First Day in Vienna art, but not wine

Vienna Travel Blog

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Balconies
Vienna is a beautiful city.  Unfortunately, I've left it a month to write up my trip so the details might be hazy, and a running commentary from any readers who have a clearer memory of what bits are which would be welcome! 

In the morning, we visited the enormous Leopold Museum in the Museum Quarter, which ended up taking a lot longer than we thought it would.  For a start, what looks relatively large even from the outside has two levels of basement. Leopold was an early collector of the works of Egon Schiele, who wasn't an artist I was familiar with, but having gone around the large retrospective of his work on the ground floor, he is now up with my favourites.
Forest on incinerator
  I'm more fond of his landscapes than his people, but I often am. Sadly, Egon Schiele died within a couple of days of his pregnant wife, of Spanish Flu, very young.  Which might explain why I haven'tstumbled across any of his stuff before.

The Leopold was also hosting a large exhibition about Jugendstyle, which turned out to be the proper name for Art Nouveau.  This was a genre I had always totally dismissed, because I was only familiar with the rather languid women in the advertising posters and the rose jewelry sold in Every Single Gift SHop in the Whole of Scotland; Renie Mackintosh stuff is firmly in the pretty-but-dull part of my mental filing syste.  But Jugendstyle goes well beyond this; there were beautifully composed portraits and landscapes too, and although there was jewelry, the benefit of not having seen it on every neck in Scotland meant it was still interesting.
Wheel
The rest of the museum was largely early twentieth century, my favourite point in art history at the moment, and I was very happy.  We had a strudel and some Almdudler (spiced lemonade, similar to ginger ale but not quite) in the cafe and ALlie took me off on the metro to go sight seeing. 

First, we made our first unsuccessful attempt to see St Stephen's cathedral, but there was a mass on.  I don't like sightseeing during mass - it always seems very disrespectful - so we wandered back off withthe thought that we would see it tomorrow, and found an icecream cafe.  Proper Italian Icecream served in a bright pink cafe was a great idea; I had some sort of blackforest cake inspired sundae with lashings of cream and cherry brandy.  As my feet were a bit sore and I was tired, I was a little grumpy about Allie's offer to show me some of the cool architecture on offer in Vienna, but I allowed myself to be persuaded, and i was extremely glad I did.
Me, and the pan of doom


We got on a subway train, and went out along the Danube until I was at a complete loss where Allie was taking me. Almost at the very end of the line, we got off in a dull sort of suburb, and I was still at a loss until we left the station and saw...

The municipal heating plant and incinerator!  Well, in most cities, this would not be a trip you would make. But in Vienna, the incinerator plant has been decorated by a mad artist called Hunderwasser. It looks like a palace designed by Doctor Seuss and decorated by Gaudi, assuming he had access to psychadelic drugs.  It's incredible.  And there is a forest on teh roof of the incinerator.  It's enough to make you think you had been dreaming, and well worth the trip out.  Pausing to admire some vanadlism on a political poster, we got on a tram back into the city.
View from a Window
 

The tram took us past the city to the Hunderwasser Haus on the other edge of the city, which is also very very cool.  It is a private appartment block so you can only see the outside, but it's still worth a trip out.

After that we went to the Prater gardens to ride the big wheel, which was lovely. It must have been an incredible piece of engineering when it was built, because it is still very impressive today, missing half of its carriages and still towering over the gardens. It's a shame the exchange rate made it so expensive, but it's still worthwhile.  We walked back into the city centre and caught another metro to a favourite restaurant of Allie's, The 7 Stern brau (I'll check the spelling later).

Essentially a microbrewery, the 7 Stern Brau does an excellent range of beers and the food was great.
View from Leopold Museum
By the standards of my trip, it was also very reasonable.  I had chilli beer, and wouldn't advise it.  It tastes great for the first quarter pint - really spicy and hot, but nice - but eventually you get this weird aftertaste of cooked vegetables.  But the beer I had after that was incredibly good, and apparently an attempt to recreate traditional Viennese beer.  I'd stick to that one.  I had potato noodles that tasted a bit like Gnocchi, which were excellent and I would really recommend.  I would also, however, recommend taking a lot more care than me.  Just after the photo here was taken, I put my beer down on the other side of the cast iron pan which - you can see where this is going - had been in the oven.  A month later I still have a 2cm square scar on the underside of my arm, and explaining that I needed ice because I am an idiot and burned my arm in a language I don't speak took a comedy re-enactment of singeing my arm.
View from Leopold Museum
  Don't do that! 
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Balconies
Balconies
Forest on incinerator
Forest on incinerator
Wheel
Wheel
Me, and the pan of doom
Me, and the pan of doom
View from a Window
View from a Window
View from Leopold Museum
View from Leopold Museum
View from Leopold Museum
View from Leopold Museum
View
View
View
View
View
View
View
View
Cafe Leopold - shame about the wea…
Cafe Leopold - shame about the we…
Allie and I
Allie and I
Almdudler
Almdudler
Palace
Palace
Church
Church
Street
Street
Details of Cathedral of St Stephen
Details of Cathedral of St Stephen
Roof of Cathedral of St Stephen
Roof of Cathedral of St Stephen
Roof again
Roof again
Icecream
Icecream
City Incenerator. No, really. Hone…
City Incenerator. No, really. Hon…
Detail of Incinerator
Detail of Incinerator
Trees on Incinerator
Trees on Incinerator
Church
Church
Hunderwasser Haus
Hunderwasser Haus
Obviously a Tardis
Obviously a Tardis
Hunderwasser Haus
Hunderwasser Haus
Foutain
Foutain
Pubic Toilet
Pubic Toilet
Public Toilet
Public Toilet
Train in Prater
Train in Prater
Wheel in Prater
Wheel in Prater
Views
Views
Views
Views
Views
Views
Views
Views
People
People
Wheel
Wheel
Views
Views
Views
Views
Views
Views
Views
Views
Views
Views
Views
Views
Sunlight on the wheel
Sunlight on the wheel
Posters on Underground
Posters on Underground
Sunlight on a building
Sunlight on a building
Chilli Beer
Chilli Beer
Vienna Restaurants, Cafes & Food review
Seven Stars!
7 Stern Brau is a nice pub with excellent food in Vienna. The atmosphere is very pleasant; the pub is mostly in a basement, but very cosy and li… read entire review
Vienna Sights & Attractions review
Leopold Museum
The Leopold Museum is in the Museums Quarter in Vienna. It costs just under 10 Euros and there is a discount for Vienna Card holders. The museum (al… read entire review
Vienna Sights & Attractions review
POssibly the best incinerator architecture in the world
This district heating facility in Vienna was designed by the artist Hundertwasser. Really, there is no way of describing this building. it looks a l… read entire review
Vienna Sights & Attractions review
Hundertwasser House
Again, you can't see the inside because real people live in the flats, but you can se the outside. The Hundertwasser house is a block of appartment… read entire review
Vienna Sights & Attractions review
Vienna Prater
The big wheel in the Prater gardens is only one of the many attractions. As we walked in, we noted that there were some great sports grounds, some te… read entire review
Vienna
photo by: EmyG