Slow Walk through Vienna

Vienna Horse drawn carriage
Clean, pristine

A city of analysed dreams

Music the pulse through its elegant veins

Grandeur a habit defined and ingrained

Politics roasted and blended to the taste

Of the varied inhabitants of this melting pot place.

My heart is definitely for the natural world. Take me out into the countryside, into a woodland, or along the shoreline and I am content. I have never considered myself a city girl until I was introduced to Vienna.

“Oh Vienna!” that hunting bleak phrase from the famous song by Ultravox is in complete contrast to how I would express my feelings. Imagine the words “Oh Vienna’” said with a warm, nostalgic memory and you would understand what this city has come to mean.

When I go back there, the first thing I do is take a walk. Vienna is the kind of city where walking can be done with ease. In fact, getting around is done with an unstressed grace that I have never experience anywhere else. I always savour a walk through district one, the very heart of the city,

This day, like most days, I start at Schottentor. Schottentor is a transport hub where lots of trams bring their passengers in from the outlying districts of the city; buses and the Ubahn connect here too. I head down Schottengasse towards Freyung, which is a beautiful square. At Christmas and at Easter there are lovely markets here. Today, I decided to head along Herrengasse all the way to the Hofburg Palace.

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This walk always lets me know I really am in Vienna when I hear the sound of horses’ hooves pulling their elegant landaus along the street. Throw in a musician, perhaps a musician busking close to Café Central, or the harpist playing in the Ferstel Passage, and I am captivated.  From here there is a myriad of choices; grand open streets lined with designer shops and attendant security; alleyways that lead into small courtyards, imposing cathedrals, bustling coffee shops.

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My choice is to carry on to the Albertina, a museum and art gallery in which I have wandered many times, usually on sweltering summer days as a respite from the heat! It is in good company with the Opera House, Burggarten and the Hotel Sacher close by. I have never yet had a Sacher Torte, and it is something I must remedy. To complete my wander, I head out the Ringstrasse and find a tram that will take me to the U4 and then home. My city walk is complete, but tomorrow I might just try a different way!

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