Vienna - day 17April 28, 2019 in Austria ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C
A bit windy, but around 18 degrees
We have both been sleeping really well in Nico. I didn’t actually wake up this morning until 8am, so a 9 hour sleep with no pit stops. Pretty unheard of for me, and I was very surprised at the time. But feeling quite on the mend now, and didn’t take anything to help with symptoms today. So we left the campsite around 10 with our bikes all ready to catch the train – first time I have done that with a bike. It wasn’t too hard as the carriage that could take bikes was clearly marked. We had to change trains once, and then we were in Vienna. It was a bit different taking the bikes up and down the escalators too, but we coped admirably.
So then we were out in the sunlight deciding where to go. We had a few places in mind, and chose to go to the Hundertwasser village and museum. When I worked in Whangarei there was a lot of discussion about Hundertwasser as there had been fundraising for a building, and it was quite a contentious issue. I now have more of an appreciation of how wonderful his art is, and what an unusual approach he had to life. The toilets in Kawakawa are of his design, and I was asked if I had been to them today. We bought the audio cues at the museum, and that had heaps of information about him. It was great cos you could read it on the screen as well as listen to it (could scroll through it very quickly, and there were lots of pages). His art is very bright and vibrant, and not restricted to paintings. In Austria he has designed the exterior of a refuse incinerator plant which looks fantastic, and also came up with the concept of tree tenants which had some wonderful words with it which I can’t find – about having trees in your houses which don’t need to pay any rent as they pay in many other ways. We were there for quite a long time as both really enjoyed his art and concepts. His art reminds me a bit of Gaudi in Barcelona, and it was great to see examples of both everywhere in their home cities. We had lunch there – kumara chips with guacamole (odd, but nice), and some beef goulash with bread and a gherkin (yes, very odd!).
Then it was off to try and find the Belvedere Palace and baroque gardens. It was a bit of fun riding around Vienna with one hand off the handlebars with googlemaps on my phone directing me left and right and all over the place. We stopped and took pics at a couple of places with stunning churches, and managed to find the gardens. That was pretty spectacular, and a very popular place for runners. We took lots of photos, and I have been trying to perfect my posing technique – there are lot of examples for me to follow! I think people think we are a bit mad, but it is a bit of fun.
So after leaving the gardens, we went on a bit more of a tiki tour and saw a lovely fountain. Shortly after that as we were biking down a road, I chose to ride up a sloped path onto the footpath, while Jody thought she would be clever and jump her bike up a really high kerb. Unfortunately she was going a bit slow for that, and her front wheel landed in the dip, so she flew over the handlebars. After ascertaining that she was ok, I was convulsed with laughter cos it really was the most ill-timed jump. I was riding beside her at the time, so had a great view. Unfortunately when she got on her bike again, she realised that the derailer was poking into her spokes, so it wasn’t really rideable. So we found a place to lock the bikes up and went walking. Later on we devised a temporary solution with a New World bag and some dental floss to tie it up (kiwi ingenuity to the fore!).
The we walked to Stephanplatz which is a bit of a big square with an extremely high church (maybe as high as the Sagreda Familia in Barcelona?). We walked around that, and had a look in the church. Then walked to another square and into another church where they were having a service. The priest was the one leading the singing which I thought was interesting. Then we decided to have an early dinner before taking the train. Jody had some enchilada type thingeys, and I had beef spare ribs which came with chips. Everything seems to be served with chips here. Last night we had Wiener Snitzel at the camp ground which came with a side of a potato dish as well as some chips. Then it was back to the bikes, and trying to work out how to get back to Nico. The train system here is similar to the London underground with a few interlinking lines. Our campground is beyond the Vienna lines so we had to take 2 Vienna trains, and then 1 regional one. It wasn’t too hard to work it out though, and we were back by around 8pm. Really enjoying the good wifi here, and are both downloading the NZDAC 2017 playlist form Spotify.
There is a Giant bike shop next door, and that is our plan for the morning. It doesn’t open until 10am though, so we possibly might be staying here for another day. There are scooters for hire in Vienna, so maybe we could try them out – I have told Jody that if we do, I think she should take her bike helmet. She has chosen only to tell me now that she is a bit accident prone on holidays! Next time she looks like she is doing something unwise I might be yelling NEIN NEIN at her!Read more