A day off
After a good breakfast I set out to explore Vienna. I had a few things in mind and whatever else I came across would be a bonus.
First port of call, The Leopold Museum. Built in the Museum Quarter which is situated in the former Imperial Stables. Rudolf and Elisabeth Leopold amassed their collection over 50 years, in the 1950’s works by Schiele and Klimt were considered to be taboo. The Leopolds contributed the lions share of some 5200 works of art to the Leopold Museum at a fraction of their estimated value of 570 million Euros.
The galleries are filled with paintings, sculptures, some clothing and furniture. Some of the marquetry was exquisite.
Klimt and Schiele I knew but Oscar Kokoshka, I knew to be a writer and playwrite, not a painter.
Schoenberg, the tone row composer (I have had physical reactions to his music in the past, he’s not one of my favourites).
Then new artists for me. An exhibition of Richard Gerstl who is considered to have been the first Austrian Expressionist, you can almost hear the paint being applied to his canvases.
Then Emil Nolde a German/Dutch artist, who’s choice of bright colours caught my eye.
But my favourites were The Blind Man by Klimt, not in his more recognised style;
Schiele’s House with Shingles. It looks like the roof is made from many thousands of books.
and The Man in a Fur Cap by Albert Brinkle. This chap looks like a corn fed chicken.
After a couple of hours inside I reclaimed my coat and headed onwards. I’m glad I took my feather and down coat as even though the sun was out it was still a touch chilly.
Tim the Director of Houdini had mentioned a fantastic food market called Naschmarkt, so I headed off to have a look. I was already aware that it would almost certainly be closed, few shops are open on Sundays in Vienna.
Despite all the shutters being down I could peer in through the windows and imagine the smells from the sausages, spices and dried fruits. If I come back I will do my very best to visit here when it’s open. My Mum would have spent a whole week here.
Looking up above street level two buildings jumped out. A verdigrised lady way up high shouted to me to admire her building against the bright blue sky. She was right, it was beautiful. Designed by Otto Wagner who was a leading member of the Vienna Succession movement and the broader Art Nouveau movement.
Almost next door is another of his buildings, less gilt but more colourful. His work has been added to the next time list.
Time for food. I needed to eat well today as I’d spent far too much time trying to work out what I could eat in the supermarkets. Google is your friend at such times and it pointed me towards Blue Orange who did gluten free bagels. Mine was very tasty with beetroot humus and a cup of tea with a nice sit down.
Next I wound my way round side streets and headed for Weiner Park where the Weintal Canal heads out to the Danube Canal.
This was built as a relief channel, it looks more like a storm drain now with fancy bridges, but it was used to rid the city of sewage.
Vienna’s own Three Bridges crosses the canal, road above rail above water criss crossing as they do on the Hanwell flight.
I’d seen so much Baroque architecture as I walked round I now headed to find something different. Kunst Haus Wein designed by architect Hundertwasser is reminiscent of Gaudi or Manrique, but in his own way. Inspired by Klimt his work contains numerous tiles, cut to different sizes, applied at different angles.
Kunst Haus Wein is mostly chequer boarded on the outside, the main entrance with wavy steps with large bulbous pillars with mirrored and tiled sections.
The building houses a museum and a gallery which hosts photography exhibitions. Sadly by the time I’d got here it wasn’t worth the entrance fee to look round. A quick look round the shop and a comfort break did mean I got to walk on the uneven floors all sweeping up into the corners of each room. Another place to come back to.
By now the sun was setting, so I walked along the Danube Canal to reach the older part of the city. The walls confining the fast running water were lined with much graffiti, not much of it worthy of photographing. As I rounded a bend hills could be seen in the distance.
I now joined the masses of tourists in the older districts. St Stephan’s was being photographed from ever angle with the dark blue sky above. The tourist shops open, selling their tacky tack. I meandered my way around.
The column of Pest was another focal point. I joined in with the selfies, but got bored of trying to get both myself and the statue in focus, so it just looks like a Christmas tree.
The blanketed vestibule at Demel opened into a mirrored shop selling expensive cake, there were a few seats in a back room were fizzy wine was being served, I’d hate to think how much the experience was costing the lucky few!
Horse drawn carriages could be smelt before they came into sight waiting by the entrance to The Hofburg where you can see Lipizzaner Stallions at the Spanish Riding School.
By now I was starting to feel a touch hungry and quite tired. Should I head back to the hotel? Should I climb on a tram? Or should I carry on walking? I chose the later and headed towards a restaurant I hoped I’d enjoy.
I plotted my route, the most direct route along a shopping street. C & A amongst all the usual highstreet names and Austrian stores. The road kept going and going and going. Eventually I saw a Kentucky Fried Chicken sign, I’d almost reached my destination.
Gasthaus Zum Wohl. Here in the warm I took a seat, looked round at what everyone was eating and then was offered an English Menu. Oh for somewhere like this back home. Zum Wohl is a gluten and lactos free restaurant. Here I could choose anything from the menu. Here I could have a glass of draught beer, brewed especially for them.
I had a choice, I didn’t really, I already knew what I was going to have. Wein Schnitzel. Well I am a tourist! When it arrived I was astounded at how big it was. Accompanied by a potato field salad and some cranberry jam. Ooh it was nice and just what was needed after a long day on my feet.
I checked the pedometer on my phone and then ordered some almond and chocolate pancakes for pudding. I did wonder if I had room for them, I still had a mile to walk home, so felt no guilt.
Once back at the hotel I popped my pyjamas on and poured myself a glass of wine. What a good day it had been.
Meanwhile back at Tardebigge.
Tom moved the outside to a very good one, plenty for me to do. He had a friend come to visit.
Tom Chris stayed lots of sleeps. He’s thinking of having a boat built for him They talked boats lots, reminisced even more, then went to see the dog in a bath down the locks and ate at The Tardebigge. On Sunday they moved the outside. They tied one up and went shopping, then turned us around and headed back to catch the previous outside again.
More shore leave for me! I spent ages in the sideways trees and climbed a tree. A friend kept me busy too. But when I got back to the boat in need of a drink it had gone! Tom had moved the outside with me in it! How dare he!! I shouted lots, but only the wind chimes heard me.
Then from nowhere Tom called my name. What was he doing over there?! At least he had the boat with him!
0 locks, 20.71 miles, 6 tunnels, 3 water fills, 1 extra Tom, 1 friend, 1 missing boat, 10.75 miles walked, 1 museum, 1 bagel, 1 wein schnitzel, 1 beer, 1 very good day in Vienna.