Horses and Hilarity

Day 3 in Wien…In the morning I spent a bit of time just relaxing in the hotel, which was lovely. I then decided to walk through the Ringstrassen Gallerien, which I guess could be compared to Sacs Fifth Avenue in New York. Very high end. I bought Annie a pair of slippers (adorable…and Lori, not pink!!) but other than that,  just window shopping. It is always fun to look, of course.

For lunch we met at the Ambassador Hotel for an wonderful meal that was beautifully prepared and presented. But the best thing about lunch was we were sitting with a couple from the UK who have a property in the English lake district. Markus and I are always scouting out people from the UK, as we both find the sharp, dry  British humour hilarious. Barney and Zoe didn’t disappoint. Fun tales of running a hotel and raising a baby and dealing with a family business. We were having a go at Sarah Palin when I realized that our other table guests were ranchers. From Montana. Oh oh. Luckily for our teeth, they were the new breed of Democrat Montana ranchers (that Barack Obama is a miracle worker.)

After lunch we were given a private showing from the Spanish Riding School, a traditional presentation dating back 430 years. The spectacle of the beautiful white Lipizzans included a demonstration of how the riders train the young horses, and then a perfectly choreographed show of the horses and riders. Very impressive. Pictures weren’t allowed once the horses were on the floor, but here is a shot I took before hand and then one from Wikipedia.

Luxurious setting for a horse show

Luxurious setting for a horse show. That was the Emperor's box with the blue flags.

The horses and riders in action

The horses and riders in action

That evening was free and so Markus and I decided to go with a low-key option of a quiet dinner and then an early night. The night was cold but fresh and we enjoyed walking to the restaurant through the city center. We saw some of the Christmas lights that were going to go up in the city for the season. Here is an example (they aren’t lit yet.)

A taste of the Viennese Christmas spectacle to come.

A taste of the Viennese Christmas spectacle to come.

Well that is it for tonight. I am too tired from yesterday to write about yesterday, so that will have to wait. It was the highlight of the trip, so stay tuned.


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