Tuesday, May 29, 2012


At last!  I am on the Danube.  On a river cruise this morning we sail on the Danube Canal first from Schwedenplatz and after about an hour we turn into the Danube.  It's wide and green/blue.  We sit on top first and watch the Urania observatory as we pass by.  Later we go downstairs to have lunch.  Along the shores we spot mallards, swans, and at one point a line of what look like river houses.  Small wooden structures on stilts, each one sporting a huge net hanging outside.  We have to go through locks and wait for the water to rise from canal to river and viceversa.  All is calm around here.  By the time it is over - three and a half hours later - I'm sleepy but must push on.

We take the tram and get off at Burgring and walk to Heldenplatz and the area around St. Stephens Cathedral.  The Spanish Riding School shows a video of the Lipizzaner horses to the passersby.  I need to walk.  Stretch my legs.  I convince mom to sit at a cafe while I look around for a while. 

The Hoffburg is teeming with tourists.  Actually, the entire city is filled with them.  Is it always like this?  The sunny, warm weather attracts people from all over the world.  The horse-drawn carriages make crossing the streets difficult around here but I go the other way and find some narrow streets to look at buildings.  The wide pedestrian streets Graben and Kartner amaze me with shop after shop and cafes in the center.  Then a never-seen-before statue calls me: two people - one sitting cross legged on the ground holding a walking stick, the other sitting cross legged above that one as if floating on air, just holding the stick.  We all look and look trying to figure out the trick.  I have no idea where this person is sitting.  And just when I am ready to take a photo I find out the battery on my camera is dead.  What?!  I must take a photo of this. 

Walking and walking I find my way back to mom and convince her to come with me back to the pedestrian street.  We are tired since it is by now about 5 o'clock and we've been out since morning.  Mom needs her nap.  I figure we better stay out a bit longer, have supper, and go home for the day.  My craving for pizza takes us to Il Camenetto but the pizza disappoints; the beer however goes down splendidly. It is 8 pm by the time we get home to watch the French Open.

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