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Trip Report Vienna highlights

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As a thank you to those of you who responded to several of my Vienna questions, here is how the trip went:
Dates: March 21-26
Airline - United/Austrian Air ($836 from Harrisburg, PA)
Hotel: Ambassador on Kartnerstrasse (about $200/night double, no breakfast)
Austrian Air flight - not a large plane and rather old. Food good on way over but not on way back. But both flights were on time. I read the magazine and found a note that if you show your austrian Air boarding card you can get free stuff (melange coffee, free sparkling wine and 1/2 price museum admissions). This saved me quite a bit!!
Vienna airport is pretty easy - security at the gate coming back (but also bomb sniffing dogs walking around at our gate sniffing our hand luggage). I took the CAT (City Airport Train) from the airport to central station then a 7 euro taxi ride to my hotel. I had e mailed the hotel very nicely asking for possible early check in and when I arrived at 10:30 my room was ready. Nice room, high ceilings, large bathroom with black marble floors and nice toiletries. Two twin beds pushed together. Window overlooking Kartnerstrasse but it was not noisy

Highlights: Lippizaner show (I waited a lifetime to see these beautiful horses); Vivaldi concert by a quartet at a beautiful little church, St Anna's. Music wsa lovely. Klimt exhibitions everywhere (an anniversary of some kind). The Kiss at Upper Belvedere plus lovely gardens, apple trees, portraits. Also Klimt canvases at Leopold Museum, drawings at Albertina. Also at Albertina a Monet and other Impressionists. Included were some Degas ballerinas (which I adore) - Harlequin and Columbine, the aqua dressed 2 ballerinas and others. Of Monet there was a 6' canvas of water lilies, a small sleeping cat and a misty London bridge among others.

I also toured the Hofburg Palace.

Cafes: Cafe Sperl, Korb, the Belevedere Cafe, Julius Meinl, Demel and yes, Cafe Sacher for the sachertorte! (it wasn't terrible but not to die for either - but I just bit the bullet and did the experience and they were very nice there - the waitress took my picture dressed in my dirndl).

I'm not a foodie and always watching my weight so the only real meal was at Figlmullers for wienerschnitzel, parsley potatoes and (free) sparkling wine). Eveyr day I had specialty coffee and a pastry - apple strudel, mont blanc, Klimt cake (with a painting on the icing) macarons, and Sachertorte.

All the sidewalk cafe tables were lined up in the middle of the pedestrian Kartnerstrasse and everyone was out - great weather, and anything I wanted was right outside my door so at night I didnt' need to wander far. I enjoyed popping in the shops but didn't buy too much - a Sworovski cat necklace (I hvae a seal point himalayan cat), a Pandora charm, a tapestry Vienna purse, a metal Kiss magnet, Sacher coffee, and a dressier silky shirt that had a college of Vienna scenes, a couple gifts.

Overall I found it a fun, vibrant city with everything one could want: great art, music, shopping, cafes.... There were lots of people there but Vienna seems to be under the radar - not too many questions or trip reports on Fodors.

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