After a quick three hour train ride we arrived in Vienna, the capital and largest city of Austria. Vienna is a charming city full of ornate architecture, world class museums, and expansive public spaces.
St. Stephen’s Cathedral is located right in the heart of Vienna. Constructed in the 14th century, this Gothic-style church is a prominent feature of the Viennese skyline. The iconic South Tower of the cathedral stands at 136 meters (446 ft)! We climbed up the tower to a viewing platform that provided incredible views of the city.
Coffee is an important part of Viennese culture. Cafes in Vienna serve dozens of varieties of different coffees along with tasty pastries. We headed to a local cafe to sample the coffee and Apfelstrudel, a traditional Viennese pastry.
Like Budapest, Vienna has an excellent public transport system, which includes rail, metro, and trams (trolleys). We rode the trams all over the city to take in the sights.
Both Joe and Dan are fans of the Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser. During his career Hundertwasser modeled buildings, created stamps, painted, and even designed a new flag for New Zealand. We visited three of his buildings in Austria, the Spittelau Incinerator, the Hundertwasserhaus, and his museum at Kunst Haus Wien.
We had two geologists and two geographers in our group, so a trip to the Museum of Natural History was a must. Opened to the public in 1889, the museum contains 39 exhibit halls. The museum started collecting artifacts over 250 years ago and the insect collection dates to 1793! The building itself is ornate with grand ceilings and impressive architectural details.