We had been planning a brief visit to Vienna en route to meeting our mothers in Italy and were delighted when friends of ours moved from New Zealand to Vienna and invited us to stay. It was lovely to catch up with Halina and Andy and their children Emily, Matthew and Nathan. We were super impressed by their skills in putting together all of the IKEA furniture in their apartment and really appreciated their generously hosting us.
Vienna is a beautiful city – it was a former imperial city and still retains something of that air. Our first view was of the beautiful St Stephen’s church and old town – this was an amazing sight stepping out of the metro.
We spent a day exploring Vienna – we toured the Hofburg Palace where the Hapsburg family lived and went to the art museum at Schloss Belvedere. Here we saw a beautiful Gustav Klimt exhibition (including the very famous painting “The Kiss”) as well as other art by Austrian artists.
On our last day, we went to Schloss Schonbrunn and toured through the beautiful rooms here with Halina and Matthew. We explored the Christmas market in front of the castle before heading back to get ready for our late night bus.
We had planned to take an 11.30pm bus through to Rome, where we would arrived at 3.30pm the next day. We arrived at the bus station at 11.20 and couldn’t find our bus anywhere. We asked and no-one knew anything…and the staff working there had long since gone home! One man suggested our bus might stop on the street, so Reuben went to watch the street and I stayed in the station. Gradually we were alone at the station except for one woman waiting for a bus…we began to feel that we might have missed the bus but couldn’t see how. The temperature dropped well below zero…we were not happy campers! We began to make alternate plans for how we could get to Rome and meet our mothers…Finally, at 12.45am our bus arrived – we were the only people that got on it. We were so relieved to be in the warm that we didn’t complain about being in the front seat with no space above or under our seats – we were just relieved to be on our way to Rome!