Posts Tagged ‘vienna’

Taking It On The Chin

Sunday, November 16th, 2014

The Habsburgs were a crazy, out of control dynasty that ruled for over 600 years (a.k.a. Austro-Hungarian Empire) and were the most powerful European entity since Rome! They started out mostly a peaceful group and found that marrying their royals with other countries’ royals enlarged  their holdings without firing a shot. But this eventually resulted in a lot of in-marrying, and a slew of reasons that this was not a good idea for their gene pool (more in a minute on that).

The 19th Century was their time to shine with Beethoven, Mozart, Brahms, and Strauss, Freud, Doppler and a host of others. At the turn of the century, Vienna was the world’s 5th largest city in the world and had managed to avoid all revolutions and revolts. Then came World War I, (which I could make a case for the greedy Habsburgs starting and losing) and their holdings were split asunder. Then Hitler took over in 1938 and that’s enough of a history lesson for now. I read tons about everyplace I visit.

After a few generations of sisters marrying brothers, uncles with nieces, you get the idea, a few quirky things started showing up in the family Christmas photo. We see hemophilia, cystic fibrosis, and skeletal deformities such as smaller stature and the easiest to spot; ‘Habsburg chin’. This is a very pronounced chin (think Jay Leno x 10). Phillip II of Spain was so deformed he could not swallow or speak.. In this portion of a prominent statue in the city center, you see Leopold I (and Holy Roman Emperor) kneel in thanksgiving for the plague being over. He was married to his niece who was also a first cousin so they weren’t fast learners either.

Habsburg Chin

Habsburg Chin

Classical Culture

Sunday, November 16th, 2014

There are so many exciting concerts and recitals by amazing talent all over Vienna, but things can get pricey if you let them. With a little research, yesterday we went to a two hour rehearsal in St. Peters; organ, strings, and soloists of the highest caliber.

This morning we heard the Vienna Boys Choir: they sing for mass at a small chapel within the Habsburg grounds. We then dashed a couple hundred steps to the St. Augustinerkirche to hear the Vienna Philharmonic and bombastic organ play for another service!  All of it sounded like heaven and the goosebumps were free!

no photos allowed in the churches, so it's me being 'Fall-ish'!!

no photos allowed in the churches, so it’s me being ‘Fall-ish’!!

Prancing in Vienna

Sunday, November 16th, 2014

DSC03244What’s born black, turns grey, and at 10 years of age turns WHITE?

If you’ve been here you know it’s the Lipizzaner Stallions of the Spanish Riding School; you know that drill team of white horses that can leap in the air and seem to glide through their routines.

We went to a practice session (at 14 euros per person , we couldn’t afford the 100+ fee for a show). It was rather enthralling to see them put through their paces and also to train the up and coming colts.

It takes 10 years for them to be show-ready, but they live over 30 years and are pampered like you can’t believe.

We got a special treat when we were ambling around the Habsburg Palace grounds and they were escorted from their stables to a private training ground right in front of us. NO one gets that close!

Where Next???

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

We have 3 days to figure out where to spend the next 3 weeks,and we need suggestions!

We drop off our car in Munich next week and are footloose until we have to be in Basel, Switzerland on the 27th of nov.

We were mulling over Prague, Budapest, Vienna, Mittenwald????

We will be on trains and toting our bags.

Any and all suggestions would be appreciated. Tell us YOUR experiences!

Voyage’s End

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

River cruising is wonderful; you unpack once, wonderful food, impecible service, interesting people, fabulous scenery, educational, lots of exercise exploring our stops, many choices on what to do or not to do, and we had good weather on top of it!

We ended in Vienna, where if you chose, you could add on to your trip by a 3 day stay in Vienna with guide, or a 4 day side trip to Prague. We had thought about Prague but then realized the British Open was happening near our England stopover. Decision made…golf here we come.

The last night of our cruise we did get dolled-up and attended a concert of Strauss and Mozart music; home-town boys. A great way to end a GREAT cruise.

A New Chapter

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

Front Desk At Focus On The FamilyThe experience at Focus on the Family was PERFECT; just what the doctor ordered. It forced me to get my stamina back with the schedule we kept, we made some great new friends, and enriched old friendships. It was a wonderful April!

Now we look forward to a whole bunch of anticipation to our “Rivers of Europe” river boat cruise.  From Amsterdam to Vienna on a ship that holds 150! I am trying to learn about the area, mostly Germany — Castles, middle ages, war trials etc. It’s kind of my “Jubilee” and victory trip over the trials of 8 months of Chemo and Radiation.

From Vienna we head to Barnoldswick,  England to see friends and family and from there to a family reunion in New Jersey.

So hold on to your hats, here we go again.  God is so good, and it is sooooo awesome to have my health back and that dark chapter of cancer behind me. The prayers, cards, books, and meals were so much appreciated. They got me through.  Amazing!

Cross At Focus On The Family