Sunday, September 30, 2012

Vienna, Wien - Day five....

Assumption day!!!

...which, in a catholic country, means ....BANK HOLIDAY!!! ie, everything is shut...almost everything!

We made it to the Museumsquarter in the morning and went to the Leopolds Museum. the Exhibition was mostly of his letter with his wife's sisters as well as various very personal details about his lifestyle, and thus portraying him in a very different light to the painter of gold and exuberant colours. As a long time fan, I preferred not to know such things, although, I guess it helps understand where and why he painted like he did.

Museums Quarter
There were some other exhibitions on at the museum too, making well worth the visit, although if you take a rucksack, be warned you will have to carry it on your front (uncomfortable) for 'security' reasons...It is quite a tall museum of 5 or 6 floors...but you will get to see the bggest collection of works by Egon Schiele too, so try to forget the luggage, eh!


We were unable to head back to the shops (probably wise really!) but Ian was able to guide us back to the restaurant for yesterday's lunch (those pancakes..!). I had no idea where it was, but all I could recognise was fashion shop opposite!

Thank goodness for Ian!

All in all, Vienna will make you happy - from park life

     to ...tram life (got to be a geek, like me!)

to a good, green perspective on things
 (Ganz Wien bleibt clean - All of Vienna will stay clean)...

 to good food (not one single meal was under par!)

 and of course to good and great and wonderful and quirky art!


14 years ago, there was only the FLEX, now there are beach bars along the canal!
TEL AVIV  is very popular!
Awesome falafel at TEL AVIV BAR on the canal.
Kruder & Dorfmesiter's (& mine too!) old hangout!
There is endless day life, night life, colours, history, modernity and constant excitement and calm in this city.

In short, we love Vienna!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Vienna, Wien - Day four

We ventured onto the sub way today, or the U-Bahn ( pronounced Ooh) and headed down to Karlsplatz. The morning's goal was Schloss Belvededere, home to the main Klimt exhibition (this summer, there are many exhibitions on to mark 150th birthday of Gustav Klimt).

Taking a tram is much easier!
 Schloss Belvedere is located near Sud Bahnhof and there are trams that go there. We decided to walk however and I had forgotten it was one big hill that we had to climb!

Schloss Belvedere


We walked along the road, uphill as the heat of the sun followed us. We have been lucky to enjoy warm summer days here this August.

Schloss Belvedere is A small and lovely castle in two parts, upper and lower. There are some nice waterfalls and statues to see, nit to mention the exhibitions inside. This summer, you need to brave the crowds, but on a regular day/ year, there is no problem getting in and around to see everything.

We walked through the back streets and found ourselves near the Ring street and, quite unexpectedly hit the Naschmarkt (the flea Market). There are some great coffee shops and bars surrounding the markets ( some the same from over a decade ago), many new. They a refurbishing the whole area and sorting out the plumbing to make the Market not just permanent, but healthy too!

What left me salivating were the fruit and vegetable stalls and the stuffed olives!!

The Secession (and some cars)
Back towards the Ring street, we saw the Secession and popped inside the shop (always the best part of most museums!). We collected a few books and posters and then decided to pop into see the Frieze.

Exhibition leaflet

Beethovan's Frieze, by Klimt is something I have never seen before and as part of the 150 celebrations, they have created a platform for visitors to view up close and personal. It was an experience that really moved me. In all my time in Vienna, I had never seen it, so to be able to do so up close, was unique. It is Klimt's presentation of Richard Wagner's interpretation of Beethovan's 9th symphony.

The details within the frieze are stunning, from pearl eyes of the evil monster to hidden ghosts in the faces of the people. (I was mesmerised by middle and apparent evil section of it where the hostile forces take over!) 

Choir of angels (poster)

From the Ring street, we wondered over to the shopping street of Maria Hilfer Strasse. By this point, we were already knackered, but we pushed through to check out the fashions.

Then through the seventh district, we walked on to find a restaurant highly recommended by a friend. Sadly, when we did discover it, we couldn't eat there as they specialised in Veal (Wiener Schnitzel is more often than not served with chicken, unless otherwise it was a rare case of it being stated) and there was literally nothing vegetarian on the menu! Luckily we could still enjoy some wine....(Gaswirtschaftschilling - for the record, the food looked pretty damn good!)

Burggasse also proved to be a great shopping street, but as everything was shut, we have vowed to return tomorrow!

