Vienna, Austria


Photo: Schonbrun Palace, Vienna, Austria

Ultravox once recorded a song called Vienna where the chorus repeats “it means nothing to me, oh Vienna”. For me it is quite the opposite, Austria was my gateway to the West and I’ve lived there for nearly two years before arriving in Australia. I have to admit my memories of that time were not as cheerful as theses of the recent visit. It makes all the difference in the world if you see a city or a country as a tourist or as a migrant.

Austria is certainly one of the most beautiful countries one could visit. Lots of history, beautiful art and music and if you are sick of visiting museums and cathedrals you can always escape to the mountains.

Vienna has greeted us with 40C heat so we had to be very careful with our decisions on what to see and where to go. We spend 2 out of our three days there on fun. Prater was a winning formula for my kids and a swimming pool for everyone on the next day. We still found time to see most of the attractions but we did not spend there as much time as we intended. There is only so much heat one can take without air condition in buildings.

Explore my Vienna photographic gallery

Apocalyptic Vienna, Austria


Votive Church (Votivkirche), Vienna, Austria

This Apocalyptic scene, with a cloud like a ball of fire descending over the Votive Church in Vienna was very ominous. We woke up next day to 40C plus temperatures, which lasted for the next week. Unlike Australia, most European countries are very poorly prepared for such heat wave. The air conditioned facilities are sparse to say the least. Our escape was to a local pool which was located on a converted barge On Danube river. Yes, on the “Beautiful Blue Danube” (An der schönen blauen Donau), as named by a famous waltz by Johann Strauss. The only thing is it is rather disappointingly murky brown and very uninviting.

I have a special attachment to Austria as I have lived here for almost two years when I was younger. I still consider it one of the most beautiful countries in Europe and the heat wave did not deter me from showing my family the beauty of this city and country. In next few articles I will bring more scenic photos but for now I leave you with the “fire in the sky” Viennese sunset.