Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Our Last Day in Vienna

05/29, Tuesday
Our first venture is to the nearby botanical gardens which are adjacent to the Belvedere Palace and grounds. It's very well maintained, quite large, and with extensive plantings of flowers and trees. It has given us some inspiration to plant more native grasses and plants at the cottage in NH.

The Vienna City Museum (Wien Stadt Musee) is located in the Karlsplatz, an easy walking distance. It traces the history of the city from 1700-1815 on the first floor and from 1815-2000 on the top floor...wars with the Hungarians and Ottomans; fortifying the city with a perimeter of walls; removing the walls to make way for the Ring Strasse; expanding size and population; WWI and WWII bombing; persecution of Jews; rise and fall of the monarchy; feudal life to democracy through rebellion; and re-routing and covering the Wien River.

The Naschmarkt is just across a couple of streets. Rick Steves and Karin have suggested we stop there for lunch. It is a market place for fresh fish and meat, along with small eating places. TokoRi, an Asian restaurant, catches our interest. We haven't had much Asian food since leaving Singapore. Mom has Pad Thai and I have Thai Mango duck.

The main shopping street in Vienna is Mariahilfer Strasse. We pick up a couple of items at the Rags Store, Jakob's favorite.

Then, more walking to an art area called The Museum Quarter. There we find an Austrian Architecture exhibition. It covers two centuries (19th and 20th) of development as impacted by cultural, social, political, war, and economic conditions, as well as a chronological progression.

As an example, during 1939-1945, when Austria was dominated by the German Third Reich, Der F├╝hrer, Adolf Hitler, favored the city of Linz, not Vienna because it was too progressive. Thus, more time, money, and effort was spent in Linz, and Vienna fell into an architectural slump.

We had drinks on the Museum platz and hustled to the Opera, hoping to catch another performance outside on the screen. Too bad, no show on Tuesday.

Back home to say good night (and good bye to Jakob who leaves early for school). Karin treats us to homemade rhubarb strudel and milk before bedtime. Lukas is at a meeting with his pharmacist friends. We'll see him in the morning.

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