Monday 8th to Thursday 11th August 2005



85 x Photos!!!

This page includes 69 thumbnail images
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Tuesday 9th August 2005
Today I had one of the best days of my trip so far.

Details on the "Grape Grazing" Cycling Tour of the Wachau Valley (nine photos)

Tanya and the group having fresh schnapps on the wine tour

I went on the Grape Grazing Tour in Vienna with Mitch's Tours.
A full day from 9.30am to 7.00pm cycling through wineries in the Wachau Valley in Austria!!
Tasting wine and liqueur and schnapps and swimming in the Danube!!
Was a top day!!

I am a little tired now - I have been up since about 4.30am.
But wait for the diary for that story - I don't want to spoil it for you! (see below)

Oh, and I ran into a guy called Wes at the hostel bar today who I spent my time in Lisbon with - what a small world!!

......and now to The Diary

The bus back was fairly empty so we had a seat to ourselves which was really nice.

Helen, Tanya and Amanda out to dinner which came in a wheelbarrow!! - "but was delish"

At the hostel we ran into Kiwi Helen (from Prague and Cesky) and decided to go to Centimetres for dinner.
Our meal came in a wheelbarrow!! - but was delish!!

A few of the girls went to town but I went back to the hostel.

We had a snorer but then it got worse - at about 4.30am!!
He sat up in the top bunk and vomited over the edge and all over the stuff of the girl below him - GROSS!
She was leaving at 6.00am so there was nothing she could do!!
Poor thing was very calm - I definitely wouldn't have taken it so well!!

Anyway, there wasn't much sleeping to be done after that so I went and did my washing at 5.30am.
The guy at hostel reception also gave me a free drink voucher for the bar - how nice.

Despite the 'shit night' I had a great day.

"Bike Riding Grape Grazing Tour"
See the details and photos at the top of this page - plus lots more pics below!!!

I did the "Bike Riding Grape Grazing Tour" in the Wachau wine region outside Vienna.

The first winery - which started in 1002!!!

The wine cellar----------The brewing room

We got picked up at 9.30am and driven to our first winery which commenced operation in 1002.
We did a bit of a tour and tasted three wines.

---Tanya on her bike and ready to go!!!---

We then jumped on our bikes and headed off.

Some of the "beautiful scenery"

The scenery was beautiful.

(two photos) The vinetards on the hillsides - and the ancient rock walls

The vines were stepped up into the hills and the rock walls holding them were built around 1000-1300.
They were so old.

The Castle ruins

Tanya exploring the Castle - and now she is locked up!!!

The next stop was another little village where we climbed up a huge hill to an old Castle where King Richard The Lionheart was held hostage by the Austrians after the Crusades.

(two photos)------------ Views over the valley

......and Tanya admiring the view-------------

The views from up there were amazing and I got some great shots.

Then it was down to a liqueur house.
I tasted Apricot, Apple and Cinamon, and Egg.
The egg was by far the best and I even made a purchase!

This place also made jam and my favourite was the apricot and dark chocolate.
Apricots are the second largest crop in the area so there is a lot of apricot stuff around.

Looking up towards the Castle (three photos)

A postcard sent over by Tanya ......and it has a similar view

We then cycled off to lunch.
The scenery was amazing and it was nice to be out of the city for a while.

"The Cellar Master"----------and The Still

We got to the next place and the owner had just been given his licence to brew schnapps so we were able to watch.
Adam our guide cooked us our barbeque lunch - it was so nice!! - and we had more wine and some walnut schnapps.
That was gross!!
The owner picked fresh blackberries and gave them to us to eat - they were good.

The apricot schnapps brewing (four photos)

......and Tanya is in for a taste!!!

Then we watched the schnapps some more.
It was apricot of course and we got to taste it on its first run through - it was about eighty-percent alcohol and was really strong!!
I couldn't finish mine but it was good to see it being made the old fashioned way.

Tanya swimming in the River Danube!!!---------------

Then it was back on the bikes to the river for a swim.
I was the only one who went in - it was the Danube!! - I had too!!

......and having a snooze with the rest of the group

Everyone else snoozed for a while and I joined them after my swim.

Tasting room in a cave --- and Tanya having a sample

Then it was off to our third and final winery.
The wines that we had were all really nice but I didn't feel the need to purchase.

--------Tanya in the vineyards--------

......and what it's all about------The Grapes!!!

It was just so nice to be out in the fresh air.

It was a fairly quiet night that night - we were all pretty stuffed!!

Sightseeing in Vienna--- Mozart's Statue - and Tanya with Mozart!!!

--"A building I liked"--

I got up the next day and walked into town.

The Museum of Natural History

I got to the ring road and wandered around it past The Museum of Natural History which is a lovely building.

The Rathausplatz--- Set up for the Movie Show - and Tanya in front of the building

I walked to Rathausplatz which is the town hall where they were having a free movie/dvd showing that night as the opera is in its off season.

Hofburg Palace--- The entrance - and Tanya on the lawns in front

Postcards sent over by Tanya--- The Vienna Boys Choir

......and The Spanish Horses and Riding School-

I then went to Hofburg Palace which is where the Vienna Boys Choir and the Spanish Horses perform but they were both in their off season too.

The Tower of Stephansdom---------The entrance to the Tower

View over Vienna from the top - and looking down at the tiling/decorations

Tanya at the top of the Tower with some of the tiling in the background

I then wandered up to Stephansplatz and went up the Tower of Stephansdom.
It had great coloured tiles on it which looked excellent up close.

Click on the above logo to go to the Hotel's Official Web site
or click on this logo
to go to their "Sacher Torte" pages

(two photos) The Hotel and the Rolls Royce!!!----The Hotel entrance

Then came the part of the day I had been saving myself for - Sacher Torte at the Hotel Sacher.
On the bus in our guide had asked if anyone had had Sacher Torte before.
I said I had and she then said that you haven't had a real one until you have had it at the Hotel Sacher in Vienna.
So off I went.

Tanya, her cake and her coffee------The Cake!!!

......and her receipt to prove she really was there!!!

I took a seat at the counter and waited.
I ordered a piece of the cake and a coffee with cream.
The cake was amazing and the coffee was good too.
I hadn't realised that the jam in the middle was apricot jam but being in Austria I guess it makes sense!
They went through six cakes while I was sitting there!!

A postcard from Tanya - eating a "Sachertorte"!!!

I sat and savoured it and wrote a postcard to Mum!!
I can't believe that after having the cake with Mum at Cairns Central Shopping Centre that I was now having it at the Hotel Sacher in Vienna, Austria!!

The Hotel Sacher - "I stole an astray too!!"--- Could this be it???

I stole an astray too!!

The Film Festival--- Cover of the Official Program

......and what Tanya and her friends saw ...a little difficult to understand!!!

The Rathausplatz--- (two photos)--During the Film Festival--(two photos)

Then I walked back to the hostel.
I had dinner at the hostel and then a group of us went back into the town hall for the Film Festival.
We watched a classical concert from 1985.
I really enjoyed it and the setting was lovely.

A postcard sent over by Tanya--- "The Kiss" by Gustav Klimt

We caught the train back ready for the bus to Salzburg.

Vienna is one of my faves so far.
The winery tour and cake and film festival - BRILLIANT!