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Different Faces of Vienna

BY MURIEL

sunny 29 °C
View Koning/Zemliak Family Europe 2012/2013 on KZFamily's travel map.

Fountain in Vienna

Fountain in Vienna

It’s getting harder and harder getting all four of us out for an adventure – could we REALLY be getting tired of each other after only 36 weeks? Abby opted for being sequestered on her own in the apartment, although she did brave the heat for a bit during a short walk. Meanwhile, the rest of us, comrades three, took the metro into the centre of Vienna. It took all of fifteen minutes with the walking, deciphering of ticket sales (it’s always different) and actual ride. Leaving the busiest subway station in Vienna, we walked up the metro stairs into the bright sunlight and were immediately met by hoards of people. Stephanplatz, large though it was, seemed very crowded. And with the tallest church in Austria, Saint Stephan’s Cathedral, dwarfing all of us, I felt claustrophobic. We popped into the cathedral to see another example of Romanesque and Gothic architecture and realized all three of us felt the same way: we were satiated and could no longer appreciate the grandeur. It should have left us awestruck but didn’t ... so I think we need to let some months go by before seeing any more. One note I found interesting is that the church was saved from destruction at the end of WW II because a German captain disobeyed an order to render it debris upon the German retreat. As we deliberated which way to proceed to get to the Rathaus (the townhall), we were accosted by no less than four vendors selling tours. It was quickly turning into a madhouse so we escaped the platz and endured the longish walk to the Rathaus in the considerable heat.

Every summer, Vienna puts on a music film festival, where it shows free movies in the Rathausplatz. The movies are of musicians ranging from the operatic to rock genres. At this venue, there are a number of culinary vendors selling their wares. As we walked through the offerings, we delighted in the sights, sounds and smells of Japanese, Australian, Chinese, Italian, Austrian, Indian and American cuisine (is that last one an oxymoron?) It reminded us of the effort in Ljubljana, only it was even more professional and twice as expensive. Nonetheless, we found a wonderful covered table by the cooling fountain and shared plates of duck with noodles, butter chicken (with all the mango chutney I could get away with) and some Austrian meat and vegetable mixture; all were delicious and we forgave the assault on our pocketbook, telling ourselves we were paying for the great atmosphere too. We may try to get down here one evening when a film is showing.

Swing ride at the Prater

Swing ride at the Prater

The heat sapped all our energy so we returned to the nest to rest. In the evening, we were drawn to the nearby Prater, a large amusement park that sports the Wiener Riesenrad, a large ferris wheel stemming from 1897. As night fell, we enjoyed the sights and sounds of the carnival atmosphere (but not the smells, which were disappointingly sewer-like). Alas, there was no all-encompassing pass for the rides so we had to be very choosy as each one cost an arm and a leg. All four of us enjoyed the Praterturm, a 117 metre high swing although Abby did look even paler than usual coming off it; watch the experience if you wish. It provided an amazing view of the park and surrounding city. Seeing a ride similar to one they had loved in Montreal, Hannah and Abby were eager to try Discovery, a highflying twisting speedy affair that I knew best to avoid. Well, it turns out it wasn’t quite exactly like that fondly remembered ride from Montreal; it was much faster and felt extremely long at three minutes. From below, we saw Abby clutching her glasses and looking quite ill. She said later she wanted to ask Hannah whether it almost over but just couldn’t get the words out she was so scared. That pretty much finished her for the evening. After Hannah extracted a promise from Ben that he would try it with her another night, we retired for the evening.

Posted by KZFamily 12:45 Archived in Austria Tagged vienna austria rathaus prater saint_stephan

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Comments

Dear Muriel and the “others”,
It seems to me that you are getting a little too much summer. Some of you are yearning for your sleepy little windy hometown of Victoria where life is slow and all activity comes to a halt early in the evening. It is also true that all of you have had more excitement than what most people have in a lifetime.

So there is nothing wrong with taking it a bit easy for the last few days. May I suggest that when you are home and all rested up you consider coming to the city of PORT ALBERNI for some excitement. We too have a museum and old buildings. As a matter of fact Opa’s home begins to look like a museum and best of all he does not charge an entrée fee.

It is a good thing that your family is a democratic family otherwise you would have a dictatorship and a power struggle to boot.

Dear family, enjoy this last part of your trip, soon it will be history and you can enjoy that as well.
Opa.

by G Koning

15:10 pst 07/21/2013
You two adults are officially nutto, 384 feet up in the air spinning and then a bee gets Ben as it speeds up coming down, just waiting for him.
It was nice to hear voices though, Mmmm .. are you ok Dear or do I need to cash in the insurance policy. :)
Sounds like you are more into what we do on a cruise, walk around at times in a port instead of excursions to another historical building / landmark.
I hope you did not weigh yourselves prior to leaving Victoria,
Well done

by RobBar

Just a quick note to let you know I am still with you and have enjoyed the past couple of weeks in the past couple of days... It appears you are up to your old antics of giving us a further thrill with the latest video hanging almost 400 feet in the air. I think it is time to get your feet firmly planted back home... I look forward to seeing you all again and enjoy the final days of your adventure.
Love
Helen

by Helen Koning

Hello again. Thanks for the story and for the video. What a view!

by Harvey Roosma

The Prater was one of the locations in the film Before Sunrise. Also Orson Welles' The Third Man.

by Jane1

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