0426 The Most Royal City in Europe (Austria 001—revisit)

Vienna Travel Blog

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I arrive in Vienna very early in the morning and once the sun comes up I head out on foot to explore the town.  I have great memories of exploring this great city back in 2006 so I’m excited to be back here with my guitar and camera.

 

Vienna is intriguing to me because I know that it was once the seat of empire that I know very little about.  Growing up I learned a lot about the Roman, Spanish, British and French Empires--  but not a whole lot about the Austrian empire.  Since this empire didn’t extend beyond Europe it’s not given as much importance in American history books.

But I would have to say that of all the “Empire Capitals” I’ve visited, Vienna is the most splendidly royal of them all.

The whole inner city has an air of glory and splendour to it. 

 

On my 2006 visit, I hiked all the way to the Danube but didn’t find a whole lot to see up there--  except for a very modern business district on the other side.  Vienna hasn’t really exploited its riverside district very well.  So today I’m just going to focus on taking some good clips and photos in the inner city.

 

I start out hiking through a quiet residential area that gradually converts into a ornate baroque architecture.  And then suddenly I find myself in the wide, garden area outside the “heart of the city”. I decide to go ahead and play my set on a peaceful little parkbench popular with old folks and fathers or mothers pushing baby carriages.

 

I enjoy the very classy feel of the inner city--  even though the guys in powdered wigs hawking tickets to Mozart concerts tend to ignore me… I guess I don’t look like the kind of guy who is hear to attend a classical concert…

 

Vienna is crammed with tourists, much like Munich, but it seems to be an older crowd that’s drawn to the classy beauty of this place.



I take a clip in front of the main cathedral which is partly covered with scaffolding, and then another in front of “The Pillar”--  a bunch of scultured figures carved horizontally in the form of a pillar.  A friendly fellow offers to take my picture for me--  but I have a hard time explaining to him that I want him to take a video clip.

 

“Be careful with your camera” he warns me “there are a lot of thieves around here”

 

Honestly, Vienna seems to be one of the safest big cities I’ve been to so far…

 

I wander on, explore the interior of a couple of cathedrals, one which also has that same sort of pillar design of many sculptures on top of each other.



I notice that churches have a different feel to them here.  Whereas generally I’ve found that the interior of Catholic churches have a theme of suffering, the churches here seems to have more of a them of glory and majesty…

Outside are Greco-roman statues depicting Hercules and other gods battling dragons etc…

 

I head out through the splendid gateway which looks more like a palace inside to the area of government buildings.  Each building is an architectural masterpiece.  The courthouse (I think) is built like a Roman temple with sculptures all along the ceiling… The parliament building is built sort of like an enormous Gothic cathedral with multiple spires…

 

On the drag through town people are lined up by the side of the road.  It seems like there’s some sort of motorcycle festival coming through town… I guess there’s a modern side to Vienna too…

But I’m not all that interested in seeing motorcycles right now,  so I continue on to enjoy the other landmarks of the city…

 

It’s a fun and inspiring day.

  But I do have some mixed feelings about it.  I don’t really feel like I’ve disovered much of anything new.  I’ve pretty much just revisited the same places I saw back in 2006--  which wasn’t very long ago… So it all feels a little bit redundant.  And this whole project is about discovering new things… But I still do feel that I need to revisit all the cities I experienced before I started my parkbenching project and play music in them.  Maybe I need to try a little harder to make a new discovery in them…

 

I’m also know that I can’t really say I’ve experienced Austria just because I’ve visited the capital.  Hopefully it won’t be too long before I come back and really explore this country…

 

So I wander around a couple of other neighborhoods and then head on back to the train station…

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Vienna
photo by: EmyG