Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Sadly, when you take long trips, things don't always go the way you wish they would go. I love traveling with my mom. We have the same vision when it comes to seeing the sights...whatever catches our eye is the direction we will go! But she started to feel ill in Salzburg and by the time we were in Vienna she had full blow bronchitis and was, basically, bedridden for almost our full time in Vienna.

 One thing about Go Ahead is that they put you up in some really wonderful hotels so she was able to rest in comfort. Ours was a corner room with lots of light and air. Lovely.
 Driving into town we did get to see some amazing sights. This downtown building is the Parliment Building! See the lines going through the photo? They all over Vienna.
 They are train cables! Literally crisscrossing the city everywhere you look!
 At first I thought they were an eyesore but when the vintage looking trains make their way up and down the lines the whole effect is just charming.
 One of our first stops on our tour here was the Hundertwassen Haus Wein. This is a small section of downtown that was created by the artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser. He didn't believe in all straight lines or boring colors. So everything is curved or mismatched in some way.
 Ok, so you can't make this stuff up...this guys name when he was born was Friedrich Stowasser. He changed it to be Friedensreich Regentag Dunkelbunt Hundertwasser. Nope, not kidding, not even a little bit! Stop laughing and shaking your head...ok, I haven't stopped laughing or shaking my head yet! How can you even read Dunkelbunt and not laugh? BUT, this sense of fun is mirrored in his art so I guess it's all good.
 I loved how the windows were mismatched, the paint just sort of here or there, the textures of the actual side of the building is mismatched. Totally fun!
 Even the fountain in the square is totally mismatched. Check out the lines of tile in the walls, the odd squares of tiles here or there. Not even the edge of the fountain is the typical bowl edge. He's built up the sides so they roll in some places and flat in others. Not even the pieces of the fountain match! Each section is totally different from the others. Too funny!
 Now this is where I gave our local guide a heart attack. I tend to wander. Not far, but I wander. Hey, my mom does it too! I promised to be back at the meet up spot at the appointed time and, after taking in the look of true panic on her face and the smile on our normal guides face (she had gotten use to our wandering), I took a right and headed into the neighborhood surrounding the Hundertwassen Haus. And was rewarded heavily! Art Deco was everywhere and I was enthralled!
 I began to get an idea of what the buildings of Vienna were going to be like walking through this neighborhood. Rather risque, very ornate and beautiful.
 Even the buildings that had rather plain surfaces had hidden art on them! (just click on the photos to see a bigger view!)
 I loved this one. Not just the touches of gold but the overall attitude of the piece. The "just hanging out" look of this guy made me laugh out loud. Ok, I got a few stares but it was worth it! 
We did go visit Schonbrunn Palace after our brief downtown visit (I'll take you there in a few days) and then returned to downtown after our tour. We were dropped off right in the center of downtown, across from the Sacher Hotel. Yup, the chocolate haven of my dreams. The rest of the day was free time for us but as I wandered around it was clear that I just wanted to go back to our hotel room and rest, check on Mom and figure out what we could do together. Now, I'm not nuts, I did stop into this hotel to buy a Sacher Torte to take back with me!
I took a taxi back to the hotel (the stand was right in front of the Sacher Hotel!) and on my way got to see more sights of the city and her architecture. I love the many designs on the building and the roof but my favorite part is roof trim which, to me, looks like little Knight helmets all in a row!
 And, of course, I found a lion! this one looks SO fierce like he's roaring at the sunrise.
Outside of our hotel I found this cheerful looking guy. No special building, just over the doorway of a regular house. One of the things I loved about Vienna.

 This is the view from our hotel room. The building on the right isn't part of the hotel. Just a building next to the hotel. I looked to see if it was an office building or something but never saw any markings on it. I loved the little garden square right on the side of the building. Like a mini park!
 This is what I mean about the building decor. How ornate a design for just a regular building in the neighborhood. This is one of the joys of traveling in Europe. You see design elements that have been lost in America because of the "time is money" attitude here. It takes craftsmen and time and, yes, money, to create such beautiful buildings. Totally worth it. Every bit.
 The doorways were my favorite. Yup, found a "fat baby" again. We had ventured just up the block where there were some restaurants and, more importantly, ice cream, and this was the doorway on a side street along our way. Just beautiful.
 This was the doorway to some official building. We think it was an embassy. The reason I couldn't resist it was all of the details in this one door topper! There is just so much to take in! (click on the photo to see the bigger version)

While we ate this was our view. Victorian looking home across from the shops with ornate wrought iron fencing and lamps. Lovely.
On one of my walks alone I discovered this. It is the entrance hallway to a school! After walking the hallways a bit I realized that it was right next to Belvedere Palace! That is an amazing place that deserves it's own blog so I'll take you there in a few days. 

See you then!


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