26 Mar 8682km // VIENNA // AUSTRIA
Sometimes you arrive in a city, and it immediately sweeps you off your pleather boots. You get this weird buzz under your skin; it’s like you’ve been there before – maybe in a past life – and all 43 muscles in your face suddenly jump into a frenzy. “Why can’t I help but smile?” you ask yourself, “why do I look like a cheese douche, smiling at nothing?”
This was the case with Vienna, possibly the most contradictory city in Austria.
On the one hand, you get the modern, chic bustle any major city gives off – pristinely-manicured women, hustling through the U-Bahn, and a cosmopolitan flair exuding similar traits to that of London (or New York, I would imagine). Then on the other gloved-hand, you’re turning corners every few hundred metres, staring at the most gorgeous Baroque architecture from hundreds of years ago; it felt as if I was Snapchatting Gustav Klimt’s ‘Kiss’.
Day one had Stevo and I consciously choosing to get lost. Why not? What’s the worse that could happen? We could end up taking the wrong tram and would have to jump off at the next available stop, having to walk back a few hundred metres? Ok, yes. This did happen. Or we could find ourselves surrounded by creepy clowns, and nightmarishly-high roller coasters, tempting us to do the unthinkable and actually go on one of these rides? Ok fine, that happened too. But wow, what a day, and what luck that we ended up getting lost at the beautiful Prater amusement park.
Managing to make some new friends in Linz, our Instagram feed was abuzz with Igers from Austria who reside in the capital, and who were kind and amazing enough to meet with us again on day two of our Vienna venture, to give us a personalised tour. We met with Rashid, Patrick and Greg (such a pity Bigii and Claudio couldn’t join that day too), and explored for a good 15 kilometres, managing to see the city through locals’ eyes. Thanks again you guys – flipping awesome!
One of the other highlights was visiting the largest museum in Central Europe, the Museum of Modern Art (MUMOK) – a striking and obscure cuboid, situated in the town’s Museum Quarter. There was something surreal about being in the same room as Andy Warhol’s original Marilyn prints, and getting to view Roy Lichtenstein’s work up close. There was no Adobe Illustrator back then! You couldn’t “Apple Z” your way out of an oops-I-didn’t-go-between-the-lines situation. These men were sheer craftsmen from version one. So inspiring. It certainly made Stevo and I want to toss the ol’ MacBook in, and go back to the…ok wait, I didn’t really mean that…let’s just say it made us want to be better creatives, no matter what the medium or tools.
Thank you Vienna. I hope to see you, and Stephansdom (the marble one), again.