Back in town again
Gone for four months, now the long-lost daughter was finally coming home – for a bit. Yes, I was back in my hometown once again, meeting my closest friends and spending time with my family. Needless to say, I had an amazing time. Seeing your loved ones again after such a long time is truly amazing. You have a completely different notion of time and value the hours you spend with them even more – because you know it will come to an end soon. The days flew by, I felt like leaving the airport just to return a few hours later. However, it felt a bit weird to be back as well. Being away for so long you yourself change and you can’t imagine everything at home to stay the same – but that’s exactly the way it was. No major change, nothing dramatic. Just good old Vienna, good old life, good old days.
What I did notice though is, that the cliché of the laid-back (you might as well say a bit lazy), grumpy, not much smiling Viennese is kind of true. People love to complain here. It’s called “suddern” which basically means complaining about everything. Literally. Everything. Ah, good old Viennese culture. Taking the metro, I was welcomed with warm grumpy faces without even a hint of a smile. Just imagine the face of grumpy cat. A few hundred times. A huge contrast to super polite and friendly Bordeaux. Entering the metro looking into people’s faces I felt like
“Oh, yes Vienna, you got me back again”
Of course, I love my home town. It’s just funny how different people are in every single corner of this world.
Being back again I, of course, had to visit all my favorite places of the city. Get ready for the inside of the best places to be during summer.
Land am Strome
“Land der Berge, Land am Strome… “ – „land of mountains, land at the riverside…” – that’s the first sentence of our national anthem already emphasizing the importance of the Danube, the biggest river flowing through Vienna. This river was also one of the few little spots I really missed being in France. In Bordeaux, you do have the Garonne, but it’s simply not comparable. The Danube is way bigger and greener. There you can sit down in the grass at the waterside drinking a beer with your friends while enjoying the sunset. Watching the sky turning from yellow to orange to red. A red glowing ball slowly disappearing behind the hills of Vienna.
In the middle of the Danube an island was constructed which now has been transformed into a leisure time paradise. 21 kilometers long, green and full of possibilities. People there skating, riding their bikes or jogging. For those who are a bit less into sports there is plenty of space to just enjoy a picknick, play some music, dance, relax, sleep, enjoy the sun – the list goes on and on. If its warm enough you can even go for a swim. Granted, there’s not so much to see, but it’s just a beautiful place to enjoy your day – or night as well if you gather with a few friends.
The Donaukanal (Danube canal) is another beautiful place in Vienna. The most southern part of the Danube which has been divided in the 19th century. Alongside the canal you can find a lot of important business buildings of Vienna up on the streets. In contrast to busy city life, a new urban space has been developed down at the canal, right next to the water. Going there, the heart of a true sportsman will beat faster seeing all the workout places, football cages and skateboard ramps. Riding your bike or jogging there is also common. As a pedestrian you even you to be careful no to get run over sometimes. The workout areas are situated in the middle of the canal.
At the beginning, close to Schwedenplatz, which is a famous place to go out and have a drink, you can see the drinking culture from the bars above reflecting on the canal. As soon as it gets warm a lot of people come together to sit next to the water and enjoy a beer together. Bars and a few restaurants lining up right at the side, just waiting for some thirsty students to finish their cheap beer from home and craving for more. If you want to join – just keep in mind you won’t be the only one especially on a really nice day. People are lining up there one after the other, so you might even need to walk all the way back to find a place to sit. However, it’s a free spot to drink and relax at water in the middle of the city – what more do you need?
Graffiti and street art
Colorful, diverse and bright. The walls of the Donaukanal. You’ll soon spot the “Wiener Wand” (Viennese wall) sign which marks the places where spraying graffiti is legal. As the city wanted to move away from criminalizing street art and graffiti, they introduced a lot of places all around Vienna where street artists can express themselves freely and present their work in a legal way. And everybody else is free to join the spraying, of course. Walking around there you can already see the walls which have been sprayed over and over so many times they are covered in a dozen layers of paint. This project helped to transform the canal in a beautiful place of art. It’s also the perfect place to take some pictures as the canal is offering you the most colorful background you can imagine.
Down there you’ll also find a famous club of Vienna – the Flex – which is covered in Graffiti as well. A Viennese underground place for concerts or other numerous illegal activities – not the most recommendable club from my side but it’s definitely unique – and already part of Viennese culture for almost 30 years now. So as a hardcore – culture fan it maybe is worth a try.