We have spent most of this week in the beautiful city of Vienna. We’d had to visit London at the weekend and, given that there are fewer direct flights to London from Catania, we thought we would make a virtue of having to connect and have a short holiday. Despite living a few hours drive from Vienna whilst we were in Udine, we never got round to visiting so we took this opportunity to rectify our omission.
We started our trip in The Prater which is one of the many parks and green spaces in the city. In days gone by, only nobility were permitted to enjoy The Prater, but from 1766 it was opened to all. From this point an area of the park was given over to coffee houses and various amusements. Over time, more rides and attractions were added.
Given the time of year, the Wurstelprater, as this amusement park is known, was all a little sad and deserted. Nonetheless, it was fun to have a ride on the Ferris wheel which was featured in the film “The Third Man” and take in the views over the city.
Now that we live near Catania, which is s vibrant and busy but sometimes an overwhelming place, we really enjoyed how tranquil Vienna felt. Immaculately clean, orderly and, with much of the centre pedestrianised, it felt quite laid back for a major city.
In many ways, Vienna reminded me of London. I think this is because both Vienna and London were the powerhouses of huge empires which often expresses itself in grandiose architecture. Also, history is everywhere and, as with London, you feel like you can never take it all in.
We managed get a small sense of Austria’s history when we visited the Hofburg Palace. Spread out over a huge area, it was impossible to see all of it but we did visit the imperial apartments. It was all impossibly grand and opulent. I got some unexpected inspiration for future projects from the rather fabulous collection of porcelain….but I think I will save those pictures for another time.
History, culture, architecture and, of course, music are everywhere you look. We went to a number of exhibitions and other places of interest but are left with the feeling that we have unfinished business with Vienna. We want to return to explore the Museums Quartiere more and go to the opera! We booked our trip to Vienna quite last minute so we weren’t able to book tickets in advance.
Vienna is also a rather marvellous place to go shopping. Oh! And cake. A lot of cake. Sadly, all of the cake pictures I took were in poor light. Shopping and cake have to be two very good reasons to visit anywhere, right?
In addition to gadding about Vienna, I finished my special secret project I mentioned in my last post. I hope to share some pictures tomorrow….or maybe the day after….well, very soon!