Monday, 20 August 2007

Exploring Austria (i)

After some silent days, I take again Die Murmeltierjahre im Land des Frühschoppens after the holiday break. We've been exploring Austria with our friends D., E. and R. for two weeks.

I am going to invite my visitors to one of those scary "come home and I'll show you my holiday pics" sessions, but this time there are two great advantages: first, it is going to be divided in several parts, and second, everyone is completely free to stand up and go away as soon as it gets too hard. I won't notice! Can't get mad! ;)

Let's begin with the first part of our trip: Melk Abbey and Vienna.

Melk is a city of the federal state of Lower Austria, next to the Wachau valley along the Danube. This valley is famous for its apricots (Marillen) and for the beauty of the apricot trees in the spring. The city of Melk is famous for its Benedictine Abbey. Those of you who have read The Name of the Rose will remember that William of Baskerville's young Benedictine disciple was Adso of Melk. Precisely.

The jewel of the library was one of Gutenberg's original Bibles. Unfortunately, the monks had to sell it in order to pay for reconstruction works in the Abbey. The Baroque style, especially in the abbey church, was a little too oppressive for me.

The second stop in our trip was Vienna. With that interesting contrast between its Imperial excesses on the inner side of the Ringstrasse and the lovely Eastern city flair to be seen as soon as the district number has two digits. Inevitable visit to Schönbrunn, together with another hundred thousand tourists, but we made up for it by feeding little birds and squirrels, and later with Hundertwasser's buildings, with a walk through the old Jewish Town (at least that was our guess, because of the street names) and with yet another visit to the Naschmarkt.

I decided to use B&W for Schönbrunn because this way the pictures appear less familiar and rather antique and the tourists seem to disappear.

The Naschmarkt always surprises us with new vegetables to be inmortalized.

After spending two nights in Vienna, we left for the next stop of our journey: the Neusiedler See, the second largest steppe lake in Central Europe, on the border with Hungary...


Bek said...

Vienna is a great city. It's always worth coming back to it and see more.

Tonicito said...

Some cities, like Vienna, always let you discover something new, every time you visit them. That's because they are alive, and they are great. I definitely love that cities!
Cheers! :)