Vienna-mazing!

Vienna Christmas Markets Amawaterways

Vienna, Oh Vienna! Where do I begin? This lovely city was our second port on our river cruise with Amawaterways. The cruise line planned a full day for us with multiple excursion options. The day was divided into three excursion times: morning, afternoon, and night with mealtimes at the ship.

Our day started with  a walking city tour that included the former Imperial Palace of the Habsburg Emperors, the Opera House, Spanish Riding School and Vienna’s historic city center. The tour guide gave us insights on the Habsburg Empire. This was also where Ran and I got separated and a lot of bad things went through our mind (ie: Taken with Liam Neeson). The tour guide stopped at the city center in front of a beautiful water fountain. Right across from it was a Starbucks branch and I was debating whether or not I should get the city mugs at the time or later on. I decided on buying it later and quickly tapped Ran on the shoulder and joined the group. We reached the end of the block when I realized Ran was not with the group. I panicked. But I could not leave the group because I did not want to get lost. This was the moment where I was grateful we had T-mobile coverage. Ran called me and informed me that he was still standing at the Starbucks and that the group left. I told him I was with the tour group and gave him directions. When we finally reunited, I could not hold back my laughter, albeit a nervous one. I’ve never seen him looking like a lost child.

Vienna Christmas Markets Amawaterways
Statue of a Jew cleaning the streets, part of Vienna’s monument against War and Fascism. The barbed wires were not part of the original statue. But people were sitting on it. The wires made the message stronger!
Vienna Christmas Markets Amawaterways
Part of Vienna’s Monument Against War and Fascism at Albertinaplatz. This one is depicting Orpheus entering the underworld meant to remind us of the victims of Nazism. Thanks Rick Steves!
Vienna Christmas Markets Amawaterways Capuchin Church
Capuchin Church: where Austrian royals are buried
Vienna Christmas Markets Amawaterways St. Stephen's Cathedral
St. Stephen’s Cathedral
Vienna Christmas Markets Amawaterways Imperial Palace
The Habsburg or Hofburg Imperial Palace
Vienna Christmas Markets Amawaterways
The Starbucks where we got separated!

The first Christmas Market we visited was the Rathausplatz. The Rathaus is Vienna’s City Hall. I have not seen a city hall as beautiful as this one! And I am just looking from the outside.

Vienna Christmas Markets Amawaterways
Drinking gluhwein with The Rathaus behind me
Vienna Christmas Markets Amawaterways Rathaus
This shot looks so dreamy…

We wanted to go all the way. So, all of our excursion options were the Christmas Markets. We did not attend the music concert at night to maximize our time at the markets. We went to three different ones: The Schonbrunn Palace, The Maria-Theresien-Platz and The Art Advent at Karlsplatz. At night, we came back one more time at the Rathaus for a nighttime experience.

Vienna Christmas Markets Amawaterways Schonnbrunn Palace
The vast “front yard” of The Schonnbrunn Palace is where the Christmas Market is at

Vienna Christmas Markets Amawaterways Schonnbrunn Palace

Vienna Christmas Markets Amawaterways Karlsplatz
Art Advent at Karlsplatz reminded me of our very own “Simbang Gabi”
Vienna Christmas Markets Amawaterways Maria Theresa Platz
The Christmas Market at Maria-Theresien-Platz
Vienna Christmas Markets Amawaterways Rathaus
The Rathaus… even more magical at night!

Vienna Christmas Markets Amawaterways Rathaus

While killing time at The Schonnbrunn Palace Christmas Market, we decided to check out Cafe Restaurant Residenz. We tried the most popular item on their menu: Apple Strudel with warm Vanilla Sauce. My heart wanted to sing “My Favorite Things” from The Sound Of Music.

Vienna Christmas Markets Amawaterways Schonnbrunn Palace Cafe Restaurant Residenz
Cream-colored ponies and crisp apple strude… These are a few of my favorite things!
Vienna Christmas Markets Amawaterways Schonnbrunn Palace Cafe Restaurant Residenz
The extensive dessert menu…
Vienna Christmas Markets Amawaterways Schonnbrunn Palace Cafe restaurant Residenz
…And the sinful display case!

We also learned that Sacher Torte originated in Austria. It was concocted by Franz Sacher for Prince Wenzel von Metternich in the 1800’s and was passed onto his son. It is made of light chocolate cake with apricot jam filling and coated with chocolate icing. We wanted to try it at the Hotel Sacher itself. But did not have time for that. We tried one from the Rathaus Christmas Market instead. You can order it online though.

Vienna Christmas Markets Amawaterways Sacher Torte
Now we know where it came from!

We eventually found a Starbucks by the Rathaus before coming back to the ship. Tired as ever. But satisfied because Vienna was wonderful and beautiful!

Don’t miss our day in lovely Budapest!

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