Nights in Vienna

Posted by Mason Allen Buskirk on July 1, 2016 in Study Abroad |

Hello Again Friends from Across the Seas,

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It’s high time once again for a continuation of my many adventures in Europe, and at the time of writing, I’m about to embark on other journeys in Germany and perhaps elsewhere I shall later speak of as well.

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Where I last left off, I had caught a night train after leaving Berlin to take me to the capital of the land of my great Grandmother, and the land of music and culture. My next destination, I shall be proud to say, was Vienna, Austria. During the night of my journey to Vienna, I made friends with a native of Austria, who I shared my compartment with, and the beds had little in wanting, so therefore I had a good night’s rest on the train, as it sped along through the night. The next morning, before we arrived in Wien, the conductor awoke us and brought us a modest breakfast of bread rolls and tea.

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After the train terminated in Wien Hauptbahnhof, I walked into the city, and found a nice, quite Viennese cafe that was opening for breakfast at the early hour. After a delectable frühstück, and using my guide to Europe I had obtained before having left home for the purpose of my traveling, I went to the main U-bahn station, and bought a ticket good for free public transport for the day. These are invaluable for saving your legs if you don’t have a car in great cities like Vienna. They were plenty of subways, buses, and trams for me to take everywhere I could’ve wanted to go to.

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Now, throughout my travels, most of my plans, both for where to go to next, where to eat, where to stay for the night, and what to see, where all made on the fly, and while some might’ve thought it a lesser wise way to travel, I surprisingly found everything I could have possibly wanted to see in each and every destination, and the idea of the next destination being unknown simply made it more exciting for me. Now, my first location I arrived at after breakfast in Vienna I encounted almost by coincidence.

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It was a very fitting location for what I first saw on my first day in Vienna, the Karlskirche, or St. Charles’ Church, a magnificent Baroque Cathedral, it is one of the finest Baroque churches in Wien, and considered one of the finest and most well-reknowned in the city. I noticed that evening a live classical orchestra was being hosted inside, and I intended to make it a fantastic end to my first day in Austria by hearing my first concert since arriving in Europe in the Capital of culture.

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Afterwards, I took the U-bahn to St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the seat of the Archbishop of Vienna, and was awe-inspired by the Mass being conducted when I set foot inside, and the smell of incense.

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The Stephansdom is one of the most crucial places of worship in Austria, and Wien’s most recognisable building. I stayed for much of the service, despite my little knowledge for Catholic practice, before moving along.

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The next point of interest was the Hofburg Palace, which may be in my opinion the most magnificent sight you can imagine in all of Austria. The Hofburg Palace is the former Imperial Palace and today forms the workplace and residence of the President of Austria.

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It has been known to house the most powerful leaders in European and Austrian history, including rulers of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

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My favorite point of interest inside, was the library. It contains the book collection Prince Eugene, and statues of the many Emperors who lived there.

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Just outside the facade of the Palace, can be found a wonderful garden, the Volksgarten, where I found plenty of beautiful botanical beings I bet would’ve been of interest to my parents, who enjoy gardening.

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The great Composer of Vienna, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, whose works I beheld with my own ears that evening in a Viennese orchestra. There is no better place to hear music.

Nearby, and within acces of a tram station, was the 19th century-built Vienna museum of natural history, opposite of the Palmenhaus, a botanical garden. That afternoon, I had managed to wander to the Wiener Riesenrad, an amusement park ferris wheel, and another cultural symbol of the Viennese, and the skyline of Wien.

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I took a ride on it, and overlooked the city. An amzing view on a beautiful day it offered me sight of. No trip to Vienna can be complete with at least one visit to the wheel and the amusement park it has overlooked for over a century.

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Then, after leaving my bags in my room I had reserved for the night, I made my way to the Schönbrunn Palace, the former Imperial summer residence, and one of the most imporatnt cultural, architectural, and historical monuments in the country.

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And an amazing view of the city and palace is offered from the Gloriette structure near the many gardens.

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I had succeeded in seeing so much in Vienna, all while knowing I would still be there tomorrow, but the finale had yet to come.

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I returned to the Karlskirche to enjoy my first concert since my arrival in Europe. The inside of the church could not have provided a more evocative and worthy place to hear it.

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Works by the great composers who once resided in the city, including Mozart, Bach, and others from Europe were performed, as well as one of my favorites, Autumn.

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This truly was a tremendous way to end my first Night in Vienna. I think if I ever take my Gal Pal on a date anywhere in Europe, it would have to be here, or Prague, which I shall write about next. But for now…

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The famous Class 310 express passenger locomotive for the Imperial Royal Austrian State Railways, by the great locomotive designer Karl Gölsdorf.

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