Remembrance Day in Budapest

Day 78, Monday November 11, 2019

I am still behind on my blogging,  but I wanted to post this today.

We are in Budapest for Remembrance Day, a country which doesn’t celebrate November 11.  Remembering those who have died during war and conflict this year seems more important than ever.  We have seen so much of the death and destruction caused by war on this trip.

Today we walked along the Danube river to visit the Shoes on the Danube Promenade.  It is an incredibly moving memorial that moved me to tears.A quote from this article explains the history of this memorial.

“Walking along its shores, you’ll come to the end of Szechenyi Street, where you’ll find the most moving Holocaust memorial. named the Shoes on the Danube Promenade, placed in an open space and approachable for visitors. The memorial consists of iron-made, rusty shoes set into the concrete of the embankment.

These shoes stand as witnesses to one of Budapest’s most somber moments during World War II, reflecting the war history and its victims of that time. The location and the elements of the memorial offer an insight into the tragic fate of the Jews who in the winter of 1944-1945 were tied together, shot on the banks of the river, and thrown into it by the members of the Arrow Cross Party. The party publicly murdered thousands of Jews all over Budapest. They found it convenient to throw them into the Danube because the river quickly carried the bodies away. The atrocious Arrow Cross murderers usually forced the victims to remove their shoes before shooting them.

At that time of war, shoes were a valuable commodity and the murderers were quite aware of that, so they would trade the shoes on the black market or wear them themselves. The Jewish children stood terrified while the Arrow Cross pulled their shoestrings out, tying the hands of the victims before shooting them. Sometimes, the hands of two or three people were tied together, adults or children, and the atrocity went so far that only one of them would be shot so he or she would instantly pull the helpless others down in the freezing cold water. During these horrible winter days of 1944-1945, the Danube was called “the Jewish Cemetery.””

“Lest We Forget”

 

 

 

 

 

Quiet Day in Budapest, Hungary

Day 77, Sunday, November 10, 2019

It is a  grey day, with a high of 9 so it is a good day to spend at home, and that is exactly what we do.  We are both a bit tired after our travels yesterday.  I stay in all day, but Bob gets restless, and goes for a walk to check out the neighbourhood.  When he returns he tells me that I am going to like Budapest!

This is the view from our living room balcony.  We are in a busy part of Budapest, there are lots of bars and pubs and restaurants all around us but our apartment is fairly quiet because we look onto this courtyard.  Some of the buildings are well kept but some of them look quite ramshackled.  I wonder if we will see a lot of that here.

 

Vienna, Austria to Budapest, Hungary

Day 76, Saturday, November 9, 2019

It is a four hour drive from Vienna to Budapest, and it rained a good portion of that time.

When we arrive in Budapest there is no place to park while we check into our apartment. We are right in the central part of the old Jewish Quarter, the roads are narrow, all one way, and there are cars everywhere!  We finally park in a construction area and Bob waits in the car while I go find our apartment.  I’m not sure how I even managed to find it, as I had to turn into a walkway, past several restaurants and pubs.  I finally locate the door, figure out the entrance code and find our apartment.  The cleaning lady is just leaving when I arrive and with the help of Google translate, I ask her if she can show me where the parking garage is.  Success!  We get our car parked in the garage and haul everything up to our very nice apartment for the next eight nights.

Last Day in Vienna

Day 75, Friday, November 8, 2019

We had a leisurely morning and I did a bit of packing in preparation for checking out tomorrow.  Early afternoon we catch the train and then a FlixBus to Bratislava, Slovakia to pickup our last rental car.

This photo taken from the bus window is a bit blurry.  We noticed that one of the windmills had a fire the last time we were here.  Today the big arms have been removed. It must be difficult repairing these, they are so high off the ground. When we get to the airport we are worried because the Budget Car Rental booth is closed!  Turns out the attendants are out in the parking lot so after a short wait we pick up our car and head back to Vienna.  I noticed this big mural last trip and managed to get a photo this time.  It is dark by the time we get back to Vienna and we spend the rest of the evening cleaning our apartment and packing for our drive to Budapest tomorrow.

