Date: Friday, July 25, 1958
Place: Vienna, Austria
Weather: Sort of cool
What a day – started our tour at 9:30 first going to Schoenbrunn Castle. Was it something, and if I had to live in a castle this would be my choice. Also toured the carriage house, and gardens. I was wearing my black sweater with my initials on the back, and was standing by myself having a small fit ’cause I had just run out of film when I noticed these really cut fellas trying to guess my name. I walked over to Marge and they started talking to me! Great fun – they were from Naples over here on vacation. Sal gave me his address, and said he would come over to the hotel at 7:30. The Rock was quite impressed with the little scene and both boys walked me to the bus.
After the castle, we went to a beautiful Catholic Church at Heiligenkreuz and had lunch there. Then we spent the rest of the afternoon driving through the Vienna Woods, very beautiful, but I was so sleepy I spent most of the time sleeping! (One of these nights I’m going to bed early). I was going to fix Marge up with Raf, but we waited ’til 8:00 and no boys so we went out to this amusement park with the Rock and rode on the largest ferris wheel in the world! The cars were just like cable cars! Also went in the fun house and on the merry-go-round.
Had coffee and came home at 1:30 to find a note from Sal (He went to sleep and didn’t wake up ’til 8:10 so he’s meeting me tomorrow at the Opera at 11:30), He really is cute!
Wore out my black Capezios from all this walking!
The land for the Prater amusement park was donated to Vienna in 1766 by the Austrian Emperor Josef II. It had previously been used as an imperial hunting ground, reserved for the aristocracy.
The Riesenrad (German for ferris wheel) was constructed in 1897 by British engineers Walter Basset and Harry Hitchins to celebrate the Golden Jubilee (50th anniversary) of Emperor Franz Josef I. It is seen as a symbol of the city and is one of Vienna’s most popular tourist attractions. The ride was the world’s tallest ferris wheel from 1920 to 1985.
The Riesenrad was scheduled for demolition in 1916, but due to lack of funding, the order was never carried out. It suffered damage from fire and bombs during World War II – along with St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the Vienna State Opera, it was one of the first structures to be repaired post-war. While the ride returned to operation in 1947, it did so with only half of its original thirty gondolas.