Vienna …more

We had another walk today but taking in a few of the big sights we had not seen yesterday. A well timed walk through the Hofburg palace meant we caught a glimpse of the Spanish riding school horses on their way back to their stables.

We passed the Central Cafe about lunch time. Being cold and ready for a rest, it looked to be warm and inviting, and it had roast wild boar for its menu of the day – so Andrew was sold. Here, we got to experience some famous Viennese waiter rudeness. It took nearly quarter of an hour for our order to be taken. It is amazing how the waiters can manage to look through you and avoid any eye contact when they want to.

Andrew did experience some schadenfreude with the antics of a couple of tourists at a nearby table. They came in, took some photos (with their flash on – one of my pet peeves), ordered and then propped their iPad on the table. They then proceeded to watch and listen to a video with the volume turned up rather high. One, or other of us was about the go over and politely ask them to turn it down, but luckily their meals arrived and they turned it off. I’m not sure what nationality they were but the language was Eastern European. There was a problem with a second course of their order and it became entertainment for us watching her try and attract the attention of a waiter. Failing that, and with her patience was slipping, she stalked a passing waiter back to the central wait-station. The waiter, turned, looked straight through her and walked off in another direction. Princess couldn’t believe anyone could do do that to her, did some waving of hands, some outraged words in her language. When no one took any notice of her, she stomped back to her table and started putting on her coat, obviously telling her husband they were leaving. Still no one talked her. Andrew had a little beatific smile on his face as he signaled a passing waiter, who immediately produced a bill and we paid and left.

Having become a little “churched-out” we hesitated to go into St. Peter’s, but trusting our guide book which described it as one of their favorites in Vienna, we went in. And certainly it was well worth it in all it’s Baroque glory.

For a change of pace we walked over to view the Hundertwasser apartments. Distinctive and very different from tradional and regal Viennese architectecture.

While walking over to Hundertwasser there was obviously a police operation underway, as there were police cars and sirens everywhere. They were definately searching for someone as they were even driving along the wide paths in the park we had just wandered through. As luck would have it, on our return from Hundertwasser we walked up a street and saw a police tape cordoning off a jeweler shop. Checking the local news we found that there had been a armed robbery of the jewelry store by four men with guns and axes. One had been apprehended, and they were searching for his accomplices. They were described as being the Pink Panther gang from Serbia. It turns out that when they smashed the cases, they smashed they wrong ones and had only managed to get away with some lower value watches.

On our way back to the apartment we finally popped into our neighbourhod church – the Votive church – a very impressive neo-gothic church built 1856-76 in thanks after an unsuccessful attempt to assassinate the Emperor Franz Joseph was made at that site in 1853. It was one of the nicest churches we had been to and it had lots of bright stained glass windows.


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