Yay! In Europe for the first time and Vienna’s the first stop. I wasted no time in satisfying myself with answers to some burning questions with my taxi driver:
– are there many electric cars on the road? (No. Inadequate infrastructure meant massive inconvenience. Yups infrastructure for electric cars is still inadequate in Austria indeed.)
– with Brexit, in completion, will the official language in Brussels change from English to German? (No. My taxi driver can’t imagine Spain, China, India and all countries in the world learning German.)
Around Wien Mitte the Mall
It was a Sunday and most everything were closed. Not traveling on a Sunday would prove to be the same mistake made again later in the next 10 days.
We were greeted by sights such as these as soon as we alighted at Wien Mitte the Mall. I was excited about the electric trams. How much savings that must have been in terms of energy burnt. I was equally excited by the horse drawn carriages that appeared as soon as the tram above left. Both using the same roads.
Nothing of this sort in Singapore; both the electric trams and horses. A developed city can embrace animals and should even more function with an electrically operated public transportation driven by an environmentally conscious government.
Vienna turned out to be unexpected in so many ways. I had imagined it to resemble Prague, predominantly effusing medieval pride. Instead, Vienna interweaves its imperial buildings with contemporary buildings in a coherent manner. The resultant cosmopolitan environment ushered me wherever I wanted to go. One would know, for some reason, where the convenience stores, where the tourist areas, the trains and buses etc., are; as do all modern cities do.
Austria center, Vienna
Before playing, it would be work first… for my wife.. WohaHaHA!
My brother in law and I went walking around outside the convention centre.
The park. It was extremely cold and the sun on the skin was welcomed.
Kaiserliches Zeughaus Wien
Visited the Kaiserliches Zeughaus Imperial Armoury in Vienna. The collections of medieval armour and firearms are as complete as it possibly can be, financially, academically and diplomatically.
The suits are pretty small for ang mohs (Caucasians) of today.
One can identify with ease the history of guns. Of particular interests are the sizes of the shoot-shoots and the development of the ergonomic handgrips. The museum’s collection is total and complete.
Walking to Schönbrunn zoo from the palace. The strong winds in late Autumn kicked up sand into visible wind, and into our faces. Can’t imagine what it is like in the Sahara.
Schönbrunn zoo, the world’s oldest zoo
Vienna Mozart Orchestra
Couldn’t miss a concert in Vienna. Had initially wanted to go for an opera but we were too late and value seats have already been sold out. The alternative was to attend the performance by the Vienna Mozart Orchestra at Musikverein Vienna, Golden Hall.
The average performance would be fantastic, easily, with Vienna’s, Mozart’s and many others’ reputation. It would have drawn performers of the greatest talents and of the highest trainings from around the world to Vienna. However, I figured that music in Vienna is the equivalent to football in England, unlike football in Brazil. I had anticipated endless street performances with the violins, the cello, the woodwind instruments, the brass instruments etc., which would in turn fuel an elite music institution. However, it was quite the contrary.
I guess like all ultra developed cities, if one was really performing on the streets of Vienna, he or she would really be a struggling bloke? I sense that the music scene in Vienna is no longer built from the ground up.
We visited Naschmarkt on our last evening in Vienna. We were too late. Everything was closed save a few eateries.
After buying our meat loaves, a lady who isn’t white, came up to us gesturing for food. We politely declined, but yes, I kind of anticipated this. A rich country without the poor is outside of reality, but I didn’t expect to not watch it happen from the side. Then there’s the part about social welfare in Europe. Where did she come from? So many, so many questions in my head.
Vienna to Prague via Railjet. The train ride that taught us about reserved seats.