December 15, 2016


It was a very leisurely start to the day today.  Vienna is not that far from Budapest so we didn't have to leave until 11am.  We missed out wake up call because we were already up and gone before it came.  I was up early this morning as I wanted to get a bit of ironing done, and also catch up on some journal writing.  Steve went for a walk down town to see if he could get a new selfie stick as we had lost the one we bought in Belgium when we got to Amsterdam.  We forgot that it was Sunday today.... each day just seems to slide into the next.  Anyway the shops weren't open in Budapest this morning so he just enjoyed being outdoors.

I must admit it was nice to sit and have a leisurely breakfast without feeling we had to rush.  We even tried a giant pretzel this morning.  Food has definitely been loaded on this holiday.  We will have to go on a diet when we get home.... We are trying to have some sort of food balance and just have fruit and a hot breakfast to keep us going all day until dinner.  Yesterday nearly wrecked us with three big meals.

We left right on 11am to head to Vienna.  It was only a short drive today and Gary expected that we would be in Vienna around 2.30pm.  We had a pretty smooth trip without any delays until we got to the border between Hungary and Austria, and then the traffic was piled up.  It took us over an hour to get over the border.  There were police cars on both sides of the highway doing random and spot checks on everyone leaving the country.  We were wondering if it had anything to do with all the strife and terrorist stuff happening over here at the moment.  It is a world gone crazy.

We arrived at our hotel an hour late around 3.30pm.  We are staying at the Hilton on the Park, right in Division 1 in Vienna, within walking distance to a lot of the amazing buildings and sights of Vienna.

Our hotel is situated right across the road from Stadtpark right in the middle of Vienna.  We had an hour and a half spare time before we needed to be ready to go out for dinner, so we decided to go for a quick wall around the park to stretch our legs after sitting in the coach for most of the day.  it was quite a big park with lakes in it.  The Vienna River (well it is more like a canal or little creek than a river) runs through the park and into the Danube River.

The park was jammed packed with people of all ages.  Some were in swimwear sunbaking on towels on the lawn.  Others were sitting in groups, some others were playing games on the grass.  The one thing that really struck us though were probably 98% of the people were on their phones, even those sitting together in groups on the lawn.  It was really very obvious.  When we did see a couple just sitting there (the lady was reading a book) and Steve made a comment which they heard, we ended up having a nice chat to them  They were from the UK and were having a 5 day break in Vienna.  We did see the Statute of Johann Strauss along with a few other famous people.

We got back to the hotel around 5:11pm and headed straight to our room to get ready as we were off on another adventure again this evening.

We had to be in the foyer at 5:45pmand what a treat we were in for.  Tonight we headed out of Vienna into the middle of the fertile "Marchfeld".  Most of Austria's small crops are grown in this region and it is especially noted for its asparagus, all sorts of asparagus, white, green and purple.

Tonight we were dining at t famous country mansion called "Marchfelderhof".  It is one of Austria's most famous restaurants.  It's guests have included famous stars, kings, politicians, prima dona's, moneyed people from all over the world.  Some of its famous guests include Napoleon (1809) and Emperor Franz Josef (from Austria) in 1901.  Some if it's other famous guests include Liz Taylor, Arnold Scwarzenegger, Charles Bronson, Cliff Richards, Greek King Constantine, the Shar of Persia, Sheiks from Africa and Arabia, Clark Gable, Katherine Hepburn and many others.

When we arrived, a lot of the staff were standing outside waving flags welcoming us.  Monica (from Brisbane) had the honor of cutting the ribbon for us all to enter.

Words cannot even begin to describe the place, photos cannot even start to do it justice.  It was so over the top it wasn't funny, but somehow it really worked.  There were so many different restaurants or eating areas in this mansion and all were equally over the top but yet different.

 Still it all seemed to work for them.  It was amazing.... you just didn't know where to look.

 Even the toilets were way over the top, like a showgirls powder room.  The ladies toilets were full of photos of scantily dressed men but somehow it didn't seem too distasteful.  The photos will have to speak for themselves.
The Ladies Toilets
The Men's Toilets
Mostly the meals were quite good, most of the servings were HUGE, so thankful that I didn't order the Spare Ribs or Pork Knuckle as both of  them were very big meals.  I ordered the Vienna Schnitzel.    Mine was a little dry, it really needed a sauce to go with it.  Fortunately Vivenne who ordered the Spare Ribs and got a sauce with it that she didn't want, shared it with me and it was delightful and made my meal quite tasty.  Steve had a traditional Austrian meal of boiled meat, potatoes, boiled cabbage, turnips and a potato dumpling and a couple of different sauces.

Desert was lovely, it was like a lemon line cheese cake sandwiched between a ganache or chocolate mousse and had cherries and berries on top.  All drinks were included, the appetizer (Snapps), red and white wines, cocktails, beer and they were unlimited.  Perhaps it was the music that really set the atmosphere.  There were three men walking around the tables, playing the violin, guitar and piano accordion.  It all really added to the atmosphere.  When they weren't playing, there was a man playing the organ, it really did set the atmosphere for the evening.  They played traditional Austrian music as well as some favourites and most people sang along.

 It was a really fun evening and no one really wanted to head home.

  It was around 10pm when we left which was OK as we had an early start (6.15am) start in the morning, so if we had left much later, it would have been later before we had got to bed.  As it was it was almost midnight before I got to bed as I had to tackle some washing....

The days just keep getting better and better.....


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