Friday, May 14, 2010

Spanish Riding School

Fortunately, we had timed our visit to Vienna such that the Lippizzaners were in training at the Spanische Hofreitschule, the "Spanish Court Riding-School". The horse-master in our entourage, Carl, would of course have never picked any other time! In fact, he, on the way to Wien, had made a side-trip on his own to visit the breeding farm for these magnificent animals.

Thus, we assayed to obtain tickets to view a training session. These are not readily available, and as it happened, (big surprise) the tour companies had snapped up all the available ducats.
So we booked onto a tour group which brought a bus around to the hotel and transported the customers to the Hofberg. Following the performance, there was other stuff on their agenda.

At any rate, our hotel in central Wien was the first stop, and thus we got a ride around the Ring as the driver stopped at other hotels in the city. Then back to the central city to the arena. Needless to say, Carl was enthralled, and it was a pretty darned spectacular performance.

Following the show, we advised the driver that he could proceed without our company (which seemed to annoy him somewhat); and we walked across the street to the mausoleum in which most of the Habsburg ruling dynasty is entombed. This was a very interesting excursion, and I was greatly surprised to see that the citizens of the city still paid homage to some of the deceased, many of whom had been dead for centuries. There were live flower displays at some of the tombs, and especially at the burial chamber of Emperor Franz Joseph, who died in 1916 after a reign of more than sixty-five years. In fact, I watched as an elderly lady laid a large floral offering at his tomb.

Images: Vanilla, with Pocket Instamatic 110.


Secondary Roads said...

They are beautiful and majestic creatures.

vanilla said...

Indeed they are, Chuck. And I am not a horse person,

Lin said...

I love to see things like that--things that are outside my realm of knowledge. It is amazing what those horses can do. Lovely, just lovely.