By far the most beautiful city I've ever seen
19.09.2005 18 °C
At least here in Europe...
So last night, despite the tiredness I was feeling I ended up going out with a professional magician from the states and a canadian. He tried to do tricks to get us drinks for free. It worked well at first, but the more he drank, the less impressive his drinks were... Anyway we did a little bar hopping and next thing you know its 3 AM. I partied a little too hardy last night and had a rough morning becuase of it.
Hangover or not, however, I wasn't about to be denied my tour of Vienna. I was up and out by about 11 and started by touring St. Stephens, a cathedral built by Franz someone or another to try and attract a Catholic archdioses to the city. It was a little run down, but like most european cathedrals was completely stunning.
After that it was on to the seat of hapsburg rule for over 500 years, the Hoffburg palace. I was unable to tour most of it becuase it is currently the presidents residence and office, but the library that is housed in its walls is the second biggest in all of Europe. It was surrounded by a park and trees and I was unable to get a good shot of the building, though I did make a few efforts.
Next it was to the plaza of Maria Teresa which sits between the national museums. It was gorgeous as well. Vienna really had a great feel to it.
From there it was on to a park near by where one of four nazi gun towers still stand as "a dark reminder" of the city's past. It was quite the contrast, seeing this huge gun tower dominating the skyline in a park where little children were playing. It was sad really. The people did a good job of converting it, however. Inside it houses an aquariam and outside people do some wall-climbing up the side.
From the gun tower it was onto Maria Teresa's palace (her "summer home") in the south-west of the city and I spent the majority of my day here. The gardens were unbelievable and huge. I have some great pictures of the place. Just breath taking. The view from the hill in the back yard was unbelievable. You could pretty much see all of the city.
After that it was off to Karlplatz to visit a monument dedicated to the lives of people lost during world war II. Its small but is in one of the most prominent parts of the city and thus has drawn a lot of controversy since it directly recognizes Austria's role in World War II. The monument itself was quite moving.
After that it was back to the hostel to grab my computer and then here to the same (wonderful) cafe where I updated from last night.
The plan is to take it easy tonight, I gotta be up and out early tomorrow.
Take care everyone