The Other Country

Yesterday we went to Bratislava, Slovakia and a yarn store. 

The yarn store was called wollewi en and man was it wonderful.  Knitter visiting Vienna will be entranced with the store.  The store has their own brand which they sell in many colors and fibers including this wonderful feeling fiber called milk fiber.  Even cooler was we finally found hand dyed yarn! This yarn was made in Austria and was also dyed here.  It’s beautiful and comes in sock and lace weight.  Sierra and I were drooling.  The owner was very nice and had a real taste for style and good yarn.  I highly recommend going there if you are in Austria.  It’s a beautiful store with yarn unique to austria which makes it awesome!

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The hand dyed ya

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The store has a great atmosphere and it very welcoming.  She also speaks great English. 
Then it was onto Bratislava.  Since the train ride was an hour long, of course we knitted.  Also we meet a french guy on the train. He was very nice and tried to speak with me I’m French. A very bad idea so I told him my German is much better.  He thought I was from Austria which was nice.  He wishes us a good trip in Bratislava but told us Budapest was cheaper and and better. 

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The country side was very beautiful and I enjoyed our trip.  I also made good progress on sheherazad finishing two rows.   That may not seem like a lot to non knitters but I have over 600 stiches on the needles and each row takes me approx 45 to an hour to complete.
When we arrived, we spent some time fumbling to figure out the right us and which stop we should get off at.  We figured it out with the partial help from a Slovakian girl.  We were on our way to the city.  The castle is a breath taking sight coming into view, but sadly I didn’t get a picture.

All in all, bratislava was disappointing.  When we arrived we were told by the tourist shop that everything was closed because Mondays were a holiday for Slovakia.  So nothing was open, only shops.  So we wandered around the old city.  We did find st Michaels gate, an important gate for getting into the old city.

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The old city was very pretty with my favorite types of roofs and lovely buildings.  There was also a ton of consoluates there.

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We wondered into a book store and I found a small but very expensive collection of linguistic books!

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And some interesting humor put in by workers during communism.

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We found one church that was open, in which I found 3 skulls which I was very surprised to see.  They were a bit green, which seemed kind of odd but so they were.

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The church was very beautiful and had this great status to st. Martin.  You know the saint who was a soldier and one day saw this poor bagger and tore his cloak in half and gave it to the bagger.  I love the statue.

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We thought about going up to the castle but since it was closed that walk seemed a bit too difficult. Instead we walked along the old wall and read some information on the wall.

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So we left.  We went back to Wien and had cake, which was so good (I need to learn how to make it) and the best peppermint tea ever.  Sierra had her first apple strudel, which she said was ok.  I think the problem was it wasn’t warm.

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Day 6: Back in Wien
Since I missed yesterday, I’ll put today in here as well.  Today was the best day.  We didn’t have anything planned until one so we just relaxed in the morning and went to a tummy breakfast.  I tried my first Melange, which tasted great after I put 4 (or was it 5 ?) Sugars in it.  I didn’t realize it was expresso until it was too late.  Oh well I tried it.

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Once we arrived in the old town, we found a church.  The city is filled with them.  It seems like on every corner there is a church, I love it.  This church was pretty amazing, it had these huge columns that when up forever and made you feel so small.  It was magnificent.

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St. Francis of Assisi, really cool.

It had this gorgeous little chapel on the side that had sunlight streaming in.

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Then we headed off to explore the Hofburg gardens, which were beautiful.  They had so many beautiful roses and it was a lovely garden.  While we waited for our tour of the stables we sat and knitted. But during our exploring we found a statue of empress Elisabeth.

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I’m on the last chart on the baby blanket, but sadly it still has a long way to go.

Then!!!!! We headed over to see the Lipizzaners!!!!!!!!!! For those of you who don’t know me, I am horse crazy.  Ever since I was little, as a child I owned over 200 toy horses and had names for them all. One of my favorite horse authors is Margaret Henry(who is an amazing children’s author and I recommend all her books), who wrote this book White Stallion of Lipizza.  It was one of my favorite books and is all about the Spanish riding school. I have always wanted to come to Vienna and see them.  I saw them preform in the States but I’ve always wanted to see them up close.  Today I got my change.

Ok but first, a poor lady was offering anyone who would listen to buy a ticket for 50 Euros.  I told her no sorry, I’ve been waiting for this my whole life.  She didn’t find a way onto our tour but I hope she made it on to some other tour.

The tour consisted of the summer area and the Spanish riding hall.  Sadly the hall was under construction to be converted to the ball room for the ball on Friday. The summer area has the largest oval hot walker in the world, with room for up to 19 horses and walk/trot speeds. 

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The hot walker.
Here are some pictures of the hall

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I was ridiculously giddy

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What the hall normally looks like.
Then we got to see the horses.  Sadly a bunch of them had already left for their summer break but there were still plenty of horses to make me happy.  I touched one,  or rather he touched me, to find out if my fingers were food.  Also we weren’t supposed to take pictures but I have one Stallion selfie.

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He wanted to know what I was doing.

The tack room was amazing!  So beautiful. 

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It ended all too soon but it was heaven to be with horses, horse smells, and happiness.  On the way out I met a nice man who trained carriage horses and competed.  He told me some lovely stories, including one about a 70 year old man who had had a stroke and was never to ride again got involved with carriage driving.  He learned how to drive after learning his lesson about patience and went on to win his first driving class.  So good to know if this disk thing keeps being a issue, I have options.
We popped into one more church, the famous st Michaels church with crypts.  But you had to pay and since I’m not into paying to see dead people, we passed.

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Look! The alter surporting an icon of the Theotokos!

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Had some neat medieval icons.

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We spent the rest of the day at the park reading and relaxing on the grass. It was heaven.  Now sierra is off on a night tour and I’m chilling in the room.  Tomorrow we go back to Germany and München.

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I think this is a statue of persephone and hades

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