Our one stop in Austria was Vienna, a city where nearly every building in the centre is worth looking at for its amazing architecture. Modern Vienna’s buildings are ínspired by various periods, so it can be a bit like a walk through architectural history.
We spent our first afternoon touring the royal apartments in the Hofburg castle, gaping up at the art in St Stephen’s cathedral and wandering the streets of Vienna. We then walked 20 minutes from our hotel to have an amazing dinner (as Julian has already mentioned).
Day 2 saw us visit the Naschtmarkt and spend a ridiculous amount of money on olives (very persuasive staff at the stall)! We then took our picnic supplies and headed our of the city to the Viennese woods. We caught the bus up to Kalenberg and then walked down the hillside to Nussdorf, past vineyards and poppies. We had planned to sample the sturm (new wine, made in Vienna) at a Heurigen (wine garden) in Nussdorf but we must have been too early in the year, as none were open. Instead we enjoyed our picnic in the sunshine, before heading back into the city. Sadly, no opera was showing, but we did duck into the Opera House to see some ballet (Romeo and Juliet).
Some of you may recognise the artist’s work in the photos below. Julian first saw Hundertwasser’s work in Kawakawa, a small rural town in northern New Zealand. An artist and an environmentalist, Hundertwasser (1928-2000) was born in Austria, but made several visits to NZ to paint and is buried there (after passing away on the QEII). He has even designed new flags for Australia and NZ that do away with the Union Jack. His work is on display at KunstHausWien and scattered throughout this neighbourhood in Vienna.