We continue this chronicle that we left last year for the commercial break.
I wake up on my last full day in this city and I walk along the canal. How wonderful it is to be able to do that. I have already fully in love with this city and I am counting the years I need to learn the language.
I bought a 48h underground ticket that I haven’t really used. I am walking everywhere as my apartment is on the 9th District and most of the monuments are on the 1st. It seems far but they are next to each other. Mine is the most quiet, the 1st is the touristic one, and the 8th is where all the pubs and restaurants are. So today I make the most of the ticket and I travel to the Belvedere Palace, where today is the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere, or simply Belvedera Galery, as “Österreichische” is unpronounceable (for the time being). This palace, built by Prince Eugene of Savoy, is truly impressive and it has two buildings, the Unteres and the Oberes, i.b. Upper and Lower. Currently it houses the incredible collections of paintings by great artists such as Hans Makart, Schiele or Klimt, of whom there is Der Kuss (The Kiss). Until the 28th of february 2016 there is an exhibition under the title of The Women of Klimt, Schiele and Kokoschka, that is really wonderful. The museography is fabulous and has small texts written as if they were the voices of the actual women painted in the works of art. Incredible, no words.
As it couldn’t be otherwise, I had schnitzel for lunch, which is like escalope and is one of the typical dishes of Viennese cuisine. I go to a restaurant near the Belvedere, The Herlitschka, and although the waiter isn’t very nice, the food is very good. I think he adds some one or two euros to the bill but I pay by card and leave no tip. Small revenge.
Ah, yes, it is customary to tip here and people is very thankful. When you pay you say how much you want to leave, e.g. if the bill is €23.50 you say “25, please”. Also, they come to charge you at the table with some kind of purses all waiters carry with them.
I go back to the center walking slowly, at first in an area full of cars and small skyscrapers, until the most touristic part of the city, where the Cathedral of Saint Stephan is. I have studied the website thoroughly to see when was best to visit, with audioguide or guided tour in English, but since I’m here I go in. The man at the ticket booth, of the paying part (because you don’t pay for all) tells me I cannot get the audioguide now and instead of giving me proper information he tells me, simply, “Come back tomorrow”. I think of Larra. Anyway, I walk about and I decide not to come back tomorrow and instead go up the bell tower, from where I see such wonderful views. Oh, how will this look in Summer!
I keep walking, feeling safe, with my mobile on GPS mode on my hand, without fear of being stolen. I go through narrow streets until I reach Judensplatz, where the Holocaust Memorial is. It is a moment for intimacy, calmness, and to do a small prayer.
I go back to my apartment to do the daily ritual: leave the backpack, rest a bit, get changed to go out again. The weather has been good. In fact, it is not cold, but cool. In the evening I change my cotton scarf for a woolen one, and I take my hat. On my way by the canal I hear jazz music and I see young graffiti artist. Is this the moment when I definitely fall in love with this city? Well, I think, I’ll come back next year during Summer and in the Winter when it is snowy and I decide, but I guess I have done it already.
Today, for dinner, I’m meeting Kevin, a North-American who comes to Europe every year. This time, just like me, he is on his own and meeting people through Couchsurfing. We have lots to talk about and he is very nice. We talk about our lives and I give him the small advises I can give him about my experience in Vienna, where he has just arrived today. We have a very nice dinner at Das Heinz and they almost have to throw us out, as we talk so much. We hug good-by and I invite him to come to Tarragona to celebrate Santa Tecla.
I sleep for the last time in this magical city that has stolen my heart. The next morning I have breakfast and it is the best yet. Apparently when I was arriving at the cafes and saying I wanted something to eat I wasn’t doing it good, as I should have said I want to have breakfast. So today I have a nice Austrian breakfast with ham, cheese, boiled egg, breads, jam and fruit. And then I off to the station.
This is where my trip in Vienna ends, that won’t be the last, of which I have been tweeting using the hashtag #WienIn3Days. My trip continues in Austria a few more days; I’m going to Linz in a train that works properly, is comfortable and has wifi. There my friends are waiting for me, I will visit the Ars Electronica, Saltzburg, we’ll eat a lot, we’ll see some rugby and we’ll talk a lot. This, thought, in a more quiet way, will remain unexplained. You have it with the hashtag #FMDiOP (Few More Days in Österreicht, Please).
This is my first trip alone, my first time in Vienna, and my first intervention at Cultius Culturals. I hope that they won’t be the last, of at least, the last two.
You can read the first part here.
Photo cover: Canal of Wienn. Photo by F. Merino. All photos in this article and the previous one are made by the author.