Tag Archives: Kursalan

Vienna, Stadtpark…and an untimely end to our holiday…

In June, we left Canberra on a chilly winter morning for a long planned holiday.

Paul was giving a paper at a conference in Switzerland in early July, so why not go to Austria and Switzerland in June? Paul had not been to either of these countries, and I had only been once, many years ago.

Photos of Vienna

Vienna was very high on the list of places to visit, and after an interesting tour of the city, we stopped off at Stadtpark .

This beautiful park is divided into two sections by the Vienfluss (Vienna River)

Photo by Trip Advisor

The park was designed in the style of English gardens and opened in 1862.

Scattered through the park are statues of famous Viennese artists, writers and composers…

The plants in the gardens were chosen to provide colour and interest in all seasons…….some groves are, Ginkgo, Honey Locust, Pyramid, Poplars…

The Kursalan is an opulent building in the historic style of the Italian renaissance.

A wide Terrace built into the park is attached to it.

Amusements were initially prohibited, but in October 1868 Johann Strauss gave his first concert, in the Kursalan…

Johann Strauss wrote some of the waltz classics  (The Blue Danube) and, although this music was, at first considered “frivolous” by serious musicians, it was, gradually, through its growing popularity, given the respect it deserves.

Statue of Johann Strauss

In fact we were told on a tour, that waltzing was so popular, and women so reluctant to give up dancing while pregnant, that special rooms were made available nearby in case a woman needed to give birth while dancing! (and frequently happened, apparently)

Seems extraordinary !

We strolled through this beautiful park on a gloriously warm day, watching the people of Vienna enjoying their weekend.

 

Everyone seemed to be eating ice-creams, but this time I settled for a Vienna-Styled Iced Coffee (without the Baileys!)

….What a lovely day…so far..

 

…unfortunately soon after that, while standing in the pedestrian lane at a busy intersection by the station, I was knocked over by a cyclist.

An ambulance ride and long hospital visit later, we learnt I had a broken wrist which would need to be operated on as soon as possible….

Naturally we wanted to come back home to have this done…and so began the long journey back to Australia….

We had landed in Munich, and spent a few days there, and then visited Vienna for a few days. Goodbye to Salzburg, Switzerland and Paul’s conference.

Back in Munich for the flight home

During times of unexpected trouble and stress it is easy to forget all the kind people who are there along the way….we will be contacting all to give them our thanks.

The biggest thanks of all goes to Paul, who spent all night cancelling accommodation/train travel and that was just the beginning… getting us back to Munich for our new flight was a mission in itself…

.. and he missed out on the Swiss conference….what a pity!

I shudder to think how it would have been if I was in charge of getting us back home!

 

Bike riders and big cities

I have friends, and know people of all ages who ride bikes. They enjoy riding and are very responsible riders. I am greatly in favour of cutting down pollution levels in cities, and my general impression in Munich and in Vienna was that bike riders were courteous and rode well in the city.

However, since arriving home many friends and fellow travellers have mentioned being frightened by bike riders (especially in Amsterdam).

Popular destinations now have immense pedestrian tourist traffic, especially at major city intersections where traffic meets. Is it reasonable for bike riders to cycle at the same speed coming towards these major intersections?

If cars are registered…why not bikes?

It is a modern day dilemma and hopefully can be resolved.

 

Copyright: Geraldine Mackey: All Rights Reserved