The Leopold Museum, Vienna

Day 74, Thursday, November 7, 2019

The Leopold Museum has the largest collection of Egon Schiele’s work in Vienna as well as several of Gustav Klimt’s works.

Egon Schiele was an Austrian painter. His work is noted for its intensity and its raw sexuality.  Schiele completed many self portraits, including naked self portraits.  I  am intrigued by Shiele’s drawings and was looking forward to seeing his work.  Unfortunately exhibited works on paper are facsimiles, because the actual drawings and watercolours would be damaged by continual exhibit.  They are very good facsimiles, but not the real thing.  It would be nice to look closely at some of his original drawings and watercolour paintings.  I guess I will have to hope to one day visit a special Schiele exhibit, similar to the Dürer one I saw yesterday, in order to see his original work.
 ‘Chrysanthmemen’ was a painting I hadn’t seen before.
Two of Schiele’s naked self-portraits. the first is an oil and the second gouache and black chalk on paper, so it is a facsimile.  These are both larger than I had thought.  The oil painting is 1.5 m x1.5 m and the gouache 63 x 44 cm.
I have decided that I like Schiele’s figurative watercolours and drawings more than his figurative oils.  
The commentary for ‘Small Tree in Autumn’ says that the trunk and branch on the right look like human legs, while the branches of the treetop resemble arms.  I never saw that before and now it is all I can see!  I even see a head just below the arms.  
These two long narrow oils are not what I think of as typical Schiele paintings but I like both of them.

‘Mother and Child’ is a well known painting.  I do love how expressive Schiele’s hands are. Schiele’s 1912 ‘Self Portrait with Chinese Lanterns’ was painted as a companion piece for the ‘Portrait of Wally Neuzil’ who was his muse and partner from 1911 to 1915.  Both these paintings have a gentleness and sensitivity not found in all his work.  I like these very much. Quite different from this self portrait completed the same year.  Schiele was born in 1890 and died in 1918.  He was only 28 years old when he died, yet he created over 3,000 works on paper and around 300 paintings!  I wonder what he would have accomplished if he had lived longer.  He died during the Spanish Flu Epidemic, just three days after his six month pregnant wife Edith. ‘Reclining Woman’ was bigger than I expected.  Originally the woman’s genitals were exposed but Schiele added the white cloth covering in order to be able to show the work at an exhibition in Vienna in 1918. There are several landscapes, and most of them are quite large. ‘The Small Town IV’… and ‘House With Shingled Roof’ were two that I particularly liked.  Although Schiele only painted for such a short time, his work laid the foundations for the Viennese Expressionist movement as well as inspiring other future movements, such as Abstract Impressionism.

There is a small collection of Gustav Klimt’s work. Klimt (1862-1918), was Schiele’s mentor, so it is nice to see their work exhibited together.  This ‘Head Study of a Girl from Hanā’ is thought to have been completed while Klimt was still a student.

‘The Blind Man’ was first exhibited in 1898. ‘Death and Life’ won the Gold Medal at the 1911 International Art Exhibition in Rome.  This painting and ‘The Kiss’, that I saw at the Belvedere,  are two of Klimt’s most well known paintings. I feel very fortunate to have seen both of them in person, as well as all the other amazing works of art I have seen on this trip. As we are leaving the Leopold I notice this painting, which makes both of us laugh!  It is by Albert Birkle and is titled ‘Man with Fur Cap’, or ‘My Brother the Animal’! Near the metro station Bob notices this crane which has just been erected.  Neither of us have seen one with so many arms before.When I saw this building our first day in Vienna I thought it was the Hundertwasser House but it wasn’t.  Turns out that it was designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser!  It is the Spittelau Incinerator which is used to handle Vienna’s garbage.  The environmentally friendly plant produces enough energy to heat more than 60,000 households in Vienna in a year.I have one more life drawing session tonight at Kaffeebar Quentin.  I have attended many life drawing sessions in bars or pubs and the model is always at least partially clothed, so I was quite surprised when our model is completely nude.  We are in the back of the bar, but the model is still in full view of all the other patrons as well as anyone who happens to look in the windows.  Wish I had a scanner, as it would improve the quality of these photos, but I don’t think I can haul one around on holidays!  These are all 5 minute poses. Two ten minute and one twenty minute drawing… and we finished the evening with a twenty-five minute pose.  The people at this session were very friendly and I had met some of them at the other two sessions this week.  I will miss Vienna, they have so many life drawing opportunities.  There is a session almost every day of the week, and lots of them have interesting themes.  

