Published: October 18th 2007October 8th 2007
Koala Ted Gets Excited
8 Kms to go to the big smoke !
5th October...................Pischelsdorf (Where the hell is that?)..........................
It was a long day riding today - cloudy with some sunshine. There was nowhere I particularly wanted to stay on the way and when I attempted to stop around 5pm the places were either full or more than what I wanted to pay. At dusk I checked into a guest house that was fine for an overnight stay, although my meal was a bit to be desired- fatty schnitzel with crinkle cut chips and soggy lettuce in a smoke filled room with the (large) family dog attempting to get his evening meal from me.
6/10- 8/10 Vienna
Cycling into Vienna was along the river, well at least I thought it was- it turned out to be a secondary canal worthy of being called a river. It not being the Danube explained why it did not feel that I was arriving in a major city, or into a city at all really. I crossed over a bridge, again with its own dedicated cycle/ pedestrian path separate and below the road, and 'discovered' this other world of an expansive river with an old and new city skyline. I ended up staying 4 nights in
Vienna, 3 full days, and that's without going to one museum! To be fair, I did see an art exhibition and went to the 'Haus de Musik' (yep, 'House of Music') I wouldn't have thought being in such a large city could be so relaxing. There is less traffic as the transport system is so well patronized and what cars there are on the road are not whizzing by and beeping frantically with noisy exhausts- and there are REAL bicycle paths everywhere and cars actually stop when you step out onto a crossing. Yes it is possible for so many people to live in one place and get on.
Now I have to admit that Vienna was not really high on my list. Annie and I had made a visit to Vienna in the 70s but it was grey, drab and raining and, while our experience with the SERVAS couple we stayed with was wonderful and memorable, the city didn't leave a positive impression on us. The city I visited this time, cycling around in the sun bore no resemblance to my previous experience. I loved it and would return. There is so much I didn't do but I
was content just taking it all in. It is a city on a grand scale. I DID do the touristy 'Ankeruhr' at midday with all the other tourists. The Art Nouveau clock (created in 1911) does a parade of various figures over an hour but they ALL pass over the face of the clock face at midday with appropriate organ music- Haydn, Maria Theresa etc. I took more photos of the crowd watching than of the clock! I've confirmed my view that I don't want to be part of an extended tour group, following someone's umbrella and standing around listening to so many facts and details I will never remember and probably didn't want to know in the first place.
One thing I very much enjoyed was going to the Hundertwasser-Krawina House. I was aware of this building prior to coming to Vienna and was also aware of him as an artist in the 70s when I was working with Inter-Country Adoption. There were prints of his work distributed around the offices and there was one picture I adopted and moved with me when I changed desks within the GRE building. His work really appeals to my love of colour
Koala Ted Getting Friendly Again
He's such a wag. It doesn't take him long to get friendly with the famous Mozart.
and meaningful obscurity. The way he has been able to translate that into buildings is wonderful. It gives a sense of vibrancy and fun, while being grounded in sound environmental principles. While Hundertwasser believed that old building fronts should be preserved, he considered it equally important to give expression in architecture between Man and Nature. His buildings are characterized by all horizontal areas, as far as possible, being planted with vegetation. Hundertwasser believed that "all level planes under open skies belonged to nature and that what man took from it by forming built up areas ought to be given back in some other way." And so the 'house', which is really an aprtment building with 50 apartments, 4 businesses and a dental surgery, is covered with dense plant growth. Trees are growing on the roof and forecourt but there are also "Tree Tenants" that grow from inside the house. They are co-inhabitants of the people living there and 'pay rent' in the shape of their useful qualities. They purify the air, they create oxygen, improving the micro climate and, not least, they enliven and decorate facade.
I visited another of his buildings, the Kunsthaus (no....read 'art house') where I saw
This is actually a photo of a photo. I would acknowledge the photographer if I knew it.
an exhibition of his original art, but not the painting I once 'owned' in the 70s.
Vienna to be continued.........
There are more photos below