Grand Vienna, the seat of the Holy Roman and Hapsburg Empires, frontier against the Ottoman menace, and the cultural center of Europe for centuries, is a sight to behold. From Motzart to Beethoven to Hayden to Falco, all the musical greats have paid their dues in Vienna. OK, I’m being a little flippant. Vienna is pretty cool but I think you’d have to be a certifiable Germanophile to get really excited about all that stuff. Then again Rock me Amadeus is pretty boss and Vienna does have a lot to offer.
On my first day I saw a pretty magnificent garden behind the Schloss Schonbrunn Palace. And I got to see my very first, official, European hedge maze. This labyrinth was a touch difficult but I was able to re-trace my steps on the way back without error thanks to the excellent navigational abilites I acquired under duress while travelling the roadways of the Southwest with my father.
I also checked out an apartment building designed by Hunderwast. This guy abhors straight lines and is big on avoiding color patterns, as you can see.
The next day, however, I left Vienna for the Hungarian bordertown of Mosonmagyarovar. “Why?” you might ask. Well, this is why.
Unfortunately, I’ve been travelling since Slovenia with an in-grown toenail which has only become more aggravated thanks to nearly uninterrupeted walking and dancing. At the time, I could barely walk and when on the train from Budapest to Vienna, I met a Hungarian doctor who suggested I visit her hospital it seemed like a godsend. Unfortunately her colleague, the podiatirst, did not want to operate but instead cleaned and bandaged the wound and provided me with unlikely instructions for recovery, ie. not walking for 10 days and possibly going home early. Like a true adventurer, however, I persevere and as I write this I’m wearing flip-flops complete with bandaged toe in the most inappropriate of climates. All you Aussies, I’m sure, are proud of me. Needless to say, I tried to take it easy while in Vienna to avoid the incredible shame and powerful lameness of going home early due to an in-grown toenail.
That meant spending lots of time at the hostel where I met many travelers, mostly Americans, Australians, and British. Here are some shots of the nearly completed, slightly hazardous, new hostel and its drunken inhabitants. I especially like that last shot of the wet stairs leading to the bar partially obstructed by a ladder. Nothing spells F-U-N like alcohol and ladders.
I did manage to get out to see some of Vienna. Here are a few photos taken around town. The last one is actually a news ticker–very Sleeper-esque.
And I took in a little of the bric-a-brac we call culture. If not the gran ole opery, I got to see Freud’s report card on display in the museum that once was his home and I visited a gallery for an exhibition of Kiji’s friend’s photos.
And to top it all off I saw the famous clock at Hoher Market which presents a new likeness ranging from Marcus Aurelias to Maria Theresa each hour, on the hour, through an extremely slow parade along the numbers of the clock. At 12pm all the tourists gather round to see all 12 figures move along their tracks across the clock face. This thing, almost a parody of itself as it plays grandiose, classical music, is just begging to be parodied by Disney. I’m sure somewhere there exists a design for a similar clock with the smiling faces of Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and the rest. Below is a shot of the clock after the procession’s end. Notice the time, 12:14pm. This thing moves at a snails pace which only heightens its goofyness and serves to embarrass the throngs gathered to witness the spectacle. Like I said, it helps to be a Germanophile, in this place. Still, and depsite my injury, I had a good time in Vienna hobbling around town and getting tipsy at the hostel with my fellow travellers.
Next stop is Prague where I’m meeting up with Jeremy, the Aussie I met in Ljubljana who proclaimed Gay Pride Worldwide to an internet audience of tens via my blog and his own.
Posted from Czech Republic:
posted Thursday March 2014