Sunday, June 13, 2004

Vienna, Austria--Day 134

Today we woke up and headed over to the Belvedere, which is a museum (it used to be an old 18th C mansion) and spent a few hours here wandering around the surrounding botanical gardens and looking at the Klimt paintings ("The Kiss" is housed here) and the other paintings in the gallery. One interesting note was that someone had painted a picture of Vienna's skyline from the view of the Belvedere and now, according to Austrian law, Vienna's skyline cannot be altered from the painting! This means no skyscrapers within the city limits. Its just amazing because Vienna has been preserved from modern alterations.

Afterwards we walked back into the heart of Vienna and spent the afternoon wandering around and seeing the sights, including the Stephansdom, (the St. Stephan's Cathedral) which we climbed up to the very stop (343 stairs!) to see the amazing view over Vienna (or at least the part that wasn't covered by the scaffolding). After this and eating lunch, we walked around more of Vienna to the Hofburg (where the Hapsburgs' lived) and the national library and gates to Vienna. After taking a break sitting in a park soaking up the wonderful weather, we got some cake and wandered back to Kathryn's apartment where we spent the evening making knodel (potato dumplings that you boil and stuff with basically whatever you want--we made them with cheese and spinach) and called it a night.