Austrian Style

Trip Start Dec 16, 2007
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Trip End Feb 24, 2008


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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Today has been another fun-filled day in Vienna, focusing on the artistic acheivements of some of it's more and less famous residents. We seem to be waking too early in the morning. Because it's winter here Vienna, in line with the rest of Europe, is very defeatist and refuses to open most things until 10am, if it all. Thus this morning started with a time filler of research on the net in the room after breakfast.

We arrived at Schwedenplatz in time to just miss the route 1 ring tram that we intended to catch so we instead took the route 2 the opposite way around the ring to avoid waiting out in the -2 degree air for the next #1 service. After shaking, rattling but not quite rolling (just wait till we get to Prague!) the long way around the ring we got off at Schwarzenberg Platz and walked over to the Haus Der Musik.

The HDM calls themselves a "sound museum", which is an interesting description. In reality it's a mix of human aural perception education, interactive music and sound making exhibits, Viennese musician museum, music technology display and human sound making science learning centre. A very interesting and varied, yet (obviously) related mix! This place is definitely worth a visit, because it can be as much as you want it to be and I find it so much fun!

As is fast-becoming tradition, and because we were in the area of the Hotel Sacher, the next item on our agenda was a food/drink break, in this case lunch. Today we didn't have any need to rush so we joined the Hotel Sacher queue, which was a bit shorter than on our last attempt. We only had to wait for about 15 minutes before getting seats, which happened to be at the bar because they use all available space to accomodate the throng of guests. It's a similar kind of experience to the Lindt Cafe's in Sydney: full all day long with guests wanting the quality, but not cheap, world-renowned food products. We all had a wurst and hot chocolate (really good hot chocolate!) lunch before hitting the important stuff: the famous Sacher Torte. This famous chocolate-enrobed cake was very much delectable and Mum even had an entire piece to herself.

Because trams are just soooo cool we took the ring tram just 2 short stops up to the MAK - a design museum. We had been waiting to visit the MAK until today because it's free on Saturdays although in retrospect we would've been happy to pay for our visit. The main exhibits haven't changed much since my first visit but the temporary exhibition about contemporary architecture by an Austrian firm was very exciting. They had heaps of models, sketches and details of the design process for several projects, outlining what they hoped to acheive and how they hoped to do it.

Next was a walk through the adjacent Stadt Park, a park between the ring and the Vienna River (drain) that features statues of some of Vienna's most famous artists. We did the touristy thing and posed for photos in front of some of the statues. The most obvious memorial is that of Strauss, arguably Vienna's favourite son, which is the only one made of, or at least coated in, gold. Today's colder weather restricted our visit so after we'd done the length of the park the ring tram once again welcomed us with warm arms to carry us back to the hotel.

Here I stayed to do NYE in Prague research and this blog entry while Mum and Dad went for another walk. This time their journey further into the Innerstadt resulted in a hefty purchase at the Austrian Design store, at least they benefited from a 10% discount thanks to our Vienna Cards.

Dinner, once again and as predicted, was at the fantastic Vienne Restaurant although desert had to be skipped after our Sacher experience today. Tomorrow arvo we're off to Prague on the relatively new Czech Railways Pendolino tilt train so I'll update you next from there!
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