We took the catamaran from Bratislava to the centre of Vienna along the Danube, a journey of about 90 minutes. After a very enjoyable night in the city slightly marred by a poor meal at the ridiculously pricey Ritz-Carlton Steakhouse we enjoyed a great night’s sleep in the excellent Schlosshotel Römischer Kaiser.
The Spanish Riding School is a 10 minute walk from the hotel, and we arrived in time to have a look around the gift shop. The Winter Riding School is a grand hall built in the early 18th century and in here we were treated to a 70 minute performance by the riders in their traditional uniforms. The 5 programmes covered the whole range of movements, including “Airs Above The Ground” where the levade, capriole and courbette are all performed in the saddle without stirrups. The closing programme is the Quadrille where eight horses ride in formation creating a really spectacular end to the performance. Great stuff even for a non-rider like myself.