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.