Austria and Prague IM Tour 2014; Vienna part 2

We would continue our journey through Vienna, a city renowned for its origin for many of classical music’s greats, one of which was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. You’ll see numerous nods and tourist memorabilia throughout Austria to Mozart, so don’t feel regret if you don’t manage to find a souvenir in Vienna—chances are there will be other shops in other cities carrying the exact same thing. The statue is in the park behind the National Library, and has a beautiful floral decoration in front of it shaped like a treble clef. Surrounding the statue will be a small green area where you may find people relaxing or doing yoga. The landmark isn’t over the top, but makes for a great photo-op with a very photogenic statue. Besides musical greats, Vienna is also known for its St. Stephen’s Cathedral located at Stephensplatz, a square in the city. Its iconic multi-colored tile roof has a recognizable diamond pattern along with two tall towers, making the church one of the most recognizable symbols of the city. The church was built in a gothic style and heavily influenced by the Duke Rudolf IV in 1359, after the site had already housed two previous churches. Though the inside is spectacular with red marble features, remember to take a step back and catch a glimpse of the colorful roof. If we skip a few hundred years we can head towards the Ringstraße (Ring Road), a circular road in the Innere Stadt district of Vienna built to replace the city walls of the 13th century. The street is home to some of Vienna’s most famous buildings, such as the Vienna State Opera and the Parliament building. At the time we were there Vienna was actually hosting its 2014 Vienna Pride and Rainbow Parade, so many of us actually saw the parade and concert stages set up for the event. One of the events was held in front of the Rathaus. No, that isn’t a political commentary on corrupt government and its rat-like tendencies; Rathaus is the German word for city hall. Located near the area was the café Sigmund Freud frequented, Café Landtmann. Rather than go there however, my brother and I opted for a nice bike ride. Unfortunately, the curse of the public bikes from London struck again as we were defeated by the machine and left to walk in shame across to the gardens. Our feelings weren’t too sorely crushed since it was then time for our cruise on the Danube, the European Union’s longest river. It travels through Romania, Serbia, Hungary, Bulgaria, Austria, and other areas. We traveled on the river to a small town in the Wachau, an Austrian Valley. The town was famous for its apricot schnapps, so a few people loaded them up quickly—probably in expectation for those long rides on the bus. After a quick stroll through the town we made our way back onto the boat to our stop. The green hills and valleys we passed by really made you remember who the boss was in this country. They say people from this part of Europe are tough, and looking at the rough and tumble landscape it doesn’t take much convincing to believe that statement. It’s definitely easy to relax and gaze at the greenery while tipping back apricot schnapps. Maybe that’s why the people are friendly and congenial, a perfect mix of mountain air and picturesque landscapes that’ll put your desktop screensaver to shame. As I reclined on my chair taking in the sights I thought to myself, “yeah, I could get used to this.”


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