Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Vienna - 06/2010

Our 2nd visit to Austria, on both occasions because of the race, this time it's not Ironman, just 70.3 so waiting time is significantly shorter and we had company – Chris & Lisa.
Report from our previous trip http://alexmike-travel.blogspot.com/2008/07/austria.html has more info about Vienna sigthseeing

The race was taking place in St Polten, 50M west from Vienna. We arrived earlier than usual (Thu evening); rented car was interesting, at first it appeared to be huge and almost impossible to drive, but Mike & Lisa did a great job driving us around.

I guess the best this break could be summarised by saying that we slept a lot, ate and slept again, with short breaks for some training. The weather before the race was good with 2 pre-race days passing quickly doing nothing and getting stuffed with "power" food.

more food - brekfast outside our accomodation in Pyhra

Mike and Chris did well and didn’t keep us for too long waiting; there was no suprise that they were not happy with their performance (but after so many years I’ve used listening to Mike moaning)

in queue to the transition

full of energy - just before the swim

bike start (only 90km)

Finally finish - time is missleading as there was a wave start, should be 4:30

After well deserved desert (prize for the finishing the race - they burned 5k calories so needed re-fueling), we headed to Vienna.

Despite it being our 2nd visit to Vienna, so we've seen all the main attractions before (Schonnenburg castle, Sissi museum), it was lovely just to walk around the old city. Unfortunately the weather deteriorated and it was a bit too cold for our liking.

Austrian parliament

National Bibliotek

The Anchor Clock from beginning XX century on the oldest square of Vienna 'Hoher Markt'


St. Stephen's cathedral

outside Sissi museum

The new experience for us was visiting Spanish Riding School - the oldest and last Riding School in the world where classic dressage is still practised in its purest form. This Institute was founded in 1572. Young Lipizzaner (horses) are black and only turn white when reaching maturity. They need to undergo elaborate training (around 6 years starting when they are 4 years old) before they are able to perform their prancing Renaissance ballet to the sound of classical music.

On the last day we rented city bike and headed to Belveder (palace complex few km from the centre). The city bike schema is great, opportunity to picked up the bike from the street at one side of the town and drop it at another for small fee (or for free if you return it within 1 hr).

Just before departure we had a delicious late lunch at Einstein, those of you who know Mike know how ironing the restaurant name is (small genius with instinct for taking the shortcuts which usually end up being longcuts)

Overall Vienna is highly recommended as a city break; it was good to be able to combine race with a sightseeing and relaxation. If you enjoy walking and appreciate architecture consider visiting Vienna.

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