Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Winter Travels in Austria (Salzburg and Vienna)


BREAKING NEWS FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO DIDNT KNOW :
Vienna is claim to be this year most liveable city in the world, taking over Melbourne at its spot. I love Melbourne and I am sad that it's gone down. Stayed there 3 years and trust me, I had an amazing stay.

My family came over to visit during Winter last year. I decided to visit Austria this time round. It was suppose to be 6 days trip where I will be visiting Salzburg, Hallstatt and Vienna. My plan was to spend 2 days in Salzburg, 1 days in Hallstatt and 3 days in Vienna. We woke up in the morning heading over to Luton Airport. On our way there, it started snowing. Initially, it look so pretty and apparently this was the first time it snow in London for a couple years in now. 

When we reach the airport, apparently most of the flights has been cancelled and we waited there almost 4 hours only for them to cancel our flight. We couldn't book from another airport because all the airports were close. At the end, we could only get tickets to 2 days later which pretty much only gave us a day in Salzburg and 3 days in Vienna. This was a really unfortunate event and we didn't even see it coming. 

Either ways, we resume our trips and apparent Agoda mention they would refund us the first two nights of the hotel in Salzburg but they never refunded or drop me an email (which they said they would). Oh wells.. when I got the call from there saying they'll refund after I file in a report, I was so happy. I knew it was too good to be true. 

So, back the where I visited. So we had only a day in Salzburg. Here's the places we manage to visit and I do think Salzburg should not be a place you want to visit in Winter. 

Also, if you guys are a fan of Sound of Music, you would know that few scenes were film in Salzburg. 

SALZBURG

Mirabell Palace

This is a historic building in Salzburg and was a palace where its garden is listed as the cultural heritage monument and part of the Historic Centre of the City of Salzburg UNESCO World Heritage Site. Not to forget, a few scenes were actually film in this palace as well. The main part was the garden but since it was winter, it didn't feel so alive. So this was what I got. I was really disappointed because I did not research enough to know that this should have been the place you visit during Spring but not Winter.


The back view of the palace. 


Old Town Salzburg

Since we arrive there at about 12pm, after visiting Mirabell Palace, there wasn't much attraction point that we could do so we decided to just take a walk at the Old Town. We found a Christmas Market there and since it was the first time my parents actually visited a market, so we spend quite awhile there.





View from Salzach River

If you want a view of the Old Town, hope over to the other side of the Salzach River to get it and also you would pass by a bridge lock area.



That was pretty much what we did in Salzburg. I was really sad that we couldn't see more and due to the cold weather, my parents wasn't very comfortable going around and walking that much. Moral of the story : don't bring your parents to places which are really cold in winter. I did mention it was going to be cold but they didn't expect it to be this cold.

I felt really bad because they weren't enjoying themselves due to the cold. Lucky for me, when we arrive in Vienna, the weather was so good and they really like the city the moment they step foot there.

VIENNA



Schonbrunn Palace

The 1,441 room Baroque palace is one of the most important architecture, cultural and historical monument in the countries. We spend about 1-2 hours exploring the castle. It's Vienna MUST VISIT place. The rooms in the palaces were beautiful. We bought our tickets on side. The entrance fees is:-
  • Classic Pass : Adult : 24 Euros , Child : 15.20 Euro (Include the grand and imperial tour, with the Garden and Labyrinth)
  • Grand Tour : Adult : 17.50 Euro, Child : 11.50 Euro
  • Imperial Tour : Adult : 14.20 Euro, Child : 10.50 Euro
We took the Grand Tour which included the Imperial rooms. We didn't take the classic pass and the other two area were close during Winter. As those were gardens, its understandable that they were closed. I really enjoyed the palace tour and I was mesmerised by the beauty of the palace.



Hofburg Palace

This landmark used to be the former principal imperial palace of the Habsburg dynasty rulers and now it serves as official residence and workplace for the President of Austria. Most of the landmarks of Vienna were Baroque style. It goes really look majestic whether it's the front or back look. I do prefer the architecture of the Hofburg Palace more than the Schonbrunn Palace.

This is the front entrance at night. There was a small Christmas Market set up right in front here.

St Stephen's Cathdral

This is the Mother Church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Vienna. Like I mention before, if you are in a European country, you must definitely visit one of the most prominent cathedral.


This building gave me a palace feel at night. As it was winter, it turn dark at 4.45pm. So basically after we visited the castle, when we came back to the main city, it was already dark. This is one of the reason travelling in Winter is not advisable. The sky turns dark really fast and you don't really get to do many things.

Austrian National Library

The largest library in Austria, with more than 12 million items in its various collection. This is located in the  Neue Burg Wing of the Hofburg Palace.


The interior of the library is really beautiful and you have to see it for yourself. With this much of collections, it will be majestic.

St Peter Church 

The oldest church building in Vienna. I did not manage to go in but I read about it and know the interior of the church is beautiful. Most of the places and landmark in Vienna has really beautiful interior which makes it feel really majestic. The interior lives up to the name of the importance of the landmark.


Vienna City Hall

The city hall was not Baroque style but a Neo Gothic style. It houses the Major of Vienna as well as the chambers of the city council. So, this landmark would be different from the style you seen in Vienna and very similar to most of the other European country which has the gothic style design.



Musical Clock Viennna
At 12pm, there would be a parade of the figures on the Ankeruh clock with musical accompaniment. This was a less sophisticated clock compare to the Astronomical clock in Prague. This was much more simple and smaller as well.


Its located between a road and attaching two buildings. The clock has been chiming for the past 100 years in the Hoher Markt, which is also the oldest square in Vienna.

Shopping Streets of Vienna

Well, of course, if my mum is in the trip, there is definitely shopping. The shopping in Vienna is not your regular shopping but more luxurious. The street itself is already luxurious. You don't need a huge shopping centre but just the decoration and design of the city itself makes you feel like you are in a porsh area.




Almost the whole city were decorated with all these lights. In the afternoon, you don't really get to appreciate the beauty. The moment the lights are up, you'll be amazed but how a shopping street could be this pretty.

Volksgarten

If you are there during Winter and would want greens in the city centre, head over to Volksgarten.
This is the only place I found greens. Even though you still have the dead tree behind, even a little bit of green would allow you to capture the contrast between nature. We took a walk in this public park and since the weather was good, my parents sat at the park for awhile to appreciate the greens. Since it was winter, everywhere you go, the only thing you see are dead trees.



Vienna has so much to offer and would definitely need more than just two days to actually enter all the important landmarks and appreciate the beauty it has to offer. I wanted to make my way to Belvedere Palace the last day but my parents insisted to go to the airport 7 hours before our flight. They were afraid that we would experience the snow just like in London and won't be able to make it to the airport. This is what you get with paranoid parents but they are still the idols and joy to my life.

Without them, there isn't me. They knew I was homesick here in the UK and came all the way to visit me despite the fact that they hated the cold. I was glad that they did enjoy their trip although there was the heavy snow. My dad told me "Its the time we all spend together as a family that matters". He said when we all grow up and have our own life, we wouldn't have the time to get together and travel as a family. We would have our own career and family. But dad and mum, you've been there for me all the time and I will always be there for you. I miss them everyday in UK but they told me that I have to go out and be independent and they will always have me in their heart.

Although we had cancelled flights and trip, we all were happy and that's what matters.

"The Love of a Family is Life's Greatest Blessing"

Signing off from today's post...





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