Friday, September 28, 2007

Not the Hoff

I started to write this post last week but it got delayed as I haven't been at all well. I have been laid low by a nasty bug and was unable to focus on writing anything for very long. I had to stay home from work and spent the time dozing on the sofa, and I never usually sleep in the day. Bob the cat applied feline care in the form of sitting on me and going to sleep purring. The fact that I feel a bit better is patently down to his ministrations. I am now as weak as a kitten but at least I'm on the mend.

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Anyway, while I was in Vienna I was amused to find old episodes of 'Knight Rider' on the TV, dubbed in German. In fact 'The Hoff' turned up quite a bit. I had heard that he was big news in some European countries and this confirmed it. Lately he has resurrected his career in the UK, through a largely tongue in cheek take on himself but elsewhere, 'The Hoff' seems to be a serious force in entertainment.

I was much more taken by a different 'Hof' (see what I just did there?), namely the Hofburg Imperial Palace. This was the first of the palaces that I saw, being located in the Inner Stadt, not too far from the hotel I was staying at. I was walking through Vienna, on the first day I was there and turned down a very well appointed street, full of designer shops to see this domed and high arched entrance at the end, bathed in sunlight


The facade was quite impressive as it was richly adorned with fountains and statues, including ones of Hercules and Archangel Michael. The photo below is part of a water feature at the corner of the building, where the pigeons liked to bathe and then preen their feathers.

The Hofburg is a palace that has been home to the powerful Habsburg dynasty, who were rulers of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It served mostly as the winter residence, while the Schönbrunn Palace, further out of Vienna, was the preferred summer residence. The Hofburg area has been the documented seat of government since 1279 for various empires and republics and it currently serves as the official residence of the President of Austria

The palace was immense, having been expanded over the various generations that inhabited it. It currently encompasses six museums, a chapel, the president of Austria's offices as mentioned previously, the national library, the famed Winter Riding School and a park. One of the museums contains an impressive collection of arms and armour where I spent a couple of happy hours. The collection mostly belonged to the past Emperors and included practical as well as dress armour and diverse weaponry. The photo below shows the jousting armour of the Emperor Maximilian I.


Inside the Hofburg the interior was a homage to marble with marble staircases, marble bannisters and marble columns. It was vast and sumptuous and my photo below really does not do it justice. As I walked up these stairs I wondered at the powerful and rich people that had walked there before me.

The Hofburg is big. You could easily spend a couple of days looking around this alone. The photo below shows one of the inner courtyards where there was a cafe (just out of shot to the right of the picture). I spent a leisurely lunch here, eating wurst, followed by torte and washed down with Viennese coffee, watching the tourists all pose by the monument. There is so much to see and do in Vienna that it is easy to rush around looking at this and that, but it is equally important to take time to stop and stare, to drink in the atmosphere and rest before moving on.


Of course, I saw so much more in Vienna, including visiting two other palaces which I will post more about soon.

18 comments:

moon said...

OMG, what great photos!! I am catching up with my blog reads, what a treat to come see all these here...thanks so much for sharing them with us!

Niall said...

what an amazingly clean place it looks!..I'll explain why I mention that. A couple of old friends of mine lived in Vienna, one day their car leaked a few spots of oil onto the road..nothing serious you might think but they promply recieved a fine from the Police and a stern warning to have it cleaned immediatly.Needless to say they did!

I'm glad you're feeling better, everyone seems to be going down with this bug it seems!

kenju said...

Bob-kat, the photos are stupendous! Now I HAVE to see Vienna before I die. That Hof is so much more appealing to me than the other Hoff....LOL

Sarch said...

BK sorry to hear that you've been sick, but glad to hear you're on the mend.

Vienna looks amazing. Thanks for the pictures and commentary.

David said...

wow

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

What a fabulous post, my dear....! The pictures are just scrumptious! One better than the next and ALL of them, one could limger on for a long long time. I love the perspective in each and everyone---and the Armor one in particular...Though that very first picture from the street of designer shops is such a great great contrast of the 'passing parade', and the 'old'.....Vienna has so much History and is such a beautiful city....I amagine one could spend weeks there, as a tourist and never see it all....
LOVE this Bob-Kat...And so happy that Bob has been such a great comforter....These dear felines know how to help one heal. Keep feeling better and better.

R. Sherman said...

BK, you are doing an admirable job of whetting my appetite for our summer trip.

Cheers.

.:mar said...

Glad you are feeling better, Bob-kat. Your pictures are wonderful!! I was always a fan of Romy Schneider's Kaiserin Sissy films so I find the Wiener Hof particularly romantic and beautiful!!

craziequeen said...

Yeah, the Hoff is huge in Europe. I read an interview with him where he says the US don't appreciate his singing abilities.

I had to chuckle - the jousting armour looked for all the world like a gilded hairdressers....

[duck]

see you in a bit!!

cq

utenzi said...

I'd take the palace over Knight Rider any day, BK. Nice photos!

Shephard said...

I esp. love the statue closeup. Very nicely framed. Stunning. And I love the palace photo with the contrasting green and orange. Wow.
~S :)

Sarch said...

How are you feeling BK?

Melody said...

Oh my. What awesome photos!!! I love, love, love them! I would love to see and enjoy Vienna myself one day and seeing your photos makes me want to go even more. It looks simply beautiful.

I loved your play with words too BTW, Hoff and Hof. You're cheeky aren't you.

Hope your starting to feel better my dear.

Beckie said...

I like the second Hof better than the first one in your post. Frantastic photos!

craziequeen said...

I just biggified the photo of the domed building at the end of the street.

OMIGOD that is one beautiful building :-))

I had a great time last night - hope you're feeling better today.

cq

Ramona said...

You really have a way of capturing the essence of the places you visit. Note to self: revisit Vienna!
Glad you are feeling better. Bob-kat is a most excellent nurse!

Linda said...

Can't wait to see more photos from Deutschland. Having lived there for a year (not long enough for me, either), I miss it terribly.

Thanks for being a loyal reader at my blog, too!

JAM said...

Nice segue from "the Hoff" to the "Hof".

The photos are truly amazing. What an incredible thing to see. Sure don't see anything like that in my part of the world.