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Tom’s European Vacation (Part 3): Vienna

September 29, 2010 Leave a comment

A brief walk from the train brought me to the hostel of my choice – not such a good choice as itDSC01928 happened. Lovely inside but seemingly an hours walk from the centre of town – and as I was in a walking mood most mornings this is how long it took to get there…

Vienna itself? Bloody ‘bootiful’, as they say on old adverts for turkey breast. Honestly, though, as usual I only had a few days spare and wanted to take in an opera and move on – I was already hankering after something a little less European by this stage and wanted to get myself a little further South East.

I visited the Belvedere Palace to take in a bit of Gustav Klimt, The Kiss as it happened. Some old friend from years ago had expressed an interest in it, so I thought I’d see it in the flesh, as it were…  Surprisingly, despite my initial reservations (believing that naturalistic paintings would always out do any other kind) I was pleasantly surprised. It’s not bad and fairly interesting to look at for a few minutes… I’m sure many people would rugby tackle me to the ground and slap me to death shortly, but: Klimt’s work just doesn’t strike me as particularly ‘good’. Much of it is (as is pointed out by the Wiki pageLeopoldCarlMuller - MarketInCairo above) is influenced by church mosaics which lack the third dimension – lots of gold leaf (style), not that much content. Bless him, Gustav that is.

There were plenty of other paintings in there to keep me happy, however; you know – one’s that look like something real… It’s when you start to try to figure out where in the world they could still dress like that, shortly before realising that it’s a painting that you’re looking at. Of course the content has to be of interest too. This one of a Cairo Market by Leopold Carl Muller caught my eye – as did a few others. Take a look for yourself: Belvedere.

“The churches are lovely my dear”, is also something I might say to my grandchildren if I ever live that long… and the Opera was wonderful – although it was so long ago now I cannot remember which I saw! The building itself made one think one might be royalty. Which obviously one did for the evening.

I think if I was living in Vienna I’d be seeing classical music and the occasional opera weekly, the only thing I’d miss would be the beach in the summer.

Nothing particularly strange or weird to remember from this episode in my brief tour of Europe – it was Austria after all, there was ruthless efficiency all around the place. No time for jokes and japes here…

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