Arrived in Vienna Tuesday, and with the striking differences between Vienna and Hanoi, it will take a few days to acclimate. Vienna time is five hours behind Hanoi, and altogether it was a twelve-hour flight, with a four-hour stopover in Doha Qatar. The flights and taxi transfers went well, without delays.
One benefit of long-term travel is having the time to take it easy while adapting to location changes, including language, currency, climate, food, transportation, and even toilet paper… Moving between countries is challenging and requires learning new things quickly. Making the transition can be unnerving for the first few days, but travel is a great lesson in developing patience.
FIFA 2022 World Cup Qatar
It was evident at Hamad International Airport, that Doha is excited about the FIFA 2022 World Cup hosted by Qatar, beginning in November. The modern airport is well-organized, and between connecting flights, I stopped at Harrods Tearoom for breakfast. The only thing I didn’t / don’t understand was the need for arrival and departure “ground boarding,” using buses to ferry passengers between the aircraft and terminal. When you’re on longer flights, it’s tiresome scrambling on and off steep airplane ramps and piling onto crowded transport buses. Simply walking from the terminal to an aircraft via a boarding bridge is so much easier for passengers and less time consuming.
Vienna Weather, Language, Metro
So far, Vienna weather has been beautiful, with pleasant clear-blue skies and mild temperatures in the 70s (20s Celsius). It’s decidedly cooler than Hanoi, and rain is expected later this week.
Wondered if language would be an issue in Austria, but excellent English is spoken in Vienna. I was addressed in German at a market, but when they realized I wasn’t Austrian, they switched to English. After the major language barrier in Hanoi, I’m relieved. The exception is cable television, where everything, except a few news stations, is in Austrian German. It’s funny seeing American TV series actors speaking a foreign language, but I understand it’s an effective way to learn a new language.
Vienna has a great public transportation system. You can purchase monthly Vienna Metro (U-Bahn) passes online and download them to your smartphone. That alleviates losing paper tickets, which I’ve done many times in European cities.
Vienna’s Metro works on an “honesty system, with no ticket barriers at stations or formal, permanent ticket checks on the U-Bahn (subway), Schnellbahn or S-Bahn (local train), Straßenbahn (tram), and Autobus”. You can “hop on and off unchallenged,” but you still need to buy a ticket. Random ticket inspectors levy fines of a hundred Euros or more on cheaters. The closest Metro station is a few minutes from my apartment. Metro gets you around Vienna quickly and efficiently, and it’s a much better option than driving or taking a taxi. Like other large metropolitan areas, automobile traffic in Vienna is congested, especially during the morning and evening rush hour.
My modern apartment is comfortable and located near Belvedere Palace. The Palace is on my “must-see” list. Belvedere Museum Gallery has an impressive permanent collection of paintings by famous Austrian painter Gustav Klimt’s.
“Austrian painter Gustav Klimt found inspiration in nature. He was not only one of the most important representatives of Art Nouveau and co-founder of the Vienna Secession, but also a lover of the beautiful things in life. He was particularly fascinated by the aesthetics of the rose as a symbol of passion.” austria.info
Gustav Klimt at Marx Halle
In addition to the Klimt collection at Belvedere, a Gustav Klimt Exhibit – The Immersive Experience – is at the top of my sightseeing list. It sounds amazing and is appearing until October at the incredible Marx Halle multi-media complex. The exhibit is described as a place where “intricate lighting installations and projections enlarge Klimt’s works several times over and bring them to life on the walls of exhibition rooms”.
Artist Gustav Klimt (1862-1918) is “inseparably linked with Vienna”. I can’t wait to explore his exhibit at the huge 20,000 square meter Halle!
“KLIMT – The Immersive Experience makes Gustav Klimt’s unique work a multi-sensory experience. The new exhibition at the Marx Halle takes visitors on a 360° journey to mark the 160th birthday of the exceptional Viennese artist.” Wien.info
I haven’t begun to look into music performances yet. There are so many interesting things to do in Vienna! My last visit in 2013 was brief, but this time, I can really explore. More later, when jet lag fog disappears, and my body stops thinking it’s time to go to sleep at 7:00 pm, and I wake up at 2 a.m.