Trip Start May 05, 2008
Trip End May 09, 2009

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Flag of Austria  ,
Wednesday, August 