Michaela Merz

Long weekend in Vienna

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One can discover Vienna in two ways. Either one prepares a plan at home and walks single-minded through the city and sees a small part of the many things there are to see. Or like myself and my youngest one (7), who just did not have any time for preparation and who simply let us guide by spontaneous ideas and stroll through the city without any system and emphasis and collect impressions, as for instance in the museum the insects fixed with pins. 

We started at the Naschmarkt. An endless row of stands with countless goods things from fruits, cheese, meet, dried fruits, sausages, spices, bakery, vinegar, everything is there. The salesmen made us test the things for free and until we were through the Naschmarkt, my youngest one had such a full stomach that there was no thinking of lunch. And as we had started at the end of the market, it was the impressive house of the Secession in Friedrichstrasse 12, which awaited us as surprise. I am a great fan of Klimt and his wall painting in this building is mystical, touching and at the same time modern. The admission fee of 9 Euro per person however is rather pricy as all admissions in Vienna.

Then we visited St. Stephen’s Cathedral and climbed on its tower with more than 300 steps.

For my small one the name appeared difficult and so he simply renamed the Cathedral in Plankton. We admired the colourful roof made of Czech tiles and talked for a long while about what would happen if someone breaks his leg while climbing this tight tower and cannot walk any further. Will the ambulance fetch him with a helicopter through a roof window? Or will he have to hobble down on his unharmed leg? Since it had started to rain again, we hid in the butterfly house and admired the miracle of the eclosion and the endless range of colours. Did you know that there are actually butterflies which live on animal and human blood? I did not. They did not tell me in the biology lesson in high school. But luckily those butterflies do not fly in Vienna.

St. Charles Church led us with an elevator and stairs in the inside until a few centimetre under the highest dome. I have never before seen a church from this height.

But we also ate cake and drank coffee in one of these sweet cafes as well as wolfed down Wiener Schnitzel in the restaurant Kuckuck.

And what would be Vienna without the Prater?! An amusement park, where my youngest one squeaked and screamed with pleasure, where we got wet until the underwear from a water sprinkler, where we ate in the Schweizerhaus Kuttelflecksuppe (tripe soup) and Mohnnudeln (poppy seed noodles) and my youngest one drove a child motorbike for the first time.

The two most impressive things we saw where for one power plant, which is built in the style of Hundertwasser and radiated a fairy-tale beauty as I had not seen before with an industry building. And the second was the rooms of Sisi, where my youngest one discovered Sisi and her life for himself. He listed with fascination how a woman spent 4 to 12 hours of a day with her hair care. Understandable that she performed that exercise only once a month, when drying her hair took 12 hours as there was no hairdryer back then, only hot towels. She loved to ride and do gymnastics; in her room were rings and other gymnastic equipment. Only a strong perfume could help then. Not less fascinating for my youngest one was the fact that on Holy Thursday the empress and the emperor washed the poor people’s feet with their own hands. We asked ourselves whether the chosen poor had to undergo a thorough washing procedure on the day before in order to be acceptable for the obviously vain empress.

One can see a lot on a long weekend in Vienna. My youngest one is still thinking of Sisi. It is easy to become a fan of Vienna. A long visit is enough.

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