Vienna: A City That Absolutely Lives Up to the Hype
When I was 12-years-old, I discovered Mozart. I'd heard his songs played in movies and on TV shows, but it was a "Best of Mozart" CD that I received as a Christmas gift that started a life-long relationship with his music. As any Mozart fan will tell you, the artist played in and around Vienna for years. It was with this knowledge of Vienna's history that I arrived in the city. I wanted to see Mozart in the architecture, hear his voice in the concerts, and taste the foods he might've eaten while in the city.
And I wasn't disappointed! My days in Vienna were filled with beauty, culture, and delicious delights. Our first stop was St. Stephen's Square. It's a bustling area, full of students, workers, and families. We found a great spot to stop and eat, and for the next several hours kept running into amazing little bakeries, cafes, and eateries. We tasted the famous sachertorte (a wonderful chocolate cake), drank yummy hot drinks, and let sweet dumplings melt in our mouths.
Our tour of the city continued with the lovely architecture of St. Stephen's church, as well as the other beautiful buildings in the downtown area. The whole city is full of colorful baroque-era buildings, still brilliant in the way they've been maintained. It's a feast for the senses. But there is more! Schönbrunn Palace, the Belvedere Palace and gardens, and other sites were easily accessible by Vienna's wonderful transportation system. It was simple to find a tram or catch a metro train, as they were everywhere!
But for me, the highlight of the trip was a concert we attend on the grounds of Schönbrunn Palace, in the Orangerie where Mozart played many times, and debuted many of his works. As I sat in the very place the Maestro played, and first notes of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik began to play, I was overwhelmed. It was so beautiful! That night we also heard many waltzes from Strauss, and even witnessed the beautiful Viennese Waltz. What an experience!
My advice: go to Austria, and make your first stop Vienna. It will live up to the hype!