When we initially thought of Austria, we thought classical music, the Spanish riding school and the Sound of Music! We didn’t think for a minute that Vienna would be a hub of creativity…we were blown away!
After surviving the most amazing thunder storm in Budapest we crossed over the border from Hungary to Austria, picked up another vignette for the motorway (we now have a windscreen full of them!) and headed to Vienna. We were turned away from the first campsite, it was full to the brim, so travelled 15km out of the city to another campsite situated in Tulln. We parked up under trees in a soggy pitch, it had been raining non stop.
The following morning we caught the train into Vienna, 20 minutes on the train then a quick transition to their fancy underground system and 10 minutes later we were in the centre of the city. We walked up past the opera house, into the Albertina with an awesome art shop, then a few steps on to the Hofburg palace and the Spanish riding school. Why is it everytime (even now) when we see horses we want to say ‘Horsey’s horsey’s’ to Harriet!? She wasn’t with us but we still said it allowed. haha! There were a lot of them…you would have loved it Hats!
We continued our Bentley-Beach walking tour through the arches of the Hofburg and over to the Museums Quarter…yup, they actually have an area dedicated to art galleries and museums! Loads of lovely well kept baroque buildings surrounding a square which was full to the brim with art installations, amazing colourful plastic seats, bars, cafes, the modern art gallery which juts out into the square and the famous Leopold museum. Lonely planet describe it as ‘one of the worlds most ambitious cultural spaces’…a little slice of heaven!
Once we felt we had soaked up the creative vibe (!) we headed via the statue of Mozart to Stephansdom where Vienna’s fabulous cathedral sits. As we entered the cathedral we felt we had entered a kaleidoscope! All the windows were covered in coloured film which made the light bounce around the columns creating extraordinary colours-amazing!
We were unsure where our walking tour should take us next so after consulting the map we saw a little picture of what looked like a fun graphicy building with bright colours, so off we went! It was quite a walk north east of the city, we wound our way around what felt like endless amounts of streets but as we turned the final corner we were confronted with an awesome building covered haphazardly in black tiles and brightly coloured columns, we had found Vienna’s modern Gaudi… Hundertwasser! The inside of the building was just as crazy as the outside, the floor was purposefully wonky and wavy, covered in random tiles. There was a lovely outside seating area with coloured bottles pressed into the walls and fun mosaic tables and chairs, even the toilets were just as wacky as the rest of the building! We found out that more of his work was just around the corner so we followed the brightly coloured columns to the next street where Hundertwasser had created a ‘village’, a building containing bars, cafes and galleries, decked out in his crazy artwork. Behind the village was a dated apartment block which he had been asked to re-style, again using bright colours and funky tiles. He may not appeal to everyone…we loved it!
We wondered back along the river, as we were nearing the tube station we saw a big open space by the river with a massive screen. Vienna had created a fake beach with deck chairs, they were showing the Euros. The England game was about to start so we bought a beer (and a few cheeky chips!) and watched the game from our deck chairs! We were surprised by the amount of cheers England got from the crowd when we scored. However, we were soon pretty embarrassed about how we were playing so snuck off and jumped on the train home…it was a double decker train-yes way! Since we saw them in Spain I have been itching to go on one (little things please little minds!!), it was a good end to a very fun day. We’ll be back to Vienna one day to do a tour of all the exhibitions and museums, can’t friggin’ wait!