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.

hundertwasserhaus1 hundertwasserhaus2 hundertwasserhaus3

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!

IMG_3896 IMG_3897 IMG_3899

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.

Advertisements

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.

IMG_3752 IMG_3754 IMG_3762 IMG_3767 IMG_3769

Vacation, all I ever wanted

We’re back in Vienna after 12 amazing days in the Netherlands and Belgium. After a year and a half of being together, I finally got to really spend time in Jacco’s home country (Holland), so this was a meaningful and special trip for the both of us.

We visited Amsterdam, the Hague, and Amersfoort before heading south and seeing Bruges.

IMG_2716
Shameless selfie stick usage in Amsterdam

IMG_3354
The most amazing tulips of my life in Keukenhof

IMG_3368
Keukenhof

IMG_3579
The Girl with the Pearl Earring by Vermeer, The Hague

IMG_3621 IMG_3612
Brugge, Belgium

I think I’ve experienced more history, art, and culture in the past few days than I have in my previous 24 years combined.

We visited the Anne Frank house and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, walked through Mauritshuis in the Hague, and said a prayer over the cloth stained with Christ’s blood (yes, really) in Bruges.

If you love old things as much as I do, you might understand why the past week and a half has been so exciting for me. The architecture from the Middle Ages, the paintings preserved for almost a thousand years, the streets that Van Gogh himself walked had every history-nerd bone in my body tingling.

The cities are also filled with stuff for the younger crowd, of course. I’m pretty sure no one parties like Amsterdam. I think the coffee shops, restaurants, and bars may be worth the trip just by themselves, but I’m glad we got to experience at least a little bit of a lot of different attractions.

And now we’re back! Returning to Vienna really felt like coming back home… it’s great to be here again.