Tuesday, 15 April 2014 23:32

A traveller's dream- Vienna

Vienna is to the eye, mind and soul a delight every which way says Purabi Shridhar as she writes this personal piece exclusively for Luxe Point India

Pure Pleasure

So what if you are musically stone deaf and can’t differentiate one note from the other, in Haus der Musik (House of Music, Seilerstatte 30, 1010 Wien, Vienna, Austria) you can not only create your own brief symphony but come away with a certificate to prove it! Classical music is undoubtedly the leitmotif of the city; this is after all the homeland of Mozart! And everyone knows that though Beethoven was born in Germany he chose to move to Austria too. It’s only given that the classical – more of old world aristocracy- is the underlining vein everywhere. It is a city that induces a genteel, leisurely and somewhat luxurious way of living.

 

                    Treasure trove, Nacht Market                                                                                            Vineyards

That the Austrian capital rightly claims to be the opera capital of the world is undisputed. The Staatsoper, the city’s prime opera and ballet theatre is unique both for its stunning architecture and performances. However, getting tickets - it calls for very open purse strings-calls for wise planning and early bookings. There is however a tour of the venue which can be somewhat of a compensation combined with the fact that the theatre has a huge screen outside that allows everyone to view what’s going in. The best bet is to sit in a café outside gorging on the decadent sachertorte, aromatic coffee and maybe a glass of wine too.

The old with the new

In a seamless merger Vienna gels its regal old ways and contemporary comfort without any jarring notes. It is a city geared to provide all facilities to visitors; yet not overcrowd you and leave you to your ways to discover fascinating facets of the city at every turn.

The essence of the heritage, the culture and in a way the evolved lifestyle of Austria is best at display in its palaces and royal structures. Hofburg (The Imperial Palace) from where the ruling family the Habsburgs lived for over six centuries and Schloss Schonbrunn, the stunning summer palace of the family and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The place has over 1440 rooms and but unfortunately not all are open to the public. But a tour of the 40 rooms open to the public or just 26 rooms (The Imperial Tour) is an awesome experience.

 

                                       Schloss Schonbrunn                                                                               The old and the new

Where there is culture at its best there are certainly art galleries, each outdoing the other. Nothing however can equal the pleasure of taking in Gustav Klimt’s work especially his legendary work ‘The Kiss’. For that Belvedere Palace and Museum (Prinz-Eugen-Strasse 27, Vienna 1030) is the place which also has on display extensive Austrian art. Equally awe inspiring is the Museums Quartier (MQ) listed among the ten largest cultural quarters in the world and naturally too spread over, as it is more than thousands of square feet, with art galleries, a central square with some snazzy very modernistic recliners that oddly blend in beautifully with old architectural buildings. The ubiquitous cafes and shops contribute to building a festive spirit, making it difficult to move away from it.

And yet, move one must- to the wine trial, which stretches from Neustift am Walde to Nussdorf including Kahlenberg, Mauer etc. Breathtaking vistas and the call of the heurigers (wine taverns), simply irresistible! The finale of course is cruising down the Danube. Remember the evergreen Blue Danube number, well a trip down it sets one off on a dream journey.    

 

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