Exploring Vienna

This Thursday marks the third month since my move to Vienna, and I still feel I’m just brushing the surface of things to see in this city! This week, we visited the artsy, bohemian Hundertwasserhaus Village and walked around the amusement park at the Prater.

The Hundertwasserhaus neighborhood is a beautiful gem for those who love modern art — and even for those who don’t. Hundertwasser designed each sloping building with such intricate detail; even the stones are cut in a way that seems “shattered” yet perfectly put-together at the same time. Complete with a shopping center and charming cafes, the Hundertwasser Village made for a lovely afternoon.

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The Wiener Riesenrad, Vienna’s famous, giant Ferris Wheel, stands as the focal point in the Prater amusement park area. The park itself is open year-round, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week… so there is NO excuse to miss this gorgeous attraction!

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I’m in the process of compiling a “Vienna Bucket List” — things I absolutely must do or see before the year is over. Though I’ve seen quite a bit, there’s still a lot left to do! Now that work has settled in a bit more, I’m really looking forward to experiencing all this city has to offer.

Life is short but sweet for certain

Yesterday, I visited the palace and gardens at Schloss Schönbrunn, the “Austrian Versailles,” or the 300-year-old summer home (the fact that this was not just someone’s residence, but someone’s “just for fun” residence… there are no words) to many years of emperors and empresses.

Though the sun shone all day, the trip felt extremely solemn, as I had just found out about the passing of one of my best childhood friends. The friend I lost was a lover of life and an infectiously upbeat personality. As I looked around the lush, green gardens and gazed over Vienna at the hilltop view, I felt an even greater appreciation for the beautiful sights than I normally would have. I knew my friend would have loved visiting the palace. I hoped that through my visit, I could expand my experience of the world in his honor.

So, my friend, I took some pictures in hopes of capturing the day I spent reflecting on our friendship and our priceless memories. Your loss is a reminder to me to always enjoy life and to experience as much as I can during my time on Earth. You are truly missed.

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Karlskirche

Yesterday, I visited the Karlskirche for their 11 a.m. service. Though Stephansdom is (from an American’s standpoint at least) the better-known of the two, the Karlskirche has a breathtaking beauty of its own. For church-attending purposes, I actually prefer the Karlskirche due to the more intimate seating, but that is only my humble opinion.

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The Karlskirche was built in the 18th Century under the supervision of Emperor Charles VI. The impressive, imperial style of the architecture reflects the grandeur Charles envisioned for the church that would bear his namesake. Though the church appears starkly different from many of the other, surrounding buildings at Karlsplatz, it doesn’t look out of place; rather, it makes the church seem even more like a priceless jewel.

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The service was lovely, and I followed almost all of it (it was entirely in German — great practice for me)! The recessional was an organ arrangement of the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah — it definitely felt appropriate.

IMG_2895For more information, visit the Karlskirche website! http://www.karlskirche.at/