Magnificent Europe River Cruise: VIENNA, AUSTRIA

Vienna is the capital and largest city of Austria. Apart from being a cultural center because of its musical legacy, Vienna is also known as the birthplace of Sigmund Freud, the world’s first psycho-analyst. Home to museums, a world class opera house, and palaces, it also has a large amount of land dedicated to green space and is considered one of the world’s most liveable cities.

Rather than take the cruise-sponsored walking tour, we opted to visit Vienna with some shipmates from Australia who had been here before and knew their way around. That was a good decision indeed as they brought us to places we would probably not have otherwise found.

Belvedere Palace/Museum

Belvedere Palace/Museum

View of Belvedere gardens overlooking downtown Vienna

View of downtown Vienna from Belvedere gardens

The first was the Belvedere, a former palace and now a museum that houses the world’s largest collection of paintings by Gustav Klimt. Klimt is our Aussie friends’ favorite artist, and he is now one of mine as well. I totally fell in love with his famous painting “The Kiss.” Taking pictures was not allowed, so I “borrowed” the following from an Amazon ad on the internet. What it doesn’t show is the amazing use of metallic colors that makes Klimt’s work so stunning.

Gustav Klimt's "The Kiss" - photo taken from the internet

Gustav Klimt’s “The Kiss”
– photo taken from the internet

Our friends then brought us to Hundertwasser Village, which is at the opposite end of the art spectrum. Friedensreich Hudertwasser was an early 20th century painter, architect, environmental activist and philosopher. His stated goal was to create architecture in harmony with the laws of nature, not man.

Entrance to gift shoppes and cafes

Entrance to gift shoppes and cafes

Hundertwasser building housing retail establishments and apartments

Hundertwasser building, which houses retail establishments and apartments

Our time in Vienna was all too short—we were very happy that we had made plans to return there for a few days after the cruise so that we could further explore this beautiful city.

Next port of call: Bratislava, Slovakia

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