The 20 th Century gave rise to revolutionary new styles in Vienna. The artist Gustav Klimpt and architects Otto Wagner and Adolf Loos were at the forefront of the Art Noveu, modernist styles in Vienna. Klimpt's paintings employed the use of gold leaf, bright colours with blocks of colour and swirl patterns. Most of his works are of an erotic, sensual nature and are many of them are displayed in the museums around Vienna. Klimpt's famous The Kiss is displayed in the Upper Belvedere Museum of art along with a collection of his other works, while his Beethoven Frieze is located in The Succession Building, which was just down the road from our hotel. Wagner's architecture is displayed around the city, while you cannot see inside them, the façade's of his apartment buildings are beautiful.
The inner city of Vienna is divided up into six areas and the hotel we stayed at was in the Belvedere Quarter. Our room was on the third or fourth floor and we had a large window that looked out onto one of Vienna's narrow streets. Breakfast was included in the price and it was served every day in the breakfast room downstairs. The breakfast was quite traditional Viennese, there was a lot of cold meats and thick, rich breads, grainy cereals, yoghurt and various nuts, delicious yellow scrambled eggs with thin crispy bacon but there was no toast, only fresh bread! We had big breakfasts that kept us going until dinner!
|Photo 5 : Our Hotel||Photo 6 : A Laneway|
As we wandered around Vienna we saw some very beautiful architecture, interesting façades on shop fronts, parks and little paved laneways. Vienna was once the home of Mozart, Beethoven and Strauss and still has a rich musical culture. There are many buskers on the streets of Vienna and they are all so good! The Opera House is a main tourist destination but we didn't end up getting there unfortunately. However we did attend a concert in another performance space one evening and that was very nice.
|Photo 7 : Architecture in Vienna||Photo 8 : A Shopfront|
We flew to Vienna via London so on our way back to Australia we stopped in London and stayed for three days. The weather was a lot cooler than it had been in Vienna, the wind was almost icy! We stayed in a hotel near Hyde Park and from there we made our way around London, travelling on the tube and by foot. London has a very iconic transport system, red double-decker buses are everywhere as are the black London cabs and then of course there is the London Underground. We went to many of the tourist destinations including Buckingham Palace, Westminster and Big Ben by the Thames and St Paul's Cathedral. We also thought we should get a birdseye view of London so we had a "flight" on the London Eye. The glass capsules hold quite a few people, but the Eye doesn't stop like a Ferris wheel, you have to jump on, however it does move at an incredibly slow pace so it isn't too dramatic!
|Photo 9 :Westminster and Big Ben||Photo 10 : The British Museum|
We also went to a few museums and galleries. We visited the Victoria and Albert Museum and the British Museum. They both hold an incredible amount of artefacts. Between them they must hold over half the worlds history, a legacy from Imperial times perhaps. We also went to another museum, a technology museum that housed some of the worlds first ever computers!! I managed to get a photo beside one;
|Photo 11: One of the first computers||Photo 12: On a London Street|
We didn't manage to get to the Tate Modern in time, we got there just as it was closing but we did manage to get to its giftshop! But earlier in the day we went to the Tate Britain and we got to see more than the giftshop! We also visited the British Library, which held an impressive collection of books. We had a look at Royal Albert Hall where Elton John was playing that night and had a look, albeit a brief one, around Piccadilly Circus. It was certainly an action packed three days!