Each January 1, I wake up early to catch the Eurovision broadcast of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra’s New Year’s concert from Vienna’s Musikverein. And each year, it makes me want to visit Vienna again. I do not always give into this feeling, but every other year, I cannot help myself, so I book my train tickets and find a good airbnb apartment. Now that it is 2018, I’m going back for a week of total immersion, once again :-)
As with previous years, I have been making my lists, adding them both to Foursquare and Google Maps, but this year, I have also added some details to a Moleskine Vienna edition to see if I can stay away from my phone a bit more and be more analogue in my travels.
I always start with an apartment and train tickets, but once I decide (and get approved!) on my apartment and the neighborhood, next up I check the Vienna’s tourist website: https://www.wien.info/en. An excellent start, both for first time visitors and for returnees like me. I especially look for interesting exhibitions and little gems: this year, I have hit a jackpot because Vienna is celebrating its architect Otto Wagner. I am familiar with some of his buildings, but I am hoping to learn and see more in visits to MAK and Wien Museum. Another surprise is Keith Haring at the Albertina: Keith Haring. The Alphabet.
Other than that, I will see where the city and the weather will lead me: no idea yet.
Although the book is a pleasant read, the endless lists of people, feats, streets, professions and other such enumerations becomes a bit of a slog to work your way through. Having said that – as I mentioned in an earlier update – chapter by chapter my wish to revisit Paris increased, and I am seriously considering planning another trip, scarcely 18 months after my previous stay. The division of chapters gives a precise overview of the different aspects of the book, but when you have to read about similar sections of history each time again, confusion might set in.
When you enjoy history and you are interested in the city of Paris, I can recommend the book, but I’d warn you against scrutinizing over each chapter in too much detail, as it will detract from the overall themes of this book.
Picked up this title because I wanted to read an historic detective novel situated in Vienna where I was heading for a week of vacation. A Death in Vienna is a pleasant read, though I had to get used to the constant switch of characters at the start of each book. It was only when I was in Part 2 that story lines started to make sense.
In Vienna every place Beethoven looked at, it’s marked by something.
– Wynton Marsalis
What is it about this city that has captivated me so?
Another week in Vienna, another Airbnb apartment booked, and seats on trains reserved. I’m making lists of places to visit and places to eat in Foursquare — checking them twice —, and I’ve started collecting those same addresses in a Google Maps.
And for the weekend, my friend Katrin will join me!
Bill Bryson takes you by the hand, in all his irresistible grumpiness and he shows you the UK. At times, some of the comments and remarks on current day United Kingdom were a bit repetitive, but overall this book is a joy to read. I’ve realised that for my next UK trip, I will add more time to walk around, instead of hopping on just another train or bus!
When I was planning a week in Vienna, my mother recommended I read the book The Hare With Amber Eyes: A Family’s Century of Art and Loss. A gripping tale of the history of a family – the Ephrussi family – and their often forced travels through the cities of Europe. On my first full day in Vienna I visited their former city palace: Palais Ephrussi. With the story in my mind, I walked around the city looking at its history with different eyes.
Like my mother, I recommend this book to visitors of Vienna, but remember not to stay in the past, because this city and the author’s family certainly have not.