Saturday, January 5, 2013

Vienna II- Horses and Cathedrals

St. Stephan's Cathedral
     The second day in Vienna was a fascinating one. We woke up early so we could get a good start for the day. The Wombat Hostel in Vienna offered an breakfast consisting of fruit, bread, cheese, meats, veggies, cereal, yogurt, juices, and of course coffee and tea. It was a great start to an adventurous day.

     From there we headed out to the Spanish Riding School. The Spanish Riding school is a traditional riding school for Lipizzin horses and their riders. The riders begin as apprentices working in the stables and behind the scenes for about 4 years when they are promoted to second assistant. Here they are given an experienced horse for their own care and training for about more 4 years. They then graduate to Riders, here they are given an unbroken horse for them to raise and train; this is the most lengthy period for a rider because it will often take up to 6-8 years for their skills to fully develop and become natural. After they complete they become masters.

Alex at the Spanish School              
     Every morning the Seconds and Riders exercise the horses to keep them tame and in shape for their occasional performances. The riders are in full uniform everyday which consists of brown tailcoats with gold buttons, white buckskin breeches, white suede gloves, black top riding boots, and bicorne-style hats. The horses, during morning exercises and casual occasions, are not dressed but when they are they adorn gleaming gold straps and double bridles, gold plated breast plates, and buckskin saddles. There was one horse that was partly dressed for a performance and that horse looked very lovely. The morning exercises only last until 12:30, which we then snapped a quick (and prohibited) photo of Alex in front of an empty exercise stadium because this was his idea and he loves horses. Ash and I were unfamiliar with horses and the Spanish school. However, Alex was kind enough to explain ideas and concepts to us, answer any and all questions, and have patience if we did not understand something. All of us came out of there very happy and we all enjoyed it beyond measure.

 The Bakers at Demels Cafe

     So now it was the middle of the afternoon and we had no idea what to do. We were all hungry so we decided to find a nice cafe somewhere and have a good meal. We found this cute little cafe called Demels Cafe and we decided to try it. When we walked in it was super busy and we walked around until we came to this large glass wall where we could see into the bakery. They actually let you watch the bakers create, bake, and decorate the yummy goods that they offer! It was really cool and we eventually found a seat near the glass so we could watch while we ate. Plus, we got the most delicious food. We first ordered hot chocolate with whipped cream, both of which were made from scratch and by hand. YUM! I ordered Goulasch Soup which was heavenly! Ash ordered Caesar salad and Alex ordered Ricotta stuffed ravioli with tomato sauce. All of us were over taken by the amazing food as well as the fact we could watch the bakers make some beautiful creations!

Inside of St. Stephan's

      Afterwards we were heading to the Mozart Museum but were stopped (by me) because I wanted to go inside of St. Stephan's Cathedral. And good thing too because it was absolutely breathtaking. The Viennese consider this to be the symbol of the city and was originally a burial ground until 1732 when Emperor Karl VI banned any further burials for hygienic reasons. It took over 74 years to build (starting in the 1200's) and is built in true Gothic fashion with a few remodeling hints of early Baroque. We were walking around when we noticed one could go into the Catacombs for a tour. At first we thought we got in for free because there was a large group already down there about to commence with a guide. We learned that many of the emperors had their dead bodies divided between the 3 main churches of Vienna. The internal organs (minus the heart) was located in St. Stephan's, the hearts in St. Augustine's, and the bones in the Kapuziner Church. Also in the catacombs we saw some excavated mass tombs of victims throughout the ages, including victims of the plague. They excavated in total about 5 tombs before they halted excavations because the smell was so atrocious. At the end of the tour we found out we had to pay at the end of the tour, oh well, it was only 4,50 euros, not a bad price for an interesting tour.

An original staircase protected by glass. (St. Stephan's)

Well, after that we did not do much besides continue to walk around, look at Christmas markets, and had fun. So far, I was really glad to be on such an amazing and incredible Christmas Adventure.

Love much, Emily

Travel Tips:

Take lots and lots and LOTS of photos. You'll look back at them always and remember the good times (even if it is a week after). 

Write down your every day adventures on a post card for yourself. This will help you remember what all you did each and every day.

No comments:

Post a Comment