We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
You get off the plane from NYC, dump your stuff off at the boat, then hop on the subway and get off at Stephansplatz. Suddenly, you are in a new world, like not Kansas anymore. Even for folks like us who have travelled quite a bit, it was awesome to climb up the subway stairs and to be greeted with this. With a dose of jetlag, it feels hallucinatory:
More snaps below the fold -
Gargoyles on St. Stephan's"
I think this is Pietersplatz. Nice cafes everywhere.
St. Pieter's doesn't look like much on the outside, just an ordinary 18th c. church - but inside it is Baroque City:
A dirndl shop. Dirndls, loden, and lederhosen:
We just used the subways. Did not learn the trolley lines but we liked the cheerful look of them:
The Hapsburg palace. That's where they have the Lippizaners - and the library.
In the library. Lots of Ottoman arabic texts:
Viennese coffee and pastries at Demel:
There was some sort of food and film festival. Food looked good. This was in front of the Rathaus:
Out in the suburbs near the Danube quay. Thought this was an interesting variety of multi-ethnic foods:
Outside the central city, blocks of public housing from the era when Vienna was known as "Red Vienna." As you move further from downtown, you can date these blocks from the 1920s to the 1960s. I do not think they are doing this anymore. Cells for "the people."
The lad and I explored nighttime Vienna, wandered down the Kartner Strasse and down through the old Jewish quarter. The town was hopping, cafes full. Cannot find my pics of Kartner Strasse at night, but there was a nice Burger King there (which we did not patronize, but did take advantage of their clean WC).
Oh, here's one of Kartner Strasse:
On a side street off Kartner, the inevitable:
Our Vienna home, at the quay:
Here's an interesting beer my son had to try on the boat's sunroof - "Original" Czech Budweiser. Nothing like our Budweiser:
Great pics. I walked down the Graben daily, from the subway to school (IES), in '81. Vienna is a very civil city, even with the addition of Burger King and Mickey D. The real scandal was when Starbucks came to town, invading the home turf of the Cafe culture.
"I do not think they are doing this anymore. Cells for "the people.""
There are plans all over Europe for massive new housing projects just like those.
Supposedly we have "learned from the mistakes of the past" how to avoid them turning into ghettos for the unemployed and semi-illiterate migrants, but I doubt it.
And all this in a city that was so close to being overrun (as Constantinople was before it...) by the Muslim Ottomans. If they had been successful in 1683, I doubt any of what you have seen would exist!
The "culture shock" transition was much like that I and my wife experienced a number of times during tourism excursions we took back in the mid-90's from a six-months contract job I was doing in Ruesselsheim, Germany. Probably the greatest ones we experienced were in Berlin, and in Rome, particularly Rome - we had come in from Frankfurt am Main on an overnight express train, disembarked from the train and had a needed meal in the station cafeteria, then exited the station at about mid-morning and - bojemoi!! Talk about architectural overload...
Those housing blocks put me in mind of a not-as-well-done series we saw in Berlin, stretching southward along the former margin of the Wall, just to the East of the Brandenburg Gate - we were told, at the time (Summer, 1996), that the East Germans built them as "propaganda blocks" during the Soviet Occupation/Control years, using "volunteer" labor battalions, and that many were never finished off or inhabited to any great extent, though caretakers/minders lived in them, keeping the faces the West could see patched and painted and keeping lights burning at random in them at night.
We never got to Vienna, though we did do one (rainy) weekend visit in Salzburg - Vienna was on our extended list, but the contract job ended (was originally supposed to run for another year, but terminated that September), and we came home.