Spanish Riding School and the State Hall National Library, Vienna

Day 73, Wednesday, November 6, 2019

This morning we went to see the Lipizzaner stallions, but not a performance.  We went to the morning training session instead. We got to sit in the 96 euro seats for two hours and watch the horses train and it only cost us 9.5 euros each!   It was great and we both enjoyed it. We found out that to get those 96 euro seats we should have reserved months in advance!  We sat about half way down the side of the arena.No photos are allowed and I was very good and didn’t try to sneak any!  It would have been so nice to have a few photos though.  These two photos were taken from posters advertising the performances.  The stallions are gorgeous!  I did a bit of sketching during the training and that was OK but it was hard to draw and watch what was going on a the same time.  After a bit I decided to just enjoy watching the training session and forget about drawing.

It is unusual to see any of the jumps that are performed in the performances during a training session.  We were very lucky, we saw two different horses perform the capriole!  The first stallion was experienced and he did three caprioles.  This is where the horse jumps straight up into the air, kicks out with the hind legs, and lands more or less on all four legs at the same time. It is a very difficult jump. The second stallion was young and still in training. He managed to get his forelegs up in the jump but the hind legs didn’t quite make it, but he tried three times as well.  We also saw the piaffe, the dance like trotting on the spot and several other of the special dressage movements.

The training session was two hours long.  Four half hour sessions with different horses for each session.  It went by very quickly and Bob said he enjoyed it too, even though he doesn’t love horses near as much as I do! Next stop is the State Hall of the National Library.  It is so amazing!  It is hard to describe such a magnificent place.  The pictures probably do a better job, so here they are.  This is our view when we enter the library.  We both just stop and stare!  This library is nearly 60 metres long and 20 metres high and contains over 200,000 books! One of the first things we see are these ‘secret’ doors the open into rooms with even more books. The cases Bob is standing by held illuminated manuscripts.  I would have loved to be able to climb one of these ladders and pull a book or two off the shelves.
These are from 1400 and 1260!The globes have been in this spot since the mid 1700’s. This statue is in the central oval of the library beneath a painted domed ceiling.

Here is a view looking up at the ceiling…and a wide angled view of the central area.
We sit for a while just absorbing the atmosphere. Looking towards the entrance from where I was sitting… and towards the back of the library. The second level is just as ornately decorated as the first.  I wish we could have gone there as well, but it was not to be. One last photo before we leave.  Here is a short video I made of the inside of the library. When we leave the library we pass the Lipizzaner stables.I zoom in on these two beauties.
We stop at the Minoritenkirche because Bob says it has a mosaic life size replica of The Last Supper.It appears to be painted on tiled panels rather than being a mosaic made with many small tiles.
We didn’t get to see The Last Supper when we were in Italy.  We didn’t know we had to get tickets far in advance, so I guess this is the next best thing.We walk towards the metro through a bit of a park…
where there are lots of people sitting enjoying the sunshine. I was surprised there were so many yellow roses in bloom so late in the year.  Do you notice all the little white signs in the background?  This is a memorial garden and each rose is planted in memory of a person who has passed away. It is a beautiful sunny afternoon.  Warm for November, but we still need our coats. We stop at the Naschmarkt for something to eat.  This roast pig is for sale by the piece, starting at the back end.  Interesting but we decide on something a bit less exotic.I love this huge art nouveau pot supported by four turtles.  Wish I had one like this at home!

