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Finally, finally, FINALLY getting to update this blog after a very whirlwind few months! This is Post #1 of my Europe trip, and we’re starting in the lovely Vienna!

Day 0: Kenji and I started our trip flying business class on Scandinavian Airlines to Copenhagen, then a codeshare of Austrian Airlines to Vienna. We arrived pretty late on the first day, so went strait to the hotel, the Hilton Vienna Danube, and then to sleep.

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Waiting for our flight with some drinks and snacks in the ANA lounge at Narita airport… we ended up visiting our usual United lounge too!

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Settling into our seats in SAS business class! Turkish Airlines was better, but still trumps economy any day!

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Menu and some food!

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At the SAS lounge in Copenhagen in between flights

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We actually got another yummy meal on the quick flight to Vienna, too! Wheeee!

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Arriving at the airport and catching the train into the city

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Our first hotel room

Day 1: We woke pretty early in the morning, really before anything was open, so we went upstairs to the business lounge for some breakfast since our room gave us access. We planned a little of our day, went to the concierge for some reservations, then headed out.

Our first day’s plan was to see the Morning Exercises of the Spanish Riding School for about an hour, then walking down Graben avenue to St. Stephen’s Cathedral, followed by a bit more walking to Karlskirche, and plans for dinner at the famous Figlmuller that evening. We mostly followed the plan, but took it a bit easy on the sightseeing as we were still tired, and Kenji still had a bit of a cold.

Of the day, I really loved watching the horses at the Spanish Riding school, but Kenji quickly got pretty bored, like I figured he would. It isn’t terribly interesting if you don’t know what they’re doing, but I could have watched all day!

My most favorite place, though, was definitely Karlskirche. Right now it is undergoing renovations on the inside which allow you to take an elevator, then some stairs, all the way to the top of the dome, allowing you the unique chance to see all the paintings and details up close! It was a really special experience.

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Lounge in the morning

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On the train

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On our way to the Riding School

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Spanish Riding School… unfortunately, you can’t take pictures inside

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Behind the school

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Grabbing a quick drink

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Then lunch and dessert at Cafe Central

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Before heading down Graben

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To St. Stephen’s Cathedral, with its interesting tiled roof

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Inside was a little dreary

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But up on one of the towers was a great view!

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The to Karlskirche, after grabbing some cough drops for Kenji

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And only a small fraction of the tons of pictures I took of the inside

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I loved how at the bottom of the church, all the details and marble was real, but as you went up, it became painted, including all the marble!

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Thankfully we reserved at Figlmuller, they were busy as usual!

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The famous GIANT weinerschnitzel which I couldn’t finish!

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Day 2: We started off our second day almost more tired than the first, due to a nap we had taken the previous day which messed with our sleeping schedule. We still got off at a decent hour, heading back to the area we were in the previous day to see the Imperial Palace Apartments, Silver Collection, and Sisi Museum. From there, we went to the Kunsthistoriesches Museum Cafe for a snack, then explored the museum. Kenji was too tired by that point to see Schonbrunn Palace, so we went to a late lunch at Plachutta, before going back to the hotel to rest up. We had planned to go out later, but ended up staying in the hotel.

The best part of the day was hands down the Kunsthistoriesches Museum, which ended up being my favorite museum of not only this trip, but of all I’ve seen in Europe! Their special Faberge egg exhibit wasn’t the greatest, but the permanent exhibits, especially the sculpture collection and Egyptian collections, just blew me away. They were wonderfully curated and certainly set the bar high! Plus, my favorite European artist Diego Velasquez also had a lot of his portraits there as well.

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Morning at the hotel

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Waiting for our train

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Goofing off before hitting the Hofburg

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Imperial Silver Collection, which was not only silverware, but table settings in general… loved these flower plates!

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Sisi museum and imperial apartments weren’t bad, but for the most part you couldn’t take any pictures

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Kunhistoriesches Museum entrance and cafe… the kaiserchmarnn was good, but too big for me to finish!

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European painters gallery

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A whole room of Velasquez!!

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Beautiful sculpture gallery

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Loved this tile

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And the fantastically painted Egyptian Gallery! WOW!

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Also liked the Gallery of Eastern European Religious Icons and Art

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Outside the museum, but we’re actually facing the Natural History Museum

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Tafelspitz and beer at Plachutta

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And leaving Vienna the next morning for Bratislava

I really liked Vienna, but we just didn’t get to do and see as much as I’d hoped, due in part to tiredness from jetlag, but also because Kenji was getting over his cold, and got tired easily. But I guess that means it is just a good excuse to go back!