Vienna Wanderings Part II

My second day of Vienna explorations were as rewarding as the first. Today my whirlwind took me to St Stephen’s interior, the Museum of Applied Arts, the Belvedere Palace, Karl’s Church, and the Haus der Musik. Like the previous day, much of my meander revealed typical tourist experiences. St Stephens is an impressive but otherwise unremarkable Gothic cathedral. The AAMuseum was an impressive building, but unless you are a design student, not a compelling visit. The Belvedere has a good collection of paintings and was easily worth the entrance price to see Gustaf Klimt’s two most famous paintings: The Kiss and Judith and Holofernes. I took note that Hundertwasser was influenced by Klimt, as was a whole generation of Jugendstil Viennese artists. The day got more interesting with the Karl’s Church stop. While the church is not that remarkable, the fact that one can take a lift and stairs (installed for restoration work still underway) to the very top of the frescoed dome is unique and fascinating. The visit gave me new and genuine appreciation of the demands of artistic perspective when dealing with curved surfaces to be seen from hundreds of feet below. However, exactly as the day before, there was a single wow experience on this day. The Haus der Musik is truly a unique museum experience. Of course you learn about the leading lights of Viennese musical history but what sets this visit apart is the interactive displays that explore the science of music and sound. I’m not very interested in music and I was absolutely fascinated. This is another no-miss, imprint sight and is worthy of at least a couple hours of exploration. And I really mean the word exploration. You can compose “music” with a computer, with your hands, and even with your mind. It is mind blowing. I even sat meditating for while in a room specifically designed to reproduce the sounds and vibrations of the womb. And don’t miss conducting the Vienna Philharmonic (really!) but be prepared to be chastised if you drop the beat too badly. I found myself repeatedly wishing that Maia was with me as the experience truly touched the creative child within me. And that is increasingly hard to do with this old cynic. I’ve now unwillingly left Vienna behind. I’m on one of Europe’s comfortable trains speeding west and north to Amsterdam to start a new RS tour. I look forward to returning to Vienna in the future to repeat some experiences and to dig yet deeper as I believe there are still more imprint sights to be discovered.