Mozart’s Hobbit Hole

Visiting Mozarts house in Vienna was a wonderful experience. Just knowing you were in exactly the place where he wrote some of the world’s most beautiful music was overwhelming.

I looked out of the windows thinking the view was not much different than the view he saw. This door is the entry to the house. I don’t know if it is the original door but the roundness made me think of Tolkien’s Hobbits.

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Mozart’s Hobbit Hole

Stolen Art at Museum Judenplatz Wien

The Jewish Museum of Vienna is a fascinating and well curated collection. The displays are thoughtful and well presented. Although some sections brought tears to my eyes. Some I viewed with amazement. One area did both.

This is a picture of one part of the 4th floor archive archive. It is filled with all the valuable Torah decorations that the Nazis stole form the European Jews. They burned all the scrolls but kept all the decorations made of gold and silver.

It bears repeating that this picture is only one section. The whole third floor of the museum is filled with other glass cases just like this.

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Stolen Art

St. Stephen’s Cathedral Roof

St. Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna is like no other because of its glorious tiled roof. The south side of the Cathedral has the choir loft covered with 230,000 glazed tiles. The mosaic forms the the double-headed eagle that is symbolic of the Habsburg dynasty. The roof is so steep that it is sufficiently cleaned by the rain alone and it is never covered with snow.

This photograph only shows one half of the roof. I would have needed a crane to capture the entire roof.

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St, Stephens Mosaic Roof

Mozart Lives!

Every big city has its street hustlers. In NYC there are the guys selling fake Rolex watches, in Honolulu it’s guys selling cruises and snorkel tours but Vienna has its own breed. Many guys of different appearance in white wigs and costumes selling tickets to Mozart concerts.

Vienna is a city of music and every night at multiple venues there are different concerts of mostly Mozart. Mozart is a really big deal in Vienna where he lived for a period. The hustle is the same but it does seem to be slightly higher class.

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Mozart Lives

Acid Rain at Saint Stephens

Of course I am not a Catholic or Christian for that matter but appreciate visiting ancient churches. Cathedrals in Europe are some of the most wonderful examples of architecture in the world. I also had a special interest in Stephansdom. Stephen is my middle name and Saint Stephen is one of my favorite Grateful Dead Songs.

In any case I was shocked to see the toll acid rain has taken on the cathedral when we visited in 2016. I was use to seeing this on other cathedrals in Europe but because of the colorful special roof of this edifice it was even more disheartening.

As you can see they are making progress in the restoration but like other ancient structures it is a constant battle.

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Acid Rain at Saint Stephens

Waiting in Isolation

Outside of St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Stephansdom) in Vienna the carriages wait for tourists. I saw a number of the drivers looking at their cellphones like this man. It occurred to me that in other times the men would probably gather together to share stories while they waited. There might have even be laughter or shouting as they shared the trials and tribulations of their jobs.

In our new society of isolation each man is alone with their virtual self and waiting for the world around them to deliver a fare. Forced isolation rather the sharing brotherhood with their fellow horsemen.

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Waiting in Isolation

Lunch in The Park Vienna

Vienna reminds me a little of Paris. The Architecture, streets and even the underground are similar. In both cities it is also popular for workers to take their lunches in the many city parks weather permitting.

This young lady was enjoying a quiet moment on the south side of Karlsplatz in Vienna, Austria.

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Lunch in The Park Vienna

Karlsplatz Wien

We stayed at the Hotel Bristol in Wien (Vienna) which is literally steps away from the Karlsplatz Metro Station. On a rainy day we ducked into the station to avoid the rain. There is a shopping mall and cafes underground where we had breakfast, bought a hat and strolled under the street to emerge in Karlsplatz park.

The rain had stopped and the view was beautiful as we strolled through Vienna.

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Karlsplatz Wien

Doors and Doorways

Europe has many magnificent old buildings. The result is that it also has many magnificent doors and doorways. Here are a few I have collected over the years.

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Doors and Doorways

Doors and Doorways

München Doorway

Belgium Doorway

A Doorway in Bruges

Doors and Doorways

The Hotel Bristol Wien

We were already spoiled by the time we got to the Hotel Bristol in Wien (Vienna). We had spent a week on a luxury river cruise ship, The Viking Hiln. In Munich we stayed in a luxury hotel and had been upgraded to an executive room. We had told all the hotels that it was our 45th wedding anniversary and in each location we received some sort of reward.
The Hotel Bristol in Vienna (Wien) was by far the best.

They upgraded us to a suite and gave us free drinks. On my wife’s birthday we found a bottle of champagne chilling in our parlor with a happy birthday card. Every one in the hotel and dinning room greeted us by name. The doorman in the top hat would give you an umbrellas when you left and always had a smile. The old hotel on the Karlsplat was uniquely decorated with antiques but still had modern amenities. A special hotel for a special trip.

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The Hotel Bristol Wien

The Hotel Elevator

The Hotel Bristol Wien

View From Our Room