We have a bit of time at home before I go to for another life drawing session at a pub called The Roo Bar.  Here are a 5 minute, two 10 minute and a 20 minute drawing. A ten and twenty minute pose. I think I liked these two 5 minute drawings the best.  It was a good night. 

Dürer Exhibit at the Albertina Museum, Vienna

Day 72, Tuesday, November 5, 2019

I have been looking forward to visiting this Dürer Exhibit.  I only found out about it in Munich at a drawing Meetup.  This exhibition is the most comprehensive Dürer exhibition  in decades.  It really is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

It is raining today so it is a good day to spend inside. We purchased our tickets online so no waiting in the lineup!Before we see the Dürer exhibit we visit the other parts of the museum.  There are 20 decorated and restored Habsburg State Rooms with precious wall coverings, chandeliers, fireplaces and stoves, inlaid floors, and exquisite furniture. We pass through these fairly quickly, we have seen quite a few of these kinds of rooms on this trip and I am more interested in the Dürer exhibit.  The floors are beautiful with inlaid wood designs.  We notice that the floors we walk on are actually reproductions placed over the original floors in order to preserve them.  If you look closely you can just make out the seam lines of these rectangular reproduction tiles.

The chandeliers in this room were very beautiful. The most interesting thing in these rooms was the art exhibit on the walls.  We have a print of this Hieronymus Bosch drawing at home.  Unfortunately the drawings and prints are facsimiles.  Very good ones, but facsimiles non-the-less.  This is necessary as works on paper are fragile and can not be displayed for long periods of time. 

There are so many works that I am familiar with and some, like the Munch woodcut that are new to me.  These are: Munch’s The Kiss IV, two Schiele watercolours, Rembrandt’s Elephant, and Rubens’ drawing of his son Nicolas.
Now on to the main event!

It has been decades since so many works by Albrecht Dürer (1471–1528) have been seen in one place.  There are more than 200 examples of Dürer’s drawings, printed graphics, and paintings on display at the Albertina.

This ‘Self Portrait at the Age of Thirteen’ from 1484 is the first work that I see when we enter the exhibition rooms. I took so many photos but have chosen just a few of my favourite ones for today’s post. Here is ‘Three Studies of Dürer’s Left Hand’ 1493/94.  I like drawing hands and feet and there is much to learn from Dürer. This page of studies was so interesting.   Here is another drawing I have seen so often in books.
‘The Woman’s Bath’ is a pen and ink drawing… and this ‘Illustration for the Apocalypse’ is a woodcut.  Dürer was a master of all mediums. Dürer’s watercolours are exquisite.  This painting is simply titled ‘Iris’. A watercolour study of a ‘Blue Rolle’r from 1500.We enter another room and there on the far wall are three famous works.  Dürer’s ‘Young Hare’ is only exhibited once every five years for a period of no more than three months.  It is just luck that it is on exhibit while we are here.  This is another print that we have at home.  Bob wishes it was the original!! ‘The Great Piece of Turf’ was painted on the largest piece of paper available at the time to portray the plants life sized. ‘The Wing of a Blue Roller’ is quite amazing.  This work is watercolour and body colour on parchment with fine gold lines on the breast plumage to enhance the iridescence of the feathers.  There is no one telling visitors to keep a certain distance from the works, so my nose gets up very close! I liked the study of a bull’s nose too… and this ‘Columbine”… and this page of studies.   OK. I love pretty much everything I see here!  This head of an angel and head of twelve year old Jesus are studies for a larger painting … as is this hand study.  It is fascinating to see the studies and then the finished painting. ‘The Praying Hands’ is a well known Dürer image. I really didn’t know much about Dürer’s oil paintings.  I particularly loved this one.  The Madonna’s face is so beautiful.
Dürer drawing and woodcut of a rhino were made without his ever having seen a rhinoceros!  He drew from a written description of the animal and his imagination. I have always loved this ‘Portrait of a 93 Year Old Man’.  I didn’t know it was done with a brush!   As we are leaving the museum I see this Modigliani painting ‘Prostitute’.  I have always liked Modigliani’s work but haven’t really see very many in person.   One last photo at the Albertina.  Seems I want to sprout wings this trip! We spent four hours here today and I could easily have spent much more time here but this will have to do.  I bought the catalogue for the exhibit.  It is huge, and weighs 6.6 pounds!  Good thing we are near the end of our trip!

