We selected a Airs that was near a railway station, turns out it was at the Kristendorf railway station. Surprisingly the train noise did not bother us at all and the Airs had water and sanitation services and was free.
We bought a day pass ticket for Eur 7.50 from the machine on the platform and headed into Vienna at 9:20am.
Our first stop was the Viennas Karlskirche which has walls and ceilings covered in frescos. The building of Karlskirche was started in 1715 following plans of one of the most famous Austrian Baroque architects, Johann Fischer von Erlach. The church is spectacular the oval nave of the church is topped by a dome (72 m high)spectacularly painted at the inside.
On entering we thought that there was construction scaffolding inside which spoiled the look of the interior, however this turned out to be a lift and staircase so you could get a close up look at the top of the painted walls and domed ceiling.
At first we thought this was an awful sight however this was mitigated by the ability to get a close up look at a painted ceiling which has not been possible anywhere else. You usually get sore neck and really need binoculars to appreciated any detail. 200,000 visitors annually use the lift to the viewing platforms 35 meters up. It was still another 30 meters up to the top of the dome after the elevator there were still several flights of steps to climb.
Tram to nowhere:
We hopped on red tram 62 thinking it was the city circuit tram, The tram took us out of Vienna (click here) and into the suburbs. We soon knew we were going the wrong way but Steven said he always wanted to get on a tram and just see where it takes you,so we stayed on board and eventually returned back to our starting point an hour and a half later! We can now cross that one off the list. Travel Tip: There is no reason to put Vienna tram 62 on your must do list
After alighting from the tram we obtained a city map from the tourist info centre (perhaps we should have done this first!) and found the old city area just around the corner.
We walked around the old town for a while and had a very late afternoon lunch in a restaurant that specialises in wiener schnitzel.
Trish wanted to see a natural history museum so we headed off to spend the rest of the afternoon wandering the hall ways and exhibits. In 3 hours we had little chance of seeing all of the 20 million objects on display!! From insects to gemstones and minerals and pterodactyls, the Habsburgs united everything under the roof of this museum near the Imperial Palace.
If you ever wondered where all the specimens went from the early expeditions of new lands well this is the place!! Numerous taxidermy specimens of animals that are either extinct or threatened with extinction make the collection all the more interesting.
The Dinosaur Hall is full of the expected skeletons and remains of gigantic prehistoric animals. Although Trish jumped as a realistic allosaurus moved and gave out a terrifying roar.
The Rathaus is in effect, the city hall of Vienna. The Neo-Gothic wonder is no ordinary city hall however, not by most standards anyway.