I’ve always been quite ambivalent about the capital of Austria. For some bizarre reason I thought it would be too Westernised and not have the European feel that I’d like it to have. Great my surprise when we arrived in Vienna, to find this a very charming and still extremely cultural city!(TL)
I think the fact that this was Arnie Shozneggar’s birth place probably also clouded the fact that it has such a rich history and culture. Although I wasn’t expecting to see people walking around in muscle vests, bench pressing on street corners, it was a very pleasant surprise. (AM)
Even though we didn’t get to spend a lot of time in the city because we arrived late in the afternoon and had only scheduled one night’s stay, there were some interesting discoveries we made about the city and it’s people:
Old meets new
Seen as the capital of Classical Music (it was home to Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Johann Strauss) you find that the historic, stern buildings and spaces are often juxtaposed with modern and vibrant events. (TL)
We were fortunate to catch the Vienna Film Festival whilst we were there. In it’s 26th year, the festival lasts a whole 52days with top productions covering various art forms like opera, ballet, contemporary dance, pop and jazz, all screened under Vienna’s starry skies against the backdrop of the Vienna Town Hall.
Over 550,000 guests attend the festival, making it Europe’s biggest cultural and food festival. (AM)
A pinch of rebelion
The city loves communicating their rules out in public and you will see signs saying, ‘No sitting on the lawn’ and then they in the same breath they love to ignore them by doing exactly what they shouldn’t. (TL)
You can’t even blame them though because those gardens are so spectacular, they just asking to be enjoyed. (AM)
Also with so many different festivals happening, along with classical concerts, I got the feelings that this is a city that never sleeps. The locals are known for spending a lot of money on entertainment like the festivals and of course lots and lots of eating. ☺
It’s never pleasant to have a disappointing experience whilst on holiday but these things happen. In my case it was an Uber driver that tried to take advantage of the fact that I wasn’t familiar with the city. After I accidentally put in an incorrect location and had to correct it once I realised it, the driver insisted that I pay him in cash an amount which he had calculated in his head because he had switched off his phone.
Props to Uber for acting swiftly though and resolving the issue. (AM)
All in all, there is a pleasant, confident energy in Vienna. I would describe Vienna as a 30-something-year-old who has no qualms with life, has no regrets, no issues and no worries and is just totally comfortable with who and what they are. It’s as if it says to you, ‘I’ve been there, paid my dues and now I’m living’ and it’s this kind of energy that makes you want to keep on walking around (TL)