I have a Life Drawing Meetup session at 7:00 pm and want to have a bit of a rest before that.  I just realized that I posted tonight’s life drawing photos in yesterday’s blog by mistake!  After being on holidays for so long it is easy to mix up the days.

Belvedere Museum and St. Charles Church, Vienna

Day 71, Monday, November 4, 2019

I visit the Belvedere Art Museum this morning while Bob goes for walk and explores the area around the museum.  The Belvedere, like so many of the museums we have visited was once a palace.  This is the grand entrance staircase… and the beautiful Marble Hall. I particularly wanted to see Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss, but was pleased to find his Judith painting here as well.The Kiss is one of Klimt’s most well known paintings.  It is a large painting, 183 x183 cm. It is nice to be able to see the painting details up close. I am also surprised by how many Egon Schiele paintings are on display.  It is quite special to be able to see the original paintings of some of my favourite works by these two painters.  I didn’t realize that these paintings were so large.  Looking at reproductions in books can be deceiving.  The Embrace and….  the Family are both much bigger than I imagined… as are these paintings. Schiele’s Self Portrait is the smallest painting, about 41 x 33 cm. I didn’t know Jacques-Louis David’s painting of Napoleon was here either.  I am so glad I was able to visit this museum.  This painting is enormous, 272 × 232 cm!This painting shows the Vienna Naschmarkt in 1894.  It has changed a bit over the years! We meet up in the gardens outside the Belvedere and then walk towards St. Charles Church.  There are so many interesting buildings along the way.
We had a huge surprise when we entered St. Charles Church.  Two enormous floating mirrored balls that reflected the church… and us.  We are almost in the centre of the reflection but we are very tiny.  “Aerocene” is a contemporary art installation by Tomas Saraceno, an Argentinian artist who lives and works in Berlin.  The floating reflective balls are 10 and 7 metres in diameter. Then we notice the scaffolding that goes high up into the dome, and that is where we are going to go!  We thought the elevator ride we got a ticket for would be inside a bell tower.  Nope!  We ride to the top of this scaffolding and then climb a bit further, onto that platform you see leading into one of the round windows in the dome! Looking down from the top of this ‘elevator’ we notice a workman adjusting lights high up in the dome, yet still far below us! We have a great view of the dome paintings.  It is interesting the way the gold highlights look up this close… and we have a great view of the other dome paintings.  We are crazy high up!Bob walks back down to this viewing platform so I can get a photo.  Notice how he is suspended…nothing below him!This photo shows the platform that Bob was standing on in the last photo.
We spent quite a lot of time way up there in the dome, and it is getting dark when we get outside.  If you look closely you can see some people standing in the round window on the dome.  That is the window we were standing in!  What an amazing experience.  There was restoration work carried out in the dome and the elevator is being kept for a while.  The fee to ride up into the dome is a way to make more money for further restorations. Walking back towards the metro we pass the Opera House… and take photos of these performers from Tibet.  They have a performance later tonight and were taking publicity photos outside the Opera House. While the men posed, some of the women were busy applying their makeup.   This is a a huge paper art installation we pass in a walkway near the metro. A close-up shows lots and lots of writing, musical notations and random marks. We get home, have dinner, then I head off to a drop-in drawing session with a Meetup group at a pub called Monami.