We basically travelled on foot from Karlskirche through to Schloss Belvedere and then back to the Ring street and up to Burggasse. For the record, it wasn't a painful route. I am not good with bearings, but my husband was on it and was able to navigate us back through the city. We had bought a travel pass for the day (around 6 euros, equating to three journies on the tram or metro, but we were hard pushed to use just 4 euros worth...just goes to show how small Vienna is if you walk around, plus it is well worth it! There are also electronic bikes available for hire in many places...
 For the record, it wasn't a painful route. I am not good with bearings, but my husband was on it and was able to navigate us back through the city. We had bought a travel pass for the day (around 6 euros, equating to three journeys on the tram or metro, but we were hard pushed to use just 4 euros worth...just goes to show how small Vienna is if you walk around, plus it is well worth it! There are also electronic bikes available for hire in many places...
We stumbled across an amazing recycled shop with bags, stools, even jewellery, all made from disused products! I was in my element!

We also came across an amazing restaurant with the best spinach pancakes I have ever tucked into! So, while it was a long and tiring day for the feet, it was stimulating for the brain as well as the belly! 
Sweet dreams tonight, Vienna!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Vienna, Wien - Day three


Keeping it simple today - we strolled towards the third district to KunstHausWien...the home of Hundertwasser's most famous creation.

Hundertwasser was an artist who thrived on colours. He was commissioned to do some of the buildings in Vienna (also famous is Spittelau, the incinerator in the 9th district).

However, it is this house, or rather, apartments that have made his name famous. The building houses regular, habited apartments. Hundertwasser decorated them all in some way, inside and out adding colour and greenery to an area that could have been demolished.He didn't even take payment for it. So, knowing that, it makes it even sadder to see how tourists are spiked for such simple beauties, but we were able to enjoy the architecture of the famous house and even saw a short movie showing the inside of the house. It was a great insight!

Sadly, he died in 2000, which was just a year after I had lived in Vienna and done my dissertation on his work.

Later in the afternoon, we hit Praterstern, the home of the permanent fun fair.

The famous Wiener Riesenrad (ferris wheel), a famous landmark of the city that can be recognised from movies such as The Third Man or Before Sunrise,  is the first thing to be seen. It's not so high, around 65 feet, but still, you will not catch me on it! Ferris wheels freak me out!

No rides this time, but hubby got some great shots!

A view of the Riesenrad & Stefansdom from a big wheel at the fair.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Vienna, Wien - Day two again...

We strolled away from the Ring street just briefly, I had to show Ian Karlskirche (Charles' church..not so glam in English!). It was such a shame to see that we couldn't just wonder into the church to see the amazing interior. It was one of my favorite churches ever and such a privilege should not be denied and should not be charged 6euros for!!

Vienna has certainly learnt how to spike its tourists. There are plenty of sits to see, but you have to pay for all of them!

Back in the day, there was a regular tram line that ran around the ring street on it's usual journey. Now, the number two tram runs a different route and the ring street has a special (higher price of course) golden tram!

We spotted a few more museums along our paths and hoped that there would be time to visit them during our stay. There were many extra Klimt exhibitions as part of his 150th anniversary - would we be able to see them all...?


On the Ring street once again, we cruised into Stadtpark and enjoyed the quiet calm of the green park, including the statue of Johan Strauss.
Strauss statue

Vienna, Wien - Day two...

The original number 2 tram.
This used to do the route of the Ring Street only. there is a special  'Golden tram' for the tourists...Shame.

We walked the whole of the Ring street (Ringstraße) today. It's just over five kilometers around the centre of Vienna. We set off from our apartment, and headed over the canal to the first district. Actually, we cut through the centre towards the centre and headed towards the cathedral (Stefansdom) and then walked on to the ring street and around past all the landmarks.


We passed the KunstHistorischesMuseum,(Art & History museums opposite each other),

Parlament, the Rathaus (town hall) ( popped in briefly to check out film festival and food stands galore!) then, we crossed back over to go into Volksgarten - 

On the Hofburg grounds...more tourist transport.
( a wonderful public park, but also home to a secret club of yonder year ♪) and wondered casually through all of the Hofburg grounds. We were spoilt with the beauty. The buildings were tall, wide, clean and amazing!

Of course, every coffee was simply divine!
A few coffees later,and we were back on the Ring street walking back around town.