Saturday, September 29, 2012

When in Europe...

-Spend 10 minutes in a train station and you will have met one of every person in the world.

-If you ask where the closest laundromat is, the hotel receptionist will look at you like you've grown another head or asked her to repeat the Greek alphabet backwards. They are probably called "Wash and Dry" and good luck finding one.

-Don't tell yourself, "The sun is shining and it is 25*C out so I won't need an umbrella."

-Everyone smokes. Like everyone. So, think twice before you decide to go eat at the nice outside restaurant dining area. *cough, cough* And in Germany, everyone walks around with a beer in their hand as well.

-99.9% tour guides fall under two catergories: Annoying and Very Annoying

-In Salzburg three things can be found on every street in one form or another: The Sound of Music, Mozart, and Chocolate.

-"Coffee to Go" advertised in the cute little Switzerland shops will likely result in, at the most, 3/4 of a small cup of coffee and cost you about 4 times what it is worth.

-Don't believe the Future Shop employee when he tells you that the plug adapter will work in Switzerland or the Walmart employee when he says the headphones will work with your Netbook.

-InterDiscount opens at 9 AM and will sell you an adapter that will work in Switzerland and 149 other countries. I'm thinking I should check out the rest of the countries and make sure it does.

-I don't know that I could ever get used to military time despite how many times I've had to figure it out this trip.

-Supermarkets are your friend. You can have supper for $5 instead of $35...and then you can spend your savings on chocolate. ;)

-I must have played the local pretty good as I had a couple lost looking people sound like they were asking me for directions in German.

- Hotel Romantica Zermatt is the cutest little hotel I've ever stayed in.

-Everyone told me Switzerland is expensive. Switzerland is expensive.

-In Switzerland, half of the souvenir shops trinkets consist of cows and Swiss flags.

-I've always wanted a log house. Now I'm debating a mini Neuschwanstein castle.

-Take the 3.5 hr walk down from Gornergrat to Zermatt. If you feel like a 100 years old the next day and wince when walking up and down the hotel stairs, you are not in shape.

-And I still haven't decided if "Ich spreche kein Deutsch." which means "I don't speak German." is an a appropriate phrase to use or not. Should you speak German to say you don't know German??

-You will see people taking their dogs and bikes on the bus. Please tell me that just seems mixed up.

-Europeans will add chocolate and hazelnut to almost anything. Having Norwegian blood in me, it totally makes sense why I love that combination.

European hotel breakfasts are totally different than North American ones. However, good coffee, croissants, nutella spread, and cheese will still get you through the morning.

I miss you already Europe. I will be back! :)

Monday, September 3, 2012

Spanish Riding School and Hofburg

 Fiaker in front of the Riding School
 Spanish Riding School
 I find it easier to call it the Spanish Riding School. :)
 Inside the entryway.
 Directly behind the SRS.
 All the detail and statues on every building is incredible.
One of the entries into the performance.
 Inside the Winter Riding School. I enjoyed every moment of the performance. The high level of training of both riders and horses makes it an unforgettable experience.
 Where the horses and riders entered.
And, I'll leave you with a picture of one of the grand chandeliers since pictures of the performance were not allowed.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Schonbrunn Palace and Gardens

Friday I toured the Schonbrunn Palace and Gardens. It was one of the most amazing places I've ever visited. The pictures don't do it justice but will at least give a glimpse of what it was like.
 First impression upon entering the courtyard.
A close up of the the front.
Huge courtyard
 The gardens around the palace.
 The walkways were trimmed to create a perfect archway.
 Foreign languages fascinate me. Someday I'll learn one. :)
 Rain had gotten on my lens so some of the pics didn't turn out as great. These were cool and almost looked hollow when you were up close.
 One of the fountains.
At the top. It was a little bit of a steep walk but worth the view.
 At the top and all Vienna beyond. :)
 The Palace

 The gardens.
One of my favourite pics.
 Looking back towards the top.
 This was taken at the top of the fountain.
 The red made the colours really pop.
 At the Palace overlooking the gardens.
So many flowers, so pretty.
 The detail and design was beautiful.

And, one more. :)
Pictures weren't allowed in the Palace. I took a self guided tour which I really enjoyed because then I could view it at my own pace. The detail and intricate work in each of the rooms and the ceilings was amazing. I could handle living in a palace. ;) The millions room was the most expensive room due to the special rosewood panelling. Unfortunately, it was being restored so had a panel covering all the walls. The great gallery was the grandest room. And, I guess I've watched too many period dramas as I could just see it as a great ball room with flowing gowns, feet gliding across the floor, musicians playing, and lively conversation. :)
Next post will be the Spanish Riding School and more of Vienna.