After a great night's sleep, we went down to the hotel breakfast. They had a great assortment of cheeses, hams, yoghurts, jams, teas, and breads. Great start and I would stay at this hotel again for just this reason.
Traveling with both James and Alex has been pretty easy, but we couldn't decide on whether or not to take our double stroller. We knew the hotel rooms in Europe would be small. We didn't even know if the elevator would even fit the double stroller. We opted instead of taking the singer travel stroller we have taken everywhere with us and the Mobi wrap. If you young couples with little ones or little ones to be don't know about a Mobi wrap, they are awesome. Light weight, easy to use, versatile, and great for traveling. So, James mainly stayed in the stroller or walked while Alex stayed in the Mobi wrap and sometimes the stroller. It worked out well. Now that we are here, we wish we had decided to bring the double stroller. Live and learn.
We walked up the main pedestrian street by St. Stephen's Cathedral looking for some gloves for James. We did find some, but he wouldn't even try to wear them. He also would not put a blanket on top of him. We did convince him to at least put his hands in his pockets. He figured out that helped with the cold. Traveling with Alex means Jamie is stopping to feed him every few hours. This is pretty easily done, but slows you down. Luckily, this trip to Vienna is the perfect opportunity to take things slow. We will no doubt be back in this wonderful city again, so we don't mind missing some things.
Our first stop was to the old Hapsburg Palace, which they have converted into several museums. The palace itself if large, taking up several city blocks. We hadn't done much research on what to see, so we were up for anything. We decided to check out the National Library, and we are very glad we did. The library itself used to be the entrance hall for the royal family. Now, it houses several thousand books in what is easily the most beautiful library I've seen. It is like walking into a cathedral except the walls are lined with volumes and volumes of books with those cool rolling wooden ladders.
Next was the Imperial Palace apartments, the Sisi Museum, and the national Silverware collection. The silverware collection was impressive as it was the collection of all the silverware throughout the centuries of the Hapsburgs. The most impressive part was a gilded mirrored bottomed candle place setting that spanned the entire length of a 20 person plus table.
The Sisi Museum was in memory of the last Empress of the Hapsburgs, Elizabeth, a dark and lonely woman of whom they have created dark and gloomy exhibition for her. She was eventually assassinated but was the longest running Empress of the dynasty. They had her collection of just about everything you could think of, even her dentist's records.
The Imperial Palace apartments were interesting and rivaled those of Versailles, except not as elaborate or outlandish. We skimmed through there and then went back to find a place for lunch. We were originally searching for this little finger food sandwich place, but after finding out it was "family friendly" opted for a restaurant called, interestingly enough, The Chattanooga. It was good enough food to get us through the rest of the afternoon.
Next up was the papyrus museum, a collection of Egyptian, Greek, and Arabic papyrus documents. Most of it wasn't in English, but what was was interesting as they were primary source documents of land deeds, debts settled, some dating back to the ancient Egyptians. Our last stop was to the Esperanto and Globe Museum.
We didn't even know what Esperanto was, but according to wikipedia, Esparanto is the:
"most widely spoken constructed international auxiliary language. Its name derives from Doktoro Esperanto ("Esperanto" translates as "one who hopes"), the pseudonym under which L. L. Zamenhof published the first book detailing Esperanto, the Unua Libro, on July 26, 1887. Zamenhof's goal was to create an easy-to-learn, politically neutral language that would transcend nationality and foster peace and international understanding between people with different languages.