Week 11: Waltzing Around Vienna

This past weekend I took a trip by myself to Vienna (sorry mom and dad). Travelling alone was one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had since being abroad. Not having anyone to help you get to the airport, find your gate, understand the language of the country you’re visiting, and the like. It was a little frustrating at times but ultimately made me a smarter traveller.

Once I arrived at my Airbnb, I put down my backpack, and walked down to Vienna’s city center to get food. I got a funky shrimp burger with mango curry sauce and french fries on the side. I tried not to eat to much because I was saving room for Vienna’s famous cake, the Sacher-torte. It’s comprised of chocolate cake with a little sliver of apricot jam in the middle. And it’s absolutely insane.

The next day, I woke up relatively early to get a start on all the museums. But first, I stumbled upon some ancient Roman ruins. Boy, were these people everywhere. It was nice having a little piece of Rome with me wherever I went around Europe.

I went to the Albertina gallery first, the home of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream.” It’s amazing how every piece of art here conveys such deep emotions for something that is just two-dimensional. He, as well as other artists followed Jæger’s aesthetic directive, “you shall write your own life.” I love that. Another cool thing about Edward Munch’s exhibit was that some of his quotes were painted on the walls to accompany his paintings.

Munch had one painting that stuck with me long after I left the museum. It was called “The Kiss” and it was incredibly bittersweet; it was a pair of lovers embracing each other with dramatic silhouettes framing their bodies. What’s so interesting about this to me was that the characters’ bodies looked like they were melded together, creating only one silhouette, giving the illusion that they were too attached to each other.

Munch repaints the same image over and over again, creating an unknown amount of duplicates of his paintings. This quirk made the gallery different than any other one I’ve been to. And of course, finally, I saw “The Scream.”

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After the Albertina, I went to the Leopold Museum, and the mumok. These two museums were located in MuseumsQuartier, a large courtyard with some of the best art in the world. The Leopold museum is best known for their impressive Gustav Klimpt and Egon Schiele collection.

After the museums, I biked around Vienna, ate great food (cream of pumpkin soup and so much apple strudel), and went to a Viennese movie theater. Another one of my favorite movies was filmed here, so I visited a lot of the same restaurants, Danube River spots, and record shops as they did. They were my tour guide, twenty years removed.

My final day in Vienna consisted of eating (more) apple strudel, bread, and excellent coffee. I only brought my phone and disposable cameras with me because I wanted to stay really in the moment on this trip, which is why some of my activities are missing on here. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. Until next time, Vienna.

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