Saturday, June 29, 2013

Vienna - Musical Legacy and more Landmarks

Vienna is a city of music. The most famous local sons are Johann Strauss and his son. There is statue of Johann Strauss at Stadtpark - which is across the street from Hilton Vienna where I stayed. 

There are many musical venues such as Staatoper or Wiener Musikverein home of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra..known across the world for the annual widely broadcast "New Year's Day Concert". At historical city center there are many sales person wearing classical uniforms selling tickets to concerts for mostly Mozart and Strauss musics. 

I went to a small concert with a few fellow conference attendees the last night I was at Vienna. The concert was kind of combined performance of music, Waltz dancing, opera. It was entertaining. It would have been a regret if I had not gone to one of the concerts. 

Johann Strauss

Penguin Sculptures 

An Ensemble of 8 musicians 
Opera and Waltz Dancing are also a part of the performance 
a night at Vienna

When I first looked at the map of Vienna, Danube River was prominent in the map passes through the center of Vienna. I intended to visit the Danube river in person but only got chance to pass it twice on a hop-on-hop-off tour bus. On the last day I walked to the Danube Canal  - which cut through downtown. 

Danube River on a cloudy day

Danube Canal
In addition Schonnbrunn, there are many other palaces in Vienna. The other one I visited was Belvedere Palace on a beautiful sunny afternoon. Since I visited Schonbrunn earlier,  I did not spend time to see the inside of the palace but only its exterior.

Belvedere Palace
Close view of the building
Belvedere Palace Garden

The building in the following picture is the city hall. The park in the picture is "hero's plaza" - which is surround by a few big historical buildings

Vienna City Hall

Vienna street Scene
The other things that impressed me the most include its efficient public transportation, and number of homeless people in the Stadtpark - which was a surprise to me considering what was reported in the media about European countries' generous social welfare. I felt safe in Vienna but there were reports of one conference attendee being attacked at Stadtpark during his early morning exercise, and another one was mugged at the nearby subway station.

Overall, Vienna is a beautiful and orderly city, I would not hesitate to visit it again when I have chance.

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