It was bit hard drawing the model as there were 40 people crammed into a small room.  I had coloured some of the pages in my sketchbook at home before the session.  Interesting to draw on but they don’t photograph very well. We were pretty much rubbing elbows as we drew and my views weren’t always great but it was lots of fun.
I finished the session with a 20 minute leg study.  I felt quite comfortable going out in the evening by myself.  The metro is easy to navigate and there were lots of people about.

The Hundertwasser House and the Prater Amusement Park, Vienna

Day 70, Sunday, November 3, 2019

I loved the sign on this shop we passed on our way to the Hundertwasser House.   The Hundterwasser House attracts a lot of attention.  More than 200 trees and shrubs on the balconies and roof terraces make the Hundertwasserhaus a green oasis in the heart of the city.Here are some views of this unique building which was built between 1983 -1985.  
I wonder what the inside of this tower is? The Hundertwasserhaus can only be viewed from outside but opposite the Hundertwasserhaus is the Hundertwasser Village, which is open to visitors. It was created out of a tire workshop in 1990-1991. The artist created his own shopping center here with a “village square”, a bar and numerous stores in the typical Hundertwasser style. Every window in this building is different from every other window! Anyone who lives in the Hundertwasser House also has the right to decorate the façade around the windows entirely to their own taste.   This fountain is nestled into the undulating ground around the building. There are is many interesting buildings in Vienna.  I don’t know what this building is but it has huge golden globes on the roof. We walk along this canal and find a bench on its banks for our afternoon tea. On our walk to the Prater we pass this interesting building mural. The Prater Amusement Park has been in the same location since 1766!  It is free to enter the grounds. This is the first ride we see and it looks crazy enough, but…take a look at how high the swings go!  We could not believe what we were seeing!  It didn’t even look like this tower should stay upright, it was so tall and narrow.  Absolutely insane!! This roller coaster turned people upside down… and this ride not only goes upside down, but spins around on the end at the same time!  Yikes!!Then there is this ride…do you see those legs dangling on each end of the long arm that spins around high above the ground?

This tower shoots people to the top and then drops them very quickly towards the ground.
If you like rollercoasters you might want to try this one,,,it flips you upside down as you ride…
and this swing also turns upside down periodically as it flies through the air.  Do you detect   a theme here?
The grounds are huge, with an area for children rides that we don’t even get to, and lots of fun houses and scary ghost houses.
I’m not sure who would buy tickets from this fellow!
 There is a Ferris wheel, among some of the ‘tamer’ rides… which I try out!

The Giant Ferris Wheel was erected in 1897.  It has been in several Hollywood films, such as “The Third Man” with Orson Wells and in the James Bond movie “The Living Daylights”.             The diameter of the wheel is almost 61 meters, and the entire iron structure weighs 430 metric tons.  Its cabins offer a wonderful view of the city and the Prater. Here is one of hte cabins going over the top of the wheel.The wheel turns slowly and our ride consists of one revolution which takes almost fifteen minutes.  

it starts to rain after our ride so it is time to head home. We get home at 7:00 and realize that I forgot about a life drawing session at 7:30.  I am tired and It is too late to make it there in time.  Too bad, I was looking forward to going, especially after Thursday’s session was cancelled because of Halloween.

Walking Tour of Vienna

Hi, as you may have noticed, I have fallen behind on my blog posts.  We have had several busy days and I just haven’t had the energy to work on a post late in the evening. We are actually in Budapest right now, and it is raining for a day or two so I am going to try to get at least a little bit caught up.

Day 69, Saturday, November 2, 2019

Bob found another walking tour online so we are off to check out Vienna this morning.  First stop is the Naschmarkt, a local outdoor market that has been operating on this same site since the 1500’s!  There are colourful stand with fruits and vegetables, olives and antipasto appetizers…as well as all sorts of candies, dried fruits and some rather exotic looking products in the fish market section.Near the Naschmarkt we find this interesting tribute to the Orson Wells movie, The Third Man.  It is possible to tour the sewers, right under our feet, where part of the movie was filmed, but we pass on that today.

