(Because sound of music, get it?)
I swear I only broke out in song a couple times. Ok five. Whatever. The most awkward moment being outside the pavilion a middle aged guy asked where I was from and replied he was from Midwest u.s but not traveling he was on a mission. At which point my brain shouted “bolt” and I politely wandered away further into shloss (palace) helbrunn.
In fact it wasn’t a prince who lived in the “palace”. It was a bishop with a very odd sense of humour. he belived in the healing benefits of water and created a sort of water-run theatre/park in the palace gardens. I can imagine it would be both exciting and terrifying to be invited for dinner at the palace. Drinking wine from a giant stone fountain outside sounds lovely…right?
Bahahaha the bishop strikes again!
Our guide had a lot of tricks up his sleave as well so I figured it was a good time to stash my phone in my bag.
My next venture involved taking a lift up to the modern art gallery which is perched on top of a cliff providing some great views over the city.
there’s also modern art there. much of it documenting performance art pieces from the 60s. some pretty odd stuff, think of crazy boundary breaking artists. now make them naked, make sure paint is spilled over something add some self mutilation or kill an animal to complete the piece.
What next? climb a mountain. I could not get enough of the beautiful landscape around salzburg. Vienna was all about the city, in salzburg the buildings are more simple but the houses are built against the cliffs straddling the city and everywhere i looked i was greeted by the familiar sight of mountains in the distance. It only took me ten minutes to get to the top of Untersberg so i figured i should hike around up top, look at some flowers. the view was ok. only trouble with hiking it makes apparent the fact that although while backpacking I walk basically all day I seldom actually exercise… So it was a fun but depressing hike.
School trips aside I was both over and underwhelmed by what vienna offered. for starters, although i stumbled across a beautiful ROA there was a suspicious lack of street art. As if Vienna is overfull of Renaissance paintings leaving limited breeding ground for young art. I did find a ROA though
Other good stuff i did find was scattered across the walls on the shores of the danube in between and behind the bars and restaurants set up for summer.
Vienna is the home of Klempts “the kiss” located in Belvedere palace amidst a fraction of viennas collection of 19th-20th century art.
it was too difficult to take pictures with all the security stalking about but I saw this and had to risk the reprimand
a separate wander brought me past some vintage shops. I may have to accept that although old things re plentiful here so far the vintage prices have been a little bit outrageous. 27 dollars for a collard shirt? you must be kidding me. flea markets are an option. I mean, I could put that 27 towards a new chandelier or a lovely gramophone
Or i could spend 8 euros on salty vegetables full of cheese, decide they’re gross and throw them in the trash then go to a classic coffee shop for lunch serenaded by classical piano tunes and expertly ignored by the equally classic indifferent waiters.
The closest things to a night out involved: a long journey to a very smokey room to catch the end of a jazz performance; an afternoon of buying 2 dollar cans of beer at the island festival and listening to endless covers of pop songs; meeting a few people outside the kebab stand at the metro, searching for the football and instead finding the outdoor movie screen playing a classic and wonderfully racist film.
never mind the chilly rain, the theatre gave out fashionable ponchos.
The elegance of the city is indescribable. grand, old baroque buildings, golden accents and wide tree lined boulevards are the norm in most of the city. in the very old areas the streets narrow to cobbled lane-ways lined with expensive shops and restaurant patios. a perfect recipe for getting lost considering the genius who decided every building should be roughly the same height. I spent a few to many hours hangrily wandering the streets.
The chosen hostel ended up being a rather strange situation. thanks to my tiny guitar (which i should probably name soon..) a fellow traveler introduced himself and mentioned he had brought his guitar!
After a fruitless search for food (spaar closes at 7:30pm whaaa), and a mostly successful attempt to tumble dry any bedbugs hiding in my laundry to death, it was guitar time with my new bud in the hostel lobby.
Turns out, my new friends were part of a group of 28 high schoolers from Virginia on a school trip. The few i hung out with were the most friendly and welcoming (only sometimes nuts) and their very amazingly unconventional teacher invited me to join them in their museum/walking tour the next day!
So I suppose the strangest thing i did in vienna was join my first ever high school trip abroad. That and having a discussion with a new girlfriend about dead pets while sitting on a couch in the national gallery.
(Popy, the strangest and most hilarious language teacher snuck into this photo)