Sven and Andreas' vacations – Published for friends at Wordpress :)

Day 11: Day in Vienna

This day has been hot… high temperatures measured at 36 degrees Centigrade. Nevertheless, we enjoyed like little cats. Why? Because we had a good friend and colleague of us who gave us a tour through Vienna, including city parks, museums and a lovely dinner in a liberal artist restaurant in the 8th quarter.

We met him after having breakfast at 10am in front of our hotel. We went straight ahead with a walk through some important parks of Vienna – Stadtpark and Rosengarten. We have taken many photos in these environments as well as in between the parks when passing through the city centre.

We spent some time in the Rose Garden in which loads of people show their affection to others by sponsoring a rose bush – a very emotional environment that touched our soul and heart a lot when reading some of these messages attached to every individual plant.

After we had a light lunch with some Vienna wine in Volksgarten, we decided to escape from the heat and visited two Albertina museums. We have just one picture from the Modern part as we wanted to enjoy the exhibitions without having the stress to take photos. For us, the collection of contemporary Austrian art was very impressive. Especially, the video installations of Humanists and Feminists were remarkable likewise photorealistic paintings of suffering children. This all made people think about it a lot.

For us, works of Maria Lassnig and Gottfried Helnwein were the most impressive ones in pictures and those works of Valie Export in actionism arts. All three artists are seen by the society  as controversial in general – causing partial disgust and more questions than answers. However, isn’t that exactly what arts can and should do? Make people think about something that we do not have in our principle outlook how the world should be. It is difficult to accept something as such for most of the people, no matter which culture or nation they are from. It is also fundamentally important in a living democracy that people can actually say something what they believe in very openly – without being discredited by tweets, without being undervalued and eventually without being detained due to different thinking or being different. We all had that in the German, Austrian, Czech and whoever elses past… we don’t want to see this again. Therefore, these confrontations are useful and must be allowed in a living democracy for the good of all people living it. Nobody shall be allowed to stand above our democratically established laws – no president, no party, no religion.

After having finished the three exhibitions in two houses of Albertina, we took the tram railway to the 8th quarter of Vienna. We had wonderful dinner in the restaurant and bar “Avalon Kultur”, a so called Wirtshausbeisl. We had many interesting intellectual, art related and psychoanalytic discussions – some deep, some shallow, but all of them extremely valuable and positively meant.

We took a taxi back to our hotel after torrential rains, pretty normal after such a hot day that nature looks for an equilibrium in energy by discharging lightnings upon us.

Ready to go to Graz via the Semmeringbahn tomorrow morning!

Day 10: Munich – Salzburg – Vienna

Today, we have done something special, something I have tried out in the planning for my INTERRAIL trips for the first time. We have visited a city without staying there! Means, we have left Munich after a good breakfast in the morning, stopped in Salzburg just before lunch and continued to Vienna in the evening.

Hence we had six hours time to visit Salzburg’s attractions and vista points.

Our Railjet ride from Munich to Salzburg in Business Class went uneventful. We disembarked at Salzburg Central Station and put our luggage into self storage in the train station for the next five hours. We walked towards the old city center and passed the river Salzach just in front of the castle Hohensalzburg. After some meters in the old town area, we found the birth house of Mozart where we took lunch close by – traditional Wiener Schnitzel with a Germknödel afterwards as dessert.

We were then passing some ongoing TV transmission constructions for the “Salzburger Festspiele” that happen in town from the next weekend on. Several UHD production trucks were placed all around stages and event happening area – as it seems, ARTE TV is going to show some of the happenings live. We will certainly have a look when being back in France.

We took then the funicular up to the castle to have a wonderful view over the area where the Alp mountains just begin. We walked around a bit and took several photos before descending again. Close to the base station of the castle train, we found several horse carriages that were offering a 25 or 50 minutes ride. We took the 50 minutes option and it was lovely… Our coachman explained us the town in detail by giving us an extended tour through all important parts of Salzburg’s old city – in fluent English language. At the end, he allowed us to take a photo of him and the carriage. Thank you, Viakerei Süss, we had a very enjoyable ride with you!

We then returned slowly towards Salzburg’s central station, stopping shortly at the Mirabell Castle and Gardens to see the marvellous French Garden architecture around its palace building.

After refreshing ourselves in 30 degrees Centigrade and Full Blue Sky conditions in the train stations coffee bar, we boarded our Railjet train on-time – again in Business Class – to finalise our day with a 2.5 hour train ride to Vienna Central Station. It took 20 minutes longer than planned as there have been track replacement works between Linz and Amstetten, but then we drove up to 230 kmh towards our final destination.

In Vienna, we have booked the HILTON hotel at the City Park – a room with a view – for two nights. We got an upgrade to an Executive room in one of the upper floors – a room that has not been rented to anybody after upgrading works were completed. This was really a treat! We decided after this long day to have a Room Service dinner with a bottle of Vienna wine called “Gemischter Satz”.

We are looking forward to see Vienna in detail tomorrow!