I take a photo of some wedding dresses in a shop window and a short time later we see a bride and groom.  The bride seemed annoyed and her pretty dress was getting all dirty as it dragged along the street. I wanted to tell her attendants to pick up the back of her dress!  Not my idea of a nice way to spend part of your wedding day, hiking along the streets towards a place for your photo shoot. There is a statue of Mozart, right beside a Hop On Hop Off bus station.  We sit and have our picnic lunch and watch tourists jump off the bus, snap a photo from quite a distance, and then jump back on the bus to get to the next destination.  This sure isn’t the way we do it!  We sight-see very slowly and leisurely, stopping often to look at the sights, people watch and just enjoy where we are and what we are seeing. We are very slow tourists!
This equestrian statue of Emperor Joseph II, erected in 1795  is the oldest equestrian statue in Vienna.

It stands in front of the Neue Burg (New Castle) Wing  of the Hofburg Palace.  Notice that part of the palace is still in need of cleaning.     We make our way to the Albertina Museum, which we will visit another day.  There is a Durer Exhibit I am looking forward to seeing.  This is a street view from a corner of the Albertina.

The Gates of Violence remembers victims of all wars and violence. The statues are a montage of wartime images: clubs and WWI gas masks, a dying woman birthing a future soldier, victims of cruel medical experimentation, and chained slave laborers.  It is on the site of an apartment block that was destroyed in an air raid during the Second World War.  Hundreds of people had sheltered in the apartment basement and their bodies were never recovered from the rubble of the destroyed building. Of course there are several churches on our walk, and we visit all of them! This broad pedestrian Kärntner Strasse is packed with people and lined with shops and places to eat.  This road dates to 97AD when it was a Roman road that went from Vienna to the border of Italy and Slovenia, and eventually all the way to St. Petersberg, Russia! I thought that the Zen-Doodle like designs on the clothing in this shop were interesting.  The modern Haas House offers interesting reflections of St. Stephen’s church. The St. Stephen’s Cathedral is huge, and ornately decorated, outside…  and inside. Just behind the cathedral we see a group of people taking part in a drinking game.  The guy in the blue jeans drank his big can of beer twice as quickly as the guy dressed in brown! The Stock im Eisen is part of a tree that has hundreds of iron nails pounded into it and dates from 1440.  No one is sure why the nails were pounded in but it is thought that is was for good luck. It is located on the corner of a building and is protected behind plexiglass. The Holy Trinity Column, located on a street in the inner city of Vienna, was erected after the Great Plague epidemic in 1679.  It is one of the most well-known sculptural pieces of art in the city.
St. Peter’s Church has an oval dome and its open layout makes it feel bigger than it actually is. I thought it interesting the way the paintings on the dome extended over the sculptural trim around the round windows.The end of each pew is beautifully carved with different finials of three children’s heads.  We sat for quite a while listening to the choir practicing.  Back outside, there are interesting details everywhere I look, like these sculptures holding up balconies.I loved this building. It looks like a castle.  I wouldn’t mind living here! Back out on the Kärntner Strasse, there are lots of famous brand name shops, like Jimmy Choo…
where the customers are served champagne as they shop!  Sigh…an experience I am sure I will never have!
There are Roman ruins…  and beautiful statues on the corners of buildings.  This is the building that houses the Austrian National Library, the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, as well as the Spanish Riding School with the world famous Lipizzaner stallions.  We will visit both of these on another day,  It gets dark earlier now, at about 5;30.  The buildings look pretty all lit up. This is the other side of the Neue Burg Wing of the Hofburg Palace.  We saw the backside earlier in the day. Time to head home.  This subway station has colourful murals.  Our apartment is very well located on the U6 subway line, so it takes less than a half hour to get home.  Somehow even our ‘easy’ days end up being quite long. We left before noon and it will be after 7:00 by the time we get home.