In Vienna, I met up with Bernhard. Surreal enough that I’m seeing another NUS friend outside of Singapore. But it turns out that wasn’t the only familiar face around!
A couple days prior, I caught up online with Anthony, a high school friend in Vancouver. Pretty much a day later, he showed up in Vienna, ready to embark on a Europe trip of his own. And who did he meet in his hostel? Percy, another high school friend of ours who happened to be travelling Europe. Hadn’t seen him in years!
Anyway, this is another quick entry. Bernhard took a day off and took me around town – again, this is so unfair. Vienna is full of pretty buildings, amazing museums, and so much culture! And to top it all off for me, Aloe Blacc and Sharon Jones (definitely one of my favourite artists) were due to perform and I wasn’t able to go!! Gah! As Bernhard puts it, there’s almost too much to see, too much going on – spoiled for choice!
In all, I checked out the Hundertwasserhaus, a daring piece of architecture (akin to Gaudi’s works in Spain) made for social housing; the Belvedere museum, a wonderful collection of art featuring “The Kiss” and other paintings by Viennese artist Gustav Klimt, among others; the Albertina, another excellent museum whose photography exhibits were by far my favourite; and walked around the compact city centre.
And in the meantime, I had my downright surreal reunion with Anthony and Percy over some sachertorte (rich chocolate cake), had an enormous plate-sized wiener schnitzel with Bernhard, and sat and watched the sunset over the Danube with Anthony and Bernhard on…a fake beach, but still nice and relaxing. But it’s just so cool that I got to hang out with friends from different places all in one spot.
The local culture seems so chill. Bernhard took me to a sausage stand where he and the proprietor proceeded to talk for awhile in German…the only thing I understood was the free beer he gave me. We headed over to the Museumsquartier to enjoy the nighttime hangout atmosphere, had an ice cream, ran around Mariahilferstrasse in the pouring rain… I enjoyed it all.
There’s so much to Vienna, yet in three days, I feel like I barely scratched the surface. Definitely warrants a return visit!