Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Next stop- Vienna. Ahh, the SUN!

On my first day in Vienna, Austria the weather was unreal. It was absolutely gorgeous outside, sunny and hot -I was in heaven! There are loads of world renowned museums to see and palaces to visit but I couldn’t bear to miss this day. Berlin had been in rainy and cold most of the time, as usually is the case in Germany. They didn’t lie about the weather over here. I walked around the museums which are remarkably striking even on the outside; although, I didn’t make it farther than the Maria Theresien Platz.

As soon as I walked into the platz and was surrounded by the massive museums and the gorgeous surroundings I was overtaken by the need to stay put. I found a spot on the grass yanked off my cowboy boots and laid down. I wasn’t the only one; there were tons of people sprawled out in the grass, having picnics, reading, studying, and hanging with friends. I dozed in and out of consciousness here for a while I lay here in the sun, birds chirping happily all around, people speaking in different charming languages as they pass. No one is rushing – just strolling along, taking it all in, stopping now and then for pictures. It is so peaceful here next to the Kunsthistorishes Museum (that’s a mouthful, as are most German words).

I could stay here all day but I just got here and there is so much to see so I hit the pavement and find the Rathaus building (city hall). My guide mentioned a free tour every MWF at 1pm so I decided to take it…only problem the guide forgot to mention it was only offered in German. I guess that was my mistake since that is the national language I guess that’s what you should expect but come on it’s an English guide! Oh well, I still took the tour! It was the only way to see the inside and I had a pamphlet to read while she talked. It was gorgeous inside and def worth seeing. They had ballrooms and a nice courtyard; we sat in the room where they hold the important government meetings.

*Inside the Rathaus *The Parlament building

After the tour I hung out in the Rathauspark where there was a wine festival taking place! I sampled some of the Austrian wursts (fried sausages), especially since everyone at Vito’s last night told me I had to try the Weinerschnitzel (breaded meat cutlet (veal or pork) fried in butter) and that wasn’t going to happen so I got close enough!

*My Wurst….

Sorry to admit, I did not really enjoy my wurst. The park was full of people from around the world drinking wine and beer, eating all of the Austrian specialties and enjoying this marvelous day.
*View of the Rataus from Heldenpl.

I’m taking another rest here to enjoy this park although my conscious is trying to nudge me to get going and see the rest of the city. I’ve decided that traveling is hard work! Ha, I know don’t kill me I’m over here having the time of my life and many of you are in your cubicles back in the states…but, it is tiring always being on the go, researching your next destination, booking hostels, hotels, planes and trains. It’s a lot of figuring out what’s next which takes away from enjoying right now. I want to relax and enjoy these cities not run a marathon just to say I stepped foot in each one. I guess that is my goal: to see and to enjoy, to live, laugh & learn. I think I am doing pretty well!

Later I found another awesome place to chill with friends for the day behind the Hofburg- the Burggarten. And, yes, I took another break here! I don’t have any friends in Vienna so why not at least people watch?!

Day 2 in Vienna-

Good thing I thoroughly enjoyed the outdoors yesterday because today is no where near as nice. Today I started at the Schloss Schönbrunn – an amazing palace with vast gardens which even contain a labyrinth! I took the tour inside and strolled around the gardens for a bit. If you hiked up the hills behind the palace the views from everywhere were breathtaking!!

*Schloss Schönbrunn

*Palace Gardens

My ticket included the SiSi museum so that was my next stop…I liked learning about the former Queen and all of her drama, it brought the palaces to life and showed that it’s not always as glamorous as we’d think living as royalty.
I also managed to squeeze in a visit to the Kunt Haus Wien museum which features the work of Hundertwasser. He was very creative and his work reminded me of Gaudi’s creations in Spain. He didn’t use any straight line, it was all extremely colorful and he was a complete green freak! He wanted to reuse water, have houses built into the countryside instead of on top- this way people could meander on top of the roofs and play or lounge in the grassy knolls while it all worked with nature instead of against. It was interesting but I didn’t get enough info since I got there too close to closing time and wasn’t able to take a tour. I def recommend one here because you cannot begin to imagine what he was thinking otherwise. After I found a village down the road that was designed by Hundertwasser as well…

* Kunt Haus Wien

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