International Writers Magazine: Austria
weekend in Vienna
I first set foot on the ground in Austrias Vienna I felt warmth.
The temperature reaching twenty seven degrees and a untypical dry
weather in the middle of September. It was so warm that people were
wearing shorts while I was carrying my heavy bag full of wires along
with my jumper and heavy jacket.
I was completely
lost, somewhere in Vienna desperately stopping the few people I came
across in the streets, asking them for directions. I had never been
confronted by any language barrier before. It seemed that wherever I
traveled English saved me. It was widely spoken and understood. I realised
that Austria was a country like France or Spain with a strong identidy
and a native language that was also widely spoken and understanding
expected from me. It frustrated me at first and people were dismissing
me when I was approaching them with "Sorry, do you know where something
Strasse is?" There was barely any response along with some German
Jargon that did not make any sense to me. And then they walked away.
They could not speak enough English to understand me and they would
not even bother. I felt rejected but I was thinking of my guide that
will be soon coming to the four star hotel I was booked in. She would
show me around Vienna. I would get a better and second impression from
the right people.
I finally found my hotel. Just had the time to drop my bags and had
a shower. Shortly afterwards my guide was waiting for me at the reception.
I felt much more enthousiastic and was looking forward to seeing Vienna.
is famous for its art and classical music scene. As far as I am
concerned I am an art admirer. The second day I chose to visit four
I first stopped to the Kunsthauswien. This is a place that hosts
international exhibitions and holds the complete work of Austrian
born artist and architect "Hundertwasser". This artist
born in Vienna in 1928 dedicated his whole life to paint. He is
known for his colourful and anti-conventional architectural projects.
Hundertwasser Village is home to souvenir shops dedicated to the
artist. Opposite the village is the Hundertwasser house. It has
been designed by Hundertwasser. It is a residential building owned
by Vienna municipality.
You can also enjoy a coffee or a meal at the Kunsthauswien restaurant.
Taking a tram brings
you to the Belvedere palaces. The two baroque palaces were buit in the
18th home century and is to Gustav Klimts largest painting collection.
There's a nice cityscape from the gardens. Belvedere could be considered
as the Versailles of the center of Europe. The lower Belvedere is a
space used for temporary art exhibitions especially by new Austrian
artists while the Upper Belvedere has an important collection of Austrian
art dating from the middle age to our time, particularly focused from
the 1900s onwards and highlighting Gustav Klimts collection
including his masterpieces.It includes "The kiss". I was quite
surprised when I entered the room. "The Kiss" was standing
out from the rest of Klimts works. It was under a giant glass.
It made me laugh. I was just thinking what came to minds of people choosing
such or such painting as a masterpiece and put it under a glass whilst
leaving the rest of an artists works under the dust. There are
many interesting and beautiful landscapes from Klimt hanged on the walls
of the Upper Belvedere and not only "The Kiss" derserves attention.
Other works from Schiele and Kokoschka are worth the visit.
about Egon Schiele, Austria holds as well most of his works. The
tramway brings you to "MuseumsQuartier". The Leopold museum
on the other hand hosts the worlds largest Schiele collection
while including other works from Klimt and Kokoschka among others.
The museum is based on the former private art collection or Rudolf
and Elisabeth Leopold.
The Albertina hosts different exhibitions and until the 8th December
2008 an exhibition about Van Gogh which is quite important for Austria
as it is the first for more than half a century.
With 51 paintings
and 89 drawings from lenders around the globe. This is not to be missed
if you are around Vienna during that period.
Although I unfortunately did not have the time to visit the Parter park.
This is an amusement park located in Viennas city center. One
of best known Vienna landmarks and attraction can be found there. The
giant Ferris wheel of 64.75 m high. For the ones interesting in "extraordinaire"
city views. The park is being renovated and continually adds new attractions.
This is an entertaining place for adults and children alike and famous
from the film 'The Third Man' with Orsen Wells.
central location of Vienna, being the heart of Europe is close to
cities as Prague, Budapest or Bratislava. Bratislava is the closest
being only 50 minutes away from Vienna. On the third day, you can
appreciate a day trip to one of these places. I decided to go to
Bratislava for the day. I had no idea of what it looked like, barely
even heard of it and had no plan. I just jumped on the train and
asked the train controller where should I stop and after an hour
I arrived in Bratislava. It was even warmer than Vienna. I then
followed someone that was going to the city center. I felt I was
back five hundred ago suddenly. I never had this feeling before
when visiting medivial parts of cities. There was something more
authentic about Bratislavas centre. When you enter it , the
narrow road and its arch at the end looks like a bridge to a castle
although there a medivial castle on a hill opposite that looks upon
the city. Bratisalva is a charming city.
The heart of Europe
is beating fast. There were more people speaking English at the end
but if you can speak German then you do not have to worry. Waiting for
my plane at Vienna airport had its advantages . I enjoyed a window poping
up of my mac screen "free wireless internet, courtesy of Vienna
airport". I will come back soon.
© Aurelie Montfrond Nov 1st 2008
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