March 13, 2008

Vienna - Holiday Part III

This is the holiday that just wouldn't end. I love vacations like this - when you think back on the early days and it feels like months ago. Visiting three national capitals added even more variety and excitement to the vacation.

Each capital was completely different from the other. Budapest still felt Soviet. Bratislava combined past and future while Vienna was a world onto itself. In a Vienna tour book I read a quote by Bill Bryson that said, "If aliens landed on the planet and found their way to Vienna they would certainly think it is the capital of the world." (not an exact quote.)

After spending so much time with my mom and dad it was interesting to be on my own and to see how I prefer to negotiate a city. I went pretty much map-less at first. The public transit system is so good that I was able to get from my hotel to the city center in about 10 minutes. I figured I would start in the center and work my way around. One note of difference between the three capitals was the size and proximity of the landmarks. Budapest was surprisingly small. Bratislava even smaller. Vienna, however, was ginormous. Wandering in circles for hours I finally pulled out my map and took aim at some destinations.
Image 1: Stadtpark
Image 2: Stephansplatz church
Image 3: the ultimate Chai tea presentation
Image 4: Parlament

Image 5: Self portrait - me standing in front of a film installation at the Secession gallery

Image 6: Amazing art nouveau buildings with a sculpture looking down at me from the top. Is he takinig a photo?

Image 7: a palace at night

Image 8: Upper Belvedere palace

Image 9: Looking out at Lower Belvedere palace and Vienna from Upper Belvedere palace
As you can see from these photos Vienna is amazing!