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Vienna, Friday 24th June

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Mechanical clock

There’s a lot of work going on in Vienna at the moment. Most of the key buildings that every tourist would snap are partially covered in canvas and scaffolding….Stefansdom, the Town Hall, the Hofburg.

They try and do the right thing, and printed on the awnings covering the building is an image of the building, lifesize, so it sort of looks like it should in Hank’s holiday snaps. “Honey, I’m trying to take a picture of the cathedral! Move over soI can see it!”

With so many people taking photos, it is impossible to get a clean shot without random extras meandering across the viewfinder. I’ve taken a positive approach to this, adopting a bung-eyed village idiot face when I see a camera pointed in my direction which I am hoping to later find in other people’s publicly posted holiday photos. I’m sure there’s a funded arts-grant project in there somewhere.

Today Sylvia and I did separate expeditions. She went with her parents to a specialist Kleiderhaus in Turnitz. That is, clothes shopping, 100 km from Vienna. Austrian clothes shopping. For a dirndl. It does look nice, but I’m not sorry I missed the trip. They left at the same time as me and got back after 5.00. All day shopping….for dirndls.

coffee area in Kunsthistorisches MuseumI went into town to revisit the Kusthistorische Museum.  That is, the old art gallery. Think of any old Old Master…go on! Name one. They have one of them there. Or more. Caravaggio, 4 Rembrandt self-portraits, the Brueghel boys….

It’s too much.

The entry fee is worth it just for the lush, minutely detailed building. It is exquisite to sit in the first floor foyer where the kaffeehaus now operates and just stare.

There’s a room full of Roman marble portraits, all mounted on identical stands, and head height. It’s like staring back at a crowd. The current special exhibition focuses on 15th century painters.

Every surface decorated

Up top is a strangely unpopular exhibit, which is coins and medals in cabinets. 

Just me and the security guard in this end of town.

The coin cabinets take the the floorspace, but filling in the wallspace is a collection of 1000 plus playing-card size portraits of the important and famous people of Europe from the time of Elizabeth I. It’s not very well documented, in English, but you can find a surprising number that you can recognize. It took me awhile to find my favourite, the wolfman and his daughter.

The museum is part of a pair. Tomorrow we are going to the mirror-image building across the platz which houses a natural history museum.  It will be interesting to see if it is equally lushly decorated, or the mirroring is just the external architecture.

Cholestoral? Don't make me laugh....!

The rest of the afternoon I went for a wander in Vienna, losing then finding myself. I had no real objective, just a meander, although I did want to get something to eat. In the end I bought a sausage from the famous Hohe Wurzelstand. I was a bit disappointed. Their currywurst turns out to be a bratwurst with dry curry powder dumped on it as it is handed over.

I consoled myself with a pastry (or two) from a nearby bread shop. I haven’t really gone on about it, but the bread and pastries in Vienna make you realize what a joke our chains like Brumby’s are. In Vienna there are 10 or so different chains with dozens of stores each selling really good bread, rolls, pastries and cakes.

I ended up getting home before the others and sat in the shade of the cherry tree, drank a wheat beer and read.

Sylvia came home with another pork hock. $15, fed four.

Concrete architecture, circa 1950

Written by wurstofvienna2011

June 24, 2011 at 6:50 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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