Monday, January 19, 2009

Vienna - Day 2

I started the morning by visiting St. Peter's Church. The artwork is beautiful. I didn't look at any brochures or pictures online before entering, so I didn't know what to expect. Walking through the doors was amazing; none of the pictures I was able to take did it justice.

After leaving St. Peter's I started walking towards the National Library. Unfortunately, it is closed on Monday's (at least the tourist portion is closed). I found that the library is actually quite large, and the "real" part of the library is open. However, you have to be a student or card carrying library member to get in. I tried entering through a back door in the ethnic studies wing (I think that's what it was), but I was intercepted by a librarian. I pointed around and said "look". He said "no, it's for students." I think he could tell I wasn't a student. After that I just wandered a bit more. Vienna looks exactly what I have in mind when I picture an old, European city in my head. Street after street is filled with spectacular buildings. I finally came upon the Parliament building. I went on the tour and was surprised that we were actually allowed to stand right up in the front of the National Council chamber. The style is from the mid 50's since the original chamber was destroyed by bombs in WWII. They have plans to renovate it so it will be modern and new by 2012, but those plans are on hold since the economy is hurting right now.

After Parliament I hopped on the train and traveled to Schönbrunn. That place is HUGE. I could probably have spent most of my daylight hours there. As it was I was racing against the clock to take some pictures before sunset. By the time I was done there my feet were in a LOT of pain, but I decided to go back to the hotel and pick up my other camera for some night photography in Vienna. I basically retraced in a much faster fashion the route I took during the day. In spite of the pain I'm glad I did it. I had a feeling the buildings would look even better when lit for the evening and I was right. Those will have to wait for posting to Flickr when I get back.

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