Vienna – Sightseeing Dec 2012

At end of November and beginning of December, 2011, I had the great good fortune to spend a full day exploring Vienna, Austria.  I was staying at a business hotel in Uno City on the north shore of the Danube, across from an intriguing old building which was Vienna’s first Coptic church.

I caught the subway from Uno City to Stefansplatz, in the centre of the old city and the heart of a huge shopping district.  The photo below is the view of Stefansplatz a few paces from the exit of the subway.

First view upon exiting the Subway at Stefansplatz, Vienna

First view upon exiting the Subway at Stefansplatz, Vienna

I wandered around what I presume was a small fragment of Vienna, and yet was able to find almost endless opportunities for photography as I went.

Unfortunately, the sky was fairly steadily overcast the whole day, withe only a few minutes of blue sky and sunshine fairly late in the day. This led to rather flat photos, but beggars can’t be choosers.

Using my compass, I ensured I always knew roughly where I was relative to where I had started, so I ended up doing a series of roughly circular loops, like the petals of a flower, radiating from the Stefansplatz area.

For now, I’ll let the photos tell some of the story and will come back to this article to flesh out the narrative and add more photos sometime soon.

Interior of the Stefansdom cathedral

Interior of the Stefansdom cathedral

Next a group of horse-drawn carriages waiting outside the Stefansdom for customers.  Very picturesque, I thought.

Horse carriages queued up by the Stefansdom church between tours

Horse carriages queued up by the Stefansdom church between tours

Part of my walking took me into a beautiful park – the Stadtpark (City Garden), in which there is a beautiful statue of Johann Strauss.  As it turns out, this is one of the most photographed statues in the world, so here’s my photo to add to the be artistic burden of tributes to this statue.

For more on this park, see: www.wien.gv.at/umwelt/parks/anlagen/stadtpark.html

Johann Strauss statue in Vienna's Stadtpark

Johann Strauss statue in Vienna’s Stadtpark

The park is full of statuary of various dignitaries, artists and mythological figures.  Very serene and relatively unpopulated in the late autumn, it must be very beautiful during the summer and a magnet for the Viennese and legions of tourists.  I spent some time beside a small pond, taking photos of the ducks, swans and some birds bathing themselves that looked like ravens, but smaller, with long tails.   I’m going to presume these were some kind of magpie but that’s only a guess.  The river that courses through the park is paved on the sides and enclosed by stonework, and near the end of the park where the river goes underground was this lovely cupola. It was really too bad it was so overcast, as during the summer with some green colour, this must be even more beautiful.  I must come back to Vienna with my wife – soon!

The Wien river passes through the Stadtspark. Ornate and beautiful copolas are located near a bridge over the river close to the Stadtsoper - Opera House

The Wien river passes through the Stadtspark. Ornate and beautiful copolas are located near a bridge over the river, close to the Stadtsoper – Opera House

Travel to Bratislava, Slovakia

In early December 2011 I had a chance to travel to Europe (Bratislava, Slovakia) for work, and I ended up staying the weekend in Bratislava and in nearby Vienna, Austria to do some sightseeing.

Here are some pictures from Bratislava, Slovakia, a very beautiful old city that I recommend as being well worth a visit. The weather was overcast and cold, but I was still fascinated to be there.

Bratislava Bus Station below the Novy Most (New Bridge)

Bus Station below the Novy Most (new bridge) in Bratislava, Slovakia

This first one shows a series of tall poster images on the support pillars holding up the Novy Most (New Bridge) as it’s about to join street level.  I thought the colouring very interesting in the sodium lamps, as well as the seriousness of the faces.  I don’ t know who these men are.

The second is of carving of a bearded Knight set into the outside wall of a large church, and a crypt (presumably that of the knight in the carving) located outside the walls of a very old church in Bratislava.  This one struck me, as it’s a remarkable combination of ornate carving and a rather odd looking physical posture of the knight who looks like he has difficulty standing (I presume from some old wound or too much time spent astride a horse).

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