Slow motion: A week in Vienna, Austria

Vienna, Austria.

A city that has taught me how to slow down. A pleasure for all the senses. Vienna holds a mysterious secret: It’s beautiful and simple without being arrogant and complicated. Everything is just where it should be: lighting, advertising, parking, etc… A city that breathes space and warmth. I was touched by the hospitality, people are very helpful and kind.

I stayed in the Mercure Wien Zentrum hotel. I loved the fact that there was a little note in the washroom explaining that a towel reused 5 times is 1 tree saved. Can’t ignore the environment!

My geeky duck

Bedroom

Washroom

This hotel has the particularity of being right in the center, behind the oldest church in Vienna, the Ruprechtskirche and 5 minutes away from the Stephansdom.

Ruprechtskirche

Stephansdom

In Vienna, it’s mainly about music. The Anker Clock, for example, is a bronze and copper sculptural clock linking two office buildings on Hoher Markt. It was commissioned by the Anker Insurance Company and designed by Franz Matsch who completed it by 1914. At noon, all procession of cut-out historical figures glide from one side of the clock to the other to the sound of organ music.

Clocks seem to be a serious business in Vienna. In fact there is a Clock Museum. Three floors full of most amazing times pieces dating from the 15th century through to the present day. The best experience remains at the full hour when all the floors resound to the sound of many clocks striking, chiming and playing.

Clocks from the Clock Museum

Clocks from the Clock Museum

The most impressive museum experience was the Haus der Musik. This place is absolutely fantastic. It’s interactive, fun and extremely informative. It’s really one of those: “Not to be missed” things to do if you ever visit Vienna. You can also visit the Mauzarthaus Vienna with a combined ticket. That’s where the genius and his family lived from 1784 till 1787.

That's me leading the orchestra 😛

One of the sound experience zones

Also impressive, was the sight of the Votivkirche, built opposite the Mölker Bastei where a deranged tailor tried but failed to assassinate Emperor Franz Joseph on 18 February 1853.

Votivkirche

I also got to visit the Freud Museum. It’s actually the house of Sigmund Freud where he lived, worked and received patients from 1891 until he left Vienna in 1938.

Freud Museum

Soon enough, I could understand the genius of the likes of Mozart. Soon enough, I fell in love with Vienna. One week was not enough to see everything that I wanted to see. I only saw the Hofburg Complex from outside.

Hofburg Complex: Reichkanzleitrakt

Hofburg Complex: Neue Burg

A quick sight of the upper Belvedere gardens and a tour of the Schönbrunn Palace gardens and zoo.

Schönbrunn Palace

And what is Vienna without a classical concert? Although the opera closes during summer, I still insisted on watching a concert. The best I attended was the one by the Wiener Residenzorchester in Palais Auersperg. FANSTASTIC! The ballet dancers, the opera singers and musicians were amazing,! I loved their sense of humor and absolute grace. Too bad photos were not allowed. (Fine was up to €8000, so I had to put the camera away…)

When I announced I was going to Vienna, someone warned me that it was too small of a city for a vacation. I totally disagree!

My source of information during the trip was the Eyewitness Travel guide. It never fails!

For more photos, you can check the Vienna album on Flickr.

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