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Vienna, visiting the highlights

Home -> Europe -> Austria -> Travelogue Austria -> 12 & 13 July 2003

Saturday 12 July, Vienna, visiting the highlights

Hotel LangenwangWe had a good sleep in this rather luxurious hotel and we stay for a cup of coffee to enjoy the bright morning sun. When we leave, the sun hides between the clouds and the mountains become less and less high; we even see some flat pieces of land.
At 11 we arrive already at the campsite in Vienna and there is still a lot of space on the field for small tents. After a short shower the sun breaks through again and we put up the tent. In a few minutes we are covered with sweat. But soon the bus and the subway bring us to the centre of the city and we sit at a café for a refreshing drink.
Palace, Vienna Statue, ViennaVienna is a baroque city, full of buildings from the 18th and 19th century. Everything is big and bombastic and we won't tire you too much with pictures of all those impressive (but also often very ugly, we think) buildings.
Hidden in and on these monuments are often nice details to be found, like these ladies in old Greek style. They stand guard on a palace opposite of the emperial palace.
Fountain, ViennaThere is much to tell about Vienna, as a city and its history, but we won't bother you with that here, either. You can better buy a guidebook when you want to know more about this town.
With a map in our hands we walk from monument to monument and sometimes pause when we see a special statue or Fountain. It is a bit too much, all those buildings in such a small space and often we have forgotten the name or the function of it even before we have passed it.
A very tired Elisabeth Elisabeth getting a restA tired Elisabeth, a resting Elisabeth. We walk for hours and we don't notice how tired we are until we sit down. We are glad it is cloudy again and not too hot.
Plague pillar, Vienna Living statue, ViennaThe shops in the pedestrian shopping area are also very monumental and there are many memorials like this plague pillar (not very clear on the small picture). Such a pillar commemorated a plague epidemic and we have seen them also a lot in Hungarian towns.
On the square near the cathedral many artists show their trade, like this living statue. It is very crowded, but we get the impression that most people are tourists since they are all studying maps and walking with cameras.
A crowded campsiteExhausted, but very satisfied, we return to the campsite. To our surprise the whole field is covered with tents. There is no current, the car is not allowed next to the tent and there are few toilets and showers. All really primitive...
Tomorrow we have another, whole, day for seeing Vienna. We have planned some specific things we want to see, since there is so much to choose from. There are more than 100 museums, so we skip those, we wouldn't know where to begin.

Sunday 13 July 2003, highlights of Vienna

The Danube tower, Vienna On the Danube towerOur first goal today is the Danubetower where one can rise with a fast elevator (6 meters per second) to a height of 165 meters. It is a very far walk from the nearest U-bahn station and from afar we can see that we can also try a bungyjump from the tower.
We stay safely within the cage. The restaurant is closed and the sight is not really special. All the impressive buildings one sees in the city cannot be recognized from here.
Ferris wheel, ViennaSo we go to the Ferris wheel to try that out. Within 10 minutes we are back on the ground and the views were a bit the same. This time, it is also raining, so we are not very enthousiastic.
Hundertwasserhaus, Vienna Hundertwasserhaus, ViennaNext, we go to the Hundertwasserhaus, a building painted by an artist (and art professor) who cannot stand straight lines. It is a fairly normal building, made attractive by the colours and the curved painted lines. Of course, it has been made into a commercial attraction.
Butterfly house, ViennaOur next destination is the Schmetterlinghaus or butterfly-house. According to our travelguide 'one dives into a fantastic world of animals, plants, giant trees and waterfalls'. To us it seems more like a very damp greenhouse of about 30 meters length with a path to the end and back again. The giant trees are fake, we see a few birds (2 or 3) and the waterfalls are litlle streams with a height of 1 metre at most. But the butterflies are fantastic and that's what it is all about!
Meanwhile we have paid more than € 40 to entrance fees; since we entered Austria we have spend as much money as we have all the weeks before, not even counting the campsite and hotel costs. It is a beautiful country, but not very cheap.
One of the many squares, ViennaThe sun shines and the sun disappears again, and this goes on all day; sometimes it even rains a bit, but the temperature is allright. We walk quite a few kilometers and sometimes we need a break, like on this (sunny) square.
Votivkirche, ViennaIn the afternoon we walk to the Votivkirche, a church we had seen yesterday from a distance, but now from the nearby Sigmund Freud garden. On the stone on the foreground a saying of him is engraved: "Die stimme des Intellekts ist nur leise" (The voice of the intellect is only soft).

Festival before the town hall, ViennaThere is an open-air film festival before the monumental town hall, with the theme peacefull coexistence. Stalls from several countries sell their national food. Quite funny is the fact that the Russian stall sells hamburgers and hotdogs.
Brunnenhaus, ViennaBack at the campsite we walk a bit back along the street since we have seen a nice building from the bus: it is the socalled Nymphaeum Omega, also called the Brunnenhaus, especially build next to a 1000-year old oaktree.
It has been another busy day, especially the transportation (bus, U-bahn, walking) to get to places took a lot of time. And the nicest things turned out to be for free. Vienna is a nice city, but for now we have seen enough.


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