#2, Austria, Hungary, May 9, 1987

img124Away we went in our caravan of two cars to see the lake country. We stopped for coffee at the famous Weis Rossl (the White Horse) img129restaurant in St. Wolfgang, which is right by the Wolfgangsee. There is a musical about this restaurant called, “The White Horse.” Naturally our musical friend, Wolfgang, img127knew all about it! We went for a boatride on the lake and then drove on to have lunch (this is trout country) at Traunkirken, a beautiful spot. Unfortunately the weather was fully overcast.

Next we drove to Melk, which has a well-known ancient library in the Benedictine Abbey img131of Melk.








As we were wondering which hotel to pick from our guidebook, a man came along and offered rooms in his private home. What fun! For dinner we ducked out to a Ratskeller for sandwiches with beer, a nusstorte for dessert, followed by opsler, a fruit brandy. We’re eating (and drinking) well!

In the morning we took the tour of the Benedictine Abbey, focusing on their wonderful library. We img137discovered that they had an exchange program with our own Minnesota St. John’s College! The Abbey provided us some of their own wine for a treat.

Moving on to Durnstein on the Donau (Danube) we dined on soup, pork, kraut and img141dumplings. These towns are beautiful to tour on foot, as we did in between meals! Krems was our next destination with more look-arounds; then we drove on to Wien (Vienna) and found that our planned pension, Pension Suzanne, was located over a sex shop! Strauss music was the background for our light supper meal of bread, cheese, meat and wine. Now we Knew that we were in Vienna!  The planned highlight of our trip was to see “The Barber of Seville” at the Vienna Opera House. img188Horrors, we discovered that Gisela had booked the tickets wrong so we spent some time getting that straightened out!

We took a carriage ride through the old town and ate at Augustinekeller—those good plum dumplings again that Wolfie had put us on to the night before. After a nap and an early dinner, we img194went to the opera.  Because of the mix-up regarding the tickets, we were not seated img197together, but could see each other across the horseshoe.










The opera img200was not only very good, but the whole setting and experience was fun—did you know that Austrians and Germans walk together in a big circle throughout intermission?










It was a sunshiny day when we took the underground to Shonbrunn Palace in all its splendor. What beautiful grounds, as well as the palace, itself. What a way these people img156lived so long ago. In the afternoon we took a walking tour around St. Stephen’s Platz and img164img171did a little window shopping, too. Dinner was again at the Augustinekeller where we had eaten before. I had duck, haxen, salad, potatoes and for dessert a huge germ knodel—wow!


The Vienna Sight Seeing Tours picked us up in the  morning at 8:00. The first stop was the Spanish Riding School with the Lipezzaner Horses. They had beautiful img181img178costumes, music and routines. And what beautiful horses!



















As the tour bus moved along, we saw the UN Complex, the Big Wheel of the Prater, and the Hundertwasser House, which was img204img183built in 1985 on a concept by the artist Friedensreich Hunderetwasser. For lunch we ordered the ‘grossest wienerschnitzel’ with potatoes, salad and wine. The ‘grossest’ part img212clearly meant the ‘largest’ as it was hanging off the plate all the way around.






After all that, we napped a bit before a  concert in the evening. We heard Hayden’s img21669th Symphony and Shuman’s 9th at the Konzerthaus with Eric Leinsdorf conducting.




Kurt Waldheim made a speech to open the Vienna Festival and, as it happened, our seats were only about 20 feet away from him as he img217spoke. What a lot of fame surrounding us!


Afterwards we had a little snack at the Konzertbar of apple strudel, coffee and then some Calvados, an apple brandy that Wolfie had introduced us to.

Things are marching wonderfully on this trip—


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