Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Random Thoughts on Vienna

Before I came home on leave, I had a four day weekend. Since I've been trying to take advantage of living in Germany more now that the end is slightly more near (it will still be forever until I'm back in the States but it seems a lot closer now than it did before Iraq), I've been trying to go somewhere every four day. In February, I only made it to Munich since I'd had staff duty the Thursday before, and needed Friday to catch up on my sleep, but this last one I went to Vienna. I figured with me coming back home that same week I wanted something cheap that didn't involve airports. The hotel and train were actually reasonably well priced, and I didn't do any shopping but Vienna was still a little more pricey than I expected. It was a great city, though.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I ended up with a cabin of middle schoolers on my flight home - well, in Vienna I arrived at my hotel for check in right behind a bus load of Italian teenagers. The lobby was tiny, they were loud and took forever. Fortunately, they were in a different section of the hotel but naturally, they chose to check out at the exact same time as me and beat me to the punch. It's probably a sign that I've been in the Army too long when my first reaction to a loud and noisy crowd of people is the desire to take them outside and form them up. I could just imagine myself as a tour guide.

In a way, once you've been to one European city, you've been to all of them. They all have beautiful churches, art galleries, palaces etc. Despite that, I really enjoyed Vienna. I only went into about three or four churches, and of those, the one that had an entry fee was the least exciting - the Karlskirche. Beautiful and different on the outside, totally not worth it on the inside.

I also saw paintings by Gustave Klimt - I'd heard of him before but don't remember seeing anything of his before, at least, nothing that made an impression. I actually really liked his art work, and discovered Alphonse Mucha as well in a special exhibition. Apparently he has a museum in Prague so I have even more of a reason to return there now. Mucha has that whole vintage poster art look going for him, and I've been wanting to hang up vintage travel posters in my apartment for a while now but haven't gotten around to getting any of my prints framed (not to mention that my walls aren't exactly conducive to having nails hammered in). Naturally, I was drawn to his style, and will probably order a few things of his now to compliment that theme.

Gustave Klimt - Pallas Athene

Pallas Athene Fountain in front of Parliament in Vienna

What can I say, ever since I got my tattoo two years ago, I tend to notice Athena related things more.

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