Austria

Austria01.JPG (68539 bytes) Not since Florence had  I been to a spot just to see the sites.  Since then I went to spots to see people or to watch sports. Upon arrival in Vienna, I was on my way to see this beautiful city.  First stop, Rathaus City Hall. Austria02.JPG (77919 bytes) It did not take long to be impressed with the art and architecture of the buildings here in Vienna.  Across from the Rathaus was the Burg Theatre.
Austria04.JPG (68869 bytes) Guess what I found when I went to the beautiful Parliament Building?  Reconstruction due to water damage to the statues in front.  UGGHH! Austria05.JPG (76093 bytes) As I have mentioned before, I have loved seeing the flowers and gardens throughout Europe.  Here is a picture of Volks Garden with Burg Theatre in the background.
Austria06.JPG (75924 bytes) There are many ways to get around Vienna…feet, mopeds, bikes, rollerblades, cars, trains, trolleys taxi's and even horse & carriage.  Here is one such horse and carriage in front of Hofburg. Austria07.JPG (73093 bytes) Though I have not gone in to the museum yet, this is a view of the outside of the Natural History Museum in Vienna. 
Austria08.JPG (73774 bytes) Another famous building in Vienna is the Staatsoper or Opera House.  Though the outside is nothing spectacular, the inside is beautiful!  Austria09.JPG (79836 bytes) One of the most stunning churches in Vienna is Stephansdom.   It was a spectacular building, but the steeple had scaffolding around it.  Still a site worth seeing. 
Austria10.JPG (71305 bytes) As the day ended I came across this beautiful structure called the Michaelertor.  It was a very busy first day of being a site seeing tourist!J Austria11.JPG (69066 bytes) After cleaning up, I took a trip back to the musical history of Vienna listening to a musical performance of Mozart and Strauss at Palais Auersperg.
Austria12.JPG (64607 bytes) The Vienna Resident Orchestra put on a delightful show including ballet and soloists.  It was a great ending to a full first day! Austria13.JPG (73811 bytes) This Baroque palace called Schloss Schonbrunn was finished in 1700.  Though they say it is not as grandiose as originally planned, this yellow palace is massive.
Austria14.JPG (78135 bytes) The Gloriette Monumet in the distance was built on the grounds of the Schloss Schonbrunn.  Quite a picturesque setting for a palace & monument.! Austria15.JPG (88614 bytes) Between Gloriette and Schloss Schonbrunn are beautifully manicured lawns with brightly colored flowers.  I couldn’t help but take a picture here. 
Austria17.JPG (71027 bytes) One of the predominant churches in Vienna is Karlskirche.   It took close to 23 years to build and combines many architectural styles. Austria18.JPG (80472 bytes) This famous statue was built in honor of Johann Strauss.  Concerts are often held in the park in which this statue sits.  Unfortunately none were taking place while I was here.
Austria19.JPG (74724 bytes) As I was walking around visiting other sites of note, I found this garden called Unsere Garden. I found it quite beautiful.  The picture does not do it justice. Austria20.JPG (81792 bytes) These buildings look like they belong in a toy story.  Apparently these flats by Hundertwasser are quite popular and expensive to live in.  Very unique!
Austria21.JPG (66982 bytes) Along one of the rivers in the NE part of Vienna sits an area known as Urania.  I thought the setting was quite picturesque as I was exploring. Austria22.JPG (74642 bytes) Jerry Gaz would be proud as there are parks and play equipment throughout Vienna.  Here a lone guy shoots hoops along the river!  Anyone for some 3 on 3?
Austria23.JPG (79841 bytes) Shan your pictures of the Paris Ferris Wheel made me jealous.   This ferris wheel was built in 1897.  It is a noteworthy landmark that can be seen from most parts of Vienna. Austria24.JPG (51309 bytes) Though not the greatest picture, this is the Donauturm.  It is the highest structure in Vienna.  Near the top are 2 restaurants.  Maybe I will return some other time and dine in one. 
Austria27.JPG (89422 bytes) This church, Votivkirche, was commissioned to be built in the mid 19th century after a knife welding man tried to kill the emperor, but was unsuccessful.  Austria26.JPG (50232 bytes) The Millenium Tower is the 2nd largest structure in Vienna.  There are plenty of buildings like this in the states.  It was not worth the hastle of taking the underground to see it.
Austria25.JPG (72429 bytes) The Schloss Belvedere Palace was built in 1718.  Within this palace is an Austrian art gallery now.  The palaces here in Vienna are quite impressive. Austria28.JPG (69722 bytes) The Figarohaus is one of the homes that Mozart lived in during his time in Vienna.  I spent about 30 minutes just relaxing in the home listening to his music.  Very relaxing.
Austria29.JPG (70164 bytes) I found out that there were standing room only seats for the opera each evening at Staatsoper.  So the final evening, I began the night watching a wonderful opera. Austria30.JPG (71763 bytes) The interior of the Staatsoper is beautiful.  Though far from an opera buff, I found the production to be fantastic in all aspects.  For only 3.5 euros, this is a must do in Vienna.
Opera19.JPG (835073 bytes) The show ended with the quote, “It is love that makes us great, but sorrow greater still!”  What do you think, any truth to that? Wombat.JPG (960129 bytes) It was time to leave the Wombat Hostel despite hardly getting any sleep.  Vienna was a beautiful city that was filled with much activity, but it is now time to move on to Praque!