7.30 a.m. – rise, after a full night’s sleep with no interruptions, the first time this trip.
8.30 – out the door, walk.
8.45 – enter the Stephansdom. Pray. Meditate. Fill with awe. The biggest church in town is not the largest I’ve seen, and certainly not the prettiest, but by golly, an Gothic cathedral has the power to inspire, especially early in the morning when tourists have not yet invaded.
9.15 – walk south to the Hofburg Palace, the city home of the Hapsburg emperors, used as a palace until 1918. Tour the Sisi Apartments, the Imperial Apartments, the Silver Collection, the imperial chapel, the Treasury with all of the jewels and religious attire, the Augustinian Church. View the balcony from which Hitler addressed the Austrian people in his only visit as Fuhrer. Walk the same floors as Franz Joseph I, Tsar Alexander, and who knows how many other European nobility. This was a pretty fine visit!
12.45 – lunch at Cafe Mozart. Viennese soup, and a milk strudel.
2.00 – people watch on Kaertner Strasse. Drink a Starbucks. Visit Doblinger’s, a local music shop, and purchase a few things.
3.00 – meet up with Prentiss Dunn, local music teacher and Webster University adjunct. Take transportation southeast to two different cemeteries. Pay my respects to Beethoven, Wolf, Schubert, Brahms, Schonberg, a bunch of Strausses, and several conductors.
5.40 – back at hotel.
5.50 – meet Todd, a Webster music education major who has just arrived here to student teach. Visit the Mozart Haus, walking the same wooden floors as Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn. Dine on Wiener schnitzel and potato salad. Walk more, going back in Stephansdom. Stop for Sacher tort. Finish up at Hofburg Palace by night.
9.45 – Tram back to hotel. And here I am.
I LOVE being a tourist, and also setting my own pace. The Mozart Haus was goose-bump-giving. The Hofburg just amazes. And public transportation here is simply the best around, even though I walked for miles today.