What a lovely small boutique hotel we have right in the heart of Vienna yet so quite and comfortable. I had a great sleep l
last night. Very much needed. Today we have done a lot of walking, discovering the old part of the city on foot. Yes,Netherlands Romans have been here too. They certainly were everywhere weren't they. The buildings and statues are "bigger than Ben Hur" here and they seem to overrule the Austrian flavour unfortunately. A very big bustling city which is entirely different to beautiful Salzburg with it's pretty buildings with painted pictures and around windows and painted in pastel shades. We haven't seen a lot of Vienna yet but we hope to do this tomorrow with our hop on hop off bus pass which we use tomorrow.
We started our day with a yummy European breakfast in the boutique dining room. The 2 friendly and very efficient Austrian staff, buzzed around happily speaking in whatever language you were quite fluently.
We had about 10 minutes to walk to the Vienna Spanish Riding School, or Spanische Hofreitschule Wein, where we watched the 2 hour training they allow the public in to watch daily. It is done inside on a sandy floor and the public are seated up on 2 levels looking down, in an area like a Roman Ampitheatre but rectangular not round. This was a great experience for me as I was a rider and had always wanted to see these powerful horses in action. Lipizzaners are the only horses they use here. The have powerful thick necks and bodies and shorter legs than say a Thoroughbred. They have larger heads than Arabs but hold their tails and necks like Arabs, very proudly. They are born black but turn grey or dapple grey as they mature. I was mesmerised for the two hours and Des loved it also. There were sessions of 1/2 Per 5 or 6 horses starting with the younger horses with less training, to the more skilled horses being put through their paces. This month is the celebration of 450 years for the Spanish Riding School and a special performance is to take place along with a Ball also. Wish I was here for that but it happens the day we arrive home in NZ.