Ann's News

Road Trip: Stau and Concert (Vienna)

I was excited (and so was Little Man) on Monday morning to leave home for my week long road trip.

This new adventure would take me a little over 1200 miles, through five countries, four cities and two new countries I had yet to visit. Thirty minutes into the drive, the trip took an abrupt stop because of a stau (German for traffic jam). The next four hours of sitting in traffic and being rerouted through a detour was painful. A six hour drive…turned into a 10 hour drive, and I began to worry I wouldn’t make it to Vienna on time to make my dinner and concert.

The original plan…

My original plan was to get to Vienna around 2pm, change over and head out to tour Schonbrunn Palace followed by dinner on location and a classical music concert…unfortunately, because of the traffic, I ended up getting to Vienna, making a mad dash in and out of the hotel dropping off my luggage and Little Man, jumping into a cab, and then making my way to dinner. I was about 15 minutes late, but I made it.

The traffic jam was a huge inconvenience, and I’m not proud of how quickly it soured my mood. I’ve been blessed with relatively smooth trips, ironically; only other real challenging one was also to Austria this past winter. Based on the amount of traveling I’ve been doing, there have been no real delays, cancellations, bad weather or setbacks. I’ve been spoiled – so a delay, and possibly missing a dinner/concert caused me to lose my peace and joy for the trip way too quickly. I’m grateful in the end I made it to dinner, but I realized I need to work on maintaining a positive mood, no matter what happens on my trips.

Dinner and Concert

Where, if not Vienna, do you go to to listen to classical music? So many of the great composers have lived in or played in Vienna that this is the place to enjoy their craft. As you might remember from my post on Salzburg, Mozart was born in Austria (Salzburg) and spent quite a bit of time in Vienna. Additionally, I found out Beethoven spent a good part of his life in Vienna; it’s where he composed his master pieces and befriended Haydn, another Austria born composer. Apparently, Beethoven lived in over 80 apartments while in Vienna; he was both a loud occupant and often delinquent on paying his rent.

Schonbrunn Palace with Fountain

I booked my dinner/concert package through Viator. The event is called Schonbrunn Palace: Evening Dinner and Concert. Please note: if you can’t book the tour before getting to Vienna, you can buy tickets the night of the concert. There are also tickets to multiple other concerts available for sale, throughout the city. I can’t vouch for the other concerts, but this one is definitely worth going to.

The dinner was served at Café Restaurant Residenzon on the grounds of the Palace. The food was good, the service great, but overall I felt a little disappointed. I was expecting a different atmosphere and experience.  Although, you might have to take that with a grain of salt since I arrived not exactly in the best of moods.

The concert on the other hand, did not disappoint.

It took place at the Orangerie Schonbrunn, a short walk from the cafe where dinner was served. It was an intimate setting for a concert, which I think enhanced the experience. While it’s amazing to have a full orchestra, there’s something to be said about a smaller more personal assemble. It made me think of what it might have been like to be in the queen’s court, being serenaded first hand by the great composers. (Pictures and videos were not allowed during the concert.)

Concert Hall

The first half of the concert was music by Mozart. When I sat down, I did not have a program, nor had I adequately read the Viator advertisement for the show, so I didn’t know what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised when two opera singers appeared on stage, and performed a few pieces.

Additionally, a couple performed dances to some of the other pieces throughout the concert.

When the conductor returned after intermission, he was carrying a violin; he performed the remaining of the pieces while playing his violin. It wasn’t until the next day, during my Hop-on-Hop-off tour that I learned; Johann Strauss conducted all his concerts while playing his violin. The second half of the concerts was made up of selections from the Strauss family, to include the famous ‘Radetzkymarsch’ by Johann Strauss.

In the end, after leaving the concert, I decided I was quite satisfied with my evening.

My day hadn’t gone to plan, but I arrived safely, and while a little late, I got to partake in my evening plans.

How About You?

Have you ever visited Stau and Concert (Vienna)?  What was your favorite place? Feel free to comment below or contact Ann’s Adventure Writer and Blogger here.