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2:21pm on Sunday, 27th November, 2011:

Vienna Vignette


I threatened you with some photographs from my jaunt around Vienna on Friday, so here they are.

OK, so the first thing I should say is that because it was foggy/drizzly, there aren't any stunning vistas. Here's the cathedral:

On a previous visit I climbed to the top of that: 343 steps with no break. It nearly killed me — I would have paid a hundred quid for a bottle of water at the top, but they didn't have any.

After seeing so many elegant shop signs in Salzburg, I was a little disappointed that Vienna had pretty well the same kind of illuminated ones you see in UK cities, however they did occasionally have an old-fashioned one:

"I know, let's make our logo be ... a BLACK CAMEL!"

Some of the shop fronts themselves are very nice, though. Here's a pretty one:

Of course, it's not entirely obvious what they sell — chocolates and other edible treats I think — but who cares, it's pretty!

I saw this English language inscription on the side of a building:

I didn't stay around long enough to discover in what way my perception of the plaza ensemble would change when yellow fog was added to the regular fog. Judging by the Youtube video I found, not much.

I like the heads on these mannequins:

Naturally, three seconds later I would have been unable to tell you what the clothes were, and ten seconds after that I wouldn't have even remembered what gender they were for.

They certainly don't like people to miss road signs in Vienna:

As is often the case, the more orders you give people to obey, the more likely they are to disobey them. Doesn't that sign mean "no stopping"?

Here's the royal palace:

It's still photogenic, even though it's a grey day. It would have been slightly more so without that netting over the main entrance, mind you.

One thing about having a lot of water in the air is that at least the grass is green:

In the parks, they put sacks over saplings to protect them from the frost:

Either that or they're awaiting extraordinary rendition.

I saw this sign in one of the parks:

Unfortunately, I saw it as I was leaving the park...

Yay! They have Punch & Judy shows in Austria!

Oh, that reminds me: I can report that the Austrian female clown is the same resolutely humourless and unempathic individual as she is everywhere else.

Vienna is strongly organised in terms of its shops. There was a whole section I found myself in that had nothing but antiques shops in it. This little side street is a picturesque example:

That fat woman on the left wouldn't move until I'd taken the photo, damn her hide.

I'm no expert, but this doesn't look to be all that safe to me:
The idea is that you can drive underneath it and it won't piledrive your car six metres underground.

This is a regular statue in honour of tailors or something:

Except, look close up:

Nice to see the Viennese sense of humour in action.

These are the still waters of a pond in one of the parks near the palace:

The reason they're still is because they're frozen. I did mention it was COLD in Vienna in November, didn't I?

This is a monument to Karl Renner, the first president of Austria's (current) Second Republic:

Let's have a closer look at that face, alongside a photo of the man himself:
It's uncanny! The things kids can do with silver plasticine these days...

I was hoping to find a Christmas market in Vienna. In the end, I found four. They probably deserve a blog entry all of their own so I'll just give you a taster now:

That's in front of the city hall. See how everyone has wrapped up warm, on account of how it was four degrees Celsius out there.

Finally, as it's getting close to Christmas, Vienna has its Christmas lights up. Here are some pictures of the rather splendid displays down the main shopping drags:

And that's Vienna in November.

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Copyright © 2011 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).