The Morning of Day 2: Vienna

Early wake up call!
And it ain't my roommate's snoring.
I poke my head out the window to see the truck blaring its horn, waking up the entire neighbourhood.

Good Morning Vienna!

Oh well, I might as well get started on Day 2...

After picking up a few things for breakfast at the local grocery store and getting set for the day ahead at the hostel, off I went to the subway station to make my way to the Inner City.

Stephansdom (St. Stephen's Cathedral) is the first tourist stop of the day. An impressive looking church with plenty of statuettes and stone carvings within, I personally found the cathedral a bit unwelcoming as it was pretty dark inside as you can see from the photo below.

Sure, the darkness added some mystery and character to the interior, but as the main church in Vienna, I was expecting a monument exhibiting more warmth.  The lack of lighting also prevented visitors from truly appreciating all the details in the art work and monuments found throughout the cathedral.  Nevertheless, the church contained a multitude of interesting and creative stone work that one would usually not expect in such a religious institution.

After leaving Stephansdom, I just walked around the Innere Stadt and enjoyed the sights and sounds of the old town for most of the morning.

During this walk, I stumbled across Peterskirche, which is a more welcoming church with amazing dome art work that a photograph can't do justice, so I will let you see it in person. 

Now, one of the awkward things of visiting so many churches is that you are bound to pop in during a mass, so while you want to be respectful of the religious rituals, you don't also want to spend too much time at each church so that your entire day slips away taking part in masses in every church in town, so you try to find an unoccupied pew area, pray for a few minutes before respectfully taking snapping a few photos before slipping out (but not before I took a photo of this altar).

Yes, I believe that is a real skeleton...

I continued on my walk along the streets of the Old City, and came across Trzesniewski and Cafe Hawelka, a couple of restaurants I recalled reading about in the guidebooks.  

Not being hungry just yet, I decided to just step in to capture the atmosphere of Trzesniewski and see what all the fuss was about in the guidebooks.

Not being a fan of spreads (other than peanut butter, nutella, and fruit jams), Trzesniewski's miniature open sandwiches didn't look too appealing to me so I was on my way without ordering a Viennese classic.  But don't worry about my appetite... more on that later.

After visiting an auction house at Palais Dorotheum, I came across the Spanish Riding School to check out the Lipizzaner Stallions.
Unfortunately, security would not let me get close enough to pet, let alone, feed the horses.

Michaelerplatz, a square just outside one of the entrances to Hofburg Palace, was a few steps away, and it is definitely worthwhile to stop there for a while and listen to the click-clocks of the horse-drawn carriages passing while admiring the architecture and sculptures of the surrounding buildings.
Anyways, time for lunch....

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