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Train from Prague to Vienna. Confusion reigns as normal in these places. Half, at least, of the intending passengers running round in circles. Eventually most if not all of us board and take our seats.

Vienna, Austria

It’s a drizzly day, the train takes us through expansive flat largely featureless landscape occasionally interrupted by what appeared to be economically starved towns. In these the buildings and rail yards appeared as if they’d been forgotten long long ago. Totally lacking upkeep, a property managers nightmare. Reminded me of those Soviet/East German era magazine and film images we all saw back then. I couldn’t motivate myself to take a picture, so desolate they were on an already grey day. Regret that now.

As we approached Vienna that changed, the rural scenes of cultivated land and industrial areas as we approached urban areas showed signs of life.

Vienna has a few surprises. Firstly its a city of 2 million and possibly the cleanest and best ordered place we have seen. Initially it all looks a bit monotone, in a sepia kind of way. But as you find your way around it turns out to be quite a delight. We are located by the Rathaus (City hall) area. Great name that in English, would to apply it back home!

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Rathaus Platz Park, divided by beautifully tree lined walks with so much bench seating lining all paths I reckon most of Tauranga could be seated there at one time.

A beautifully kept park are pretty much adjacent to our hotel. It’s Saturday and we find Rathaus Platz is busy with workmen installing a large screen, seating and other stuff for the last night of month long film festival. This has been run around the city with the events of last 2 nights centred here.

10 minutes walk sees us in the Museum Quartier. and only short walks to trams and underground to most of the city. However, as we find seeing is better walking, we spend the day doing that.

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Some of magnificent stained glass window in churches here. These are in a church I haven’t seen in the tourist material, but a real beaut anyway. The Votive Church, a beaut neo-Gothic structure, like many of the building we’d like to photograph the exterior is largely covered up for renovation.

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This one is on the tourist list, St. Stephen’s, as you can see partly under reno too. Again well worth stopping by even though you may feel you are churched out

Amongst all the museums and galleries, a must see from I reckon, if you have any interest in art is the Hundertwasser Museum, if art is not your thing the Hundertwasser weird and wonderful apartments, not far from the museum, are certainly worth a visit.

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Hundertwasserhaus, or the Hundertwasser Apartments, wonderfully eclectic as was his art and he himself.

We use the underground, so called even though much of it is overground, to get out to the Schoenbrunn Palace. Actually a tip here, we’ve found its generally best to buy a 1, 2 or 3 bus pass which gets you on all public transport. Cost less than the so called Vienna Pass which also offer discounts. Seems hard to earn the cost of those discounts. Together with the Museum Quartier these are must sees. Worth heading to Vienna just to see these.

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Magnificent Schoenbrunn Palace with it’s little train and one of the fountain ponds in foreground and the city of Vienna in background.

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The Gloriette in distance beyond palace gardens through wrought iron balastrade on rear porch of palace, one of large white pieces of statuary, large fountain and one of the many wide tree lined boulevards leading through gardens to palace. Vienna, Austria-240Vienna, Austria-168

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Graffiti in this city seems contained largely to river banks and underground. Here on walls of the Danube canal under one of the many bridges.

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And amongst all the historic architecture there is an area of modern too. Known colloquially as UNO city.

On the train again, headed for Salzburg. The scenery en-route is generally lovely field patterns of rural cropping, small towns and villages scattered throughout. Very attractive. get a little more hilly especially close to Salzburg, and some of those architecturally traditional homes become part of the view.

Our first afternoon is taken up with a walk to the other side of the river. That’s where all tourists head. It comprises acres of classy shops set on narrow winding streets around squares of plazas surrounded by more shops and restaurants. Each square has at least one phenomenal church. this whole area is nestled into a the surrounding rock face of the hills.

The lakes scenic area is another must do here.

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