The trip from Salzburg to Vienna went well and somehow travel days are getting easier. European high-speed trains are comfortable and faster than the trains in Croatia, Greece, and Slovenia. I’m thinking about which environment I prefer – the clean and well-organized ones or the more chaotic places – not sure as both have their own beauty. I think most humans adapt to new situations quickly and I’m getting used to being a vagabond.
This trip continues to be a history lesson. Vienna was the capital of the Austrian Empire and is the city where its history is the strongest. Vienna began as a Celtic settlement and in 15 BC became Roman. During the Middle Ages it was the capital of the German and Austrian Babenberg Dynasty. Later it became the home of the Spanish Habsburg Dynasty. It’s interesting to note that the Ottoman-Turkish invasions of Europe stopped twice – just outside Vienna.
Vienna has 23 districts. The Innere Stadt (Inner City) is the heart of the city surrounded by a circular street called Ringstrasse. Buildings, monuments, and parks were created along Ringstrasse, such as Rathaus (town hall), the beautiful Burgtheater, the University, Parliament, and the State Opera house.
Vienna is a city with many parks and monuments. Stadtpark and Belvedere Park are two of the most popular with their baroque-style monuments and castles. The principle park, Prater, is on an island formed by the Danube River and the canal.
Vienna is said to “feed off its imperial nostalgia”. “High Baroque churches and aristocratic mansions pepper the central Innere Stadt. Monumental projects from the late nineteenth century line the Ringstrasse, and postcards of the emperor Franz-Josef and his beautiful wife Elisabeth still sell by the sack full.”
“Just as compelling as the old Habsburg stand-bys are the wonderful art nouveau Jugendstil and early Modernist buildings, products of the era of Freud, Klimt, Schiele, Mahler and Schönberg, when the city’s famous coffeehouses were filled with intellectuals from every corner of the empire.”
The underground system seems well-organized and straight forward so getting around should be easy. Looking forward to a few days of exploring!