Ah, Vienna. This could be the one place so far that I just didn’t allocate enough time to. Already I can tell that I’m going to like it here. It’s SO clean. Unbelievably clean, it’s crazy! The people are reserved but friendly once you get them talking. And the galleries! How do you choose? So my day started with a church. St. Stephen’s Cathedral to be precise. It was just pouring when I was there, so a really good photo is not to be had, but this is one enormous and impressive church. A church has been on this spot since the 12th century, but the only things that remain are the Riesentor (Giant’s Door) and the Heidenturme, the part of the church that is now used as it’s entrance. In the 14th and 15th centuries extensions were made to it in the Gothic style, and it is now considered to be one of the most important Gothic structures in this part of Europe.
I kept seeing this ad and it kept intriguing me. I’m going to go google what it says…*Please stand by.* OH MY GOD!!! It’s a pro-life anti-abortion ad! ACK! What the heck is “empty your purse and start a new life” supposed to mean? That a kid is going to cost a lot of money? Um, yeah! But who am I to say… when I think of the money my 14 lb dog has cost me in the last couple of years? But he’s so worth it!
I went to The Belvedere Castle to see one of the largest collections of Gustav Klimt work in the world. Klimt was Austrian and quite a character. A few years ago my dad and I went to see this god awful film about him starring John Malcovich. I had never heard of the movie before, which should have been clue number one to the fact that no one had seen or had good things to say about this film. It was showing at the Pacific Cinemateque, which is an art house movie theatre. Believe me, I like an arty film as much as the next guy but was this movie ever slow, and the plot was so loose as to wonder what the point of it all was. Just go look it up on Rotten Tomatoes, you’ll see that I’m not alone in my sentiments. It’s called simply “Klimt.”
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The gallery is located in a Baroque Castle, so the rooms are just as beautiful as the work displayed in them. The castle was built for Prince Eugen of Savoyen between 1714 and 1723 and actually consists of two palaces, the Upper and the Lower. I visited only the Upper Palace to see the Austrian art. They have an incredible collection spanning the centuries starting in the 14th century right through to the 20th century.
Some of the beautiful gardens.
Gustav Klimt’s most famous work, “The Kiss.” It’s over 6 feet tall and just stunning.
Another one of his well known pieces, “Judith.”
A work by Egon Schiele, one of Klimt’s friends and contemporaries. Together they would form the Kunsthalle (Hall of Art) in 1917, to try and keep local artists from going abroad.
Next I went to Prater Park. I really just wanted to see the Ferris wheel from the fabulous Orson Wells film, “The Third Man.” This Ferris wheel is the worlds largest and was built in 1896. I didn’t take a ride but admired it from afar. I saw The Third Man about 4 years ago. The reason I remember is the circumstances about that night were unusual. I was living at my apartment on 2nd and it was around Christmas time. When I had come home from work earlier I had noticed a police car in front of our building. Then when I went to the video store I noticed a couple more. Hmmm, seemed strange. Halfway through the movie I could hear some people out on the street so I went to check it out. Suddenly our street was blocked off and there were probably 15 emergency service vehicles out there. It turns out a neighbour on the 8th or 9th floor was suicidal and had locked his girlfriend out so she called the police. They went to the persons balcony on the floor above him and swung down onto his balcony ninja style and threw a (I can’t remember what its called now) but a really loud noise maker thing that sounded like a bomb and forced their way into the apartment. I can’t remember now if they had to break a window or what, but it was so scary! I thought it was so sad that somebody would want to do that to themselves, but selfishly I was also thinking of how awful it would be if I had heard a noise on the patio and gone out there to see him laying there (I was on the ground floor.) So, suffice it to say I’ll always remember my Third Man viewing. See it, it’s a really great movie! A classic!
It was raining earlier so the park was dead. No one on the giant slide at all!
I went on the swing! I have to admit I felt a little ill on it. Damn motion sickness…
A pony carousel!
Oh my god, I was so excited to see this sign… until I realised they were closed… so sad.
And when this horse saw me he came running over so fast. I think he thought I had mini donuts.
Maybe the creepiest ride I’ve ever seen?
This says it all.
Another Ferris wheel.
Do I want to eat a place called Duran Duran? Hell yeah!
Nice little market close to where I was staying. I had some lovely, lovely fruits! (Just in case anyone wonders… I call it “fruits” on purpose for no good reason.)