Finding Your Spot!

I bet your imagination wandered when you read the story title! You probably thought to yourself about what spot I am referring to! After all, I have been known to ask similar questions in my blog stories like “Are You Regular?” and also to get a bit provocative as in “Nude in the Sauna.” But this story isn’t like that. However, I hope the title captured your attention so you read on!

Continue reading “Finding Your Spot!”

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My Explorations Move from Austria to Spain

The train arrived to take me to the Vienna Airport
The train arrived to take me to the Vienna Airport

Yesterday was my departure day from Austria and the conclusion of my current exploration there. I am returning to Spain from my holiday and I am heading to the Costa del Sol, Sun Coast, on the Mediterranean Sea. Once again I will reside in Mijas Pueblo through winter because the temperature doesn’t approach freezing and, most importantly, the choice to be in snow is mine. I choose NOT!

During my last few weeks in Austria I have been reflective of my exploration and the people, places, and culture which I have blogged about and reminisced through photos on Facebook. Before leaving Austria I went to Stadtpark, City Park, in Vienna one final time. It became one of my favorite places in Austria. Envisioned by Emperor Franz Josef, the center city park was set aside for people like me and future generations to enjoy the wooded paths, the pond and the wildfowl that take to it, and the serene escape that comes with it. Classical music from Shubert, Strauss, Mozart, and many others is celebrated in the park with memorials lining the walking paths.

Leaves are beginning to change color near the pond at Stadtpark, Vienna
Leaves are beginning to change color near the pond at Stadtpark, Vienna

With autumn in Austria, the evening light is dwindling, leaves are turning colors, and the reflections in the pond foretell the coming of snow and cold. On my last park exploration I stood by a child tossing bread to the ducks and enjoyed watching people snapping photos. I saw an elderly gentleman with a heavy tan blanket on his lap, confined to a wheelchair and his wife standing behind him watching the activity. Although his expression didn’t change you could see the same joy I felt as I looked into his eyes.

As evening approached the woman wheeled her husband from the park as the chill in the air intensified; it became time for me to leave. I made my way back to Wolkersdorf to enjoy the warmth and glow of the fireplace one more time. I will return to this wonderful Austrian city again. But for now, I will continue my exploration from the warmth of the Spanish Mediterranean coast where more adventures await in Marbella, Palma, Tenerife, and many other places.

Vienna – City of Dreams

Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss

Vienna, the “City of Dreams,” is much more than Freud’s dream studies in Vienna. In Vienna, dreams are much more expansive and expressive than his work alone. The ever-changing, diverse city holds dear all forms of artistic culture. The visions of dreamers extend into every aspect of the city at the Staatsoper Opera House and numerous concert venues. Mozart’s, Strauss’ and Schubert’s dreams of beautiful music come alive in Vienna. And native son Klimt’s paintings adorn the city along with Austrian masterpieces in the Belvedere.

Dreams leap to the present from the imperial past and the stately palaces at Hofburg and Schönbrunn and numerous museums depicting Austria’s past and dreams for the future. Public places depict the dreams of emperors from the bustle on the Ringstrasse to the relaxing calm at Stadtpark. Dreams brought to reality are exhibited in numerous festivals like the Film Fest held outdoors at the Rathaus town hall and numerous other sites that attract people from around the world to both visit and to stay.

Stadtpark
Stadtpark calm and beauty

The visions of past Vienna dreamers have affected and continue to shape the future of Austria and the world. The city continues to set an example for quality of living as it is identified as #1 in the world according to the latest Mercer “Quality of Living Survey.”

During August 2015 I experienced many of these dreams and the quality of life as I lived in the city and have seen how, over time, the dreams have become reality in this City of Dreams.

St Stephen's Cathedral built in the 14th Century
St Stephen’s Cathedral built in the 14th Century

The Vienna dreamers emphasize remembering the past and you see it everywhere. Be it simple as enjoying a latte in Stephansplatz with Saint Stephen’s Cathedral’s bells tolling or a visit to the multitude of museums, it is evident that the dreamers for this city want to leave their mark as a commitment to past memories so that future generations will learn from the city’s past. The Technical Museum is a fine example of this where the emphasis on industrialization and dreams for bettering life live on.

As mentioned previously, music and art abound in the city. Monuments to song and dance reside many places and have been left by past visionaries. The most notable of these monuments is the Staatsoper Opera House where beautiful paintings adorn the luxurious grand stairway and patrons delight as one senses the sounds and sights of beautiful music and dance.

Paintings representing Ballet, Comic Opera and Tragic Opera above the Grand Staircase at the Opera House
Paintings representing Ballet, Comic Opera and Tragic Opera above the Grand Staircase at the Opera House

Dreams are also found in the political history of Austria as it was once was the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. There are grand stories of the dreams of Emperor Franz Josef and his Empress Elisabeth. While Franz Josef was the visionary for much of the way we see the city today, the impression left to us by Elisabeth is quite interesting.

Empress Elisabeth
Empress Elisabeth

Known as “Sisi,” Elisabeth dreamed of not being tied to royal expectations of court life and lived her dreams by traveling. Her story is fascinating and worth writing a blog about her but I will save that for another time.

Vienna is an enchanting city and it is understandable to be called the “City of Dreams.” One can just feel the presence of the past and the visions of many and their contributions for now and the future. If you have a bucket list item to visit Europe, Vienna is your necessary stop to be embraced by the City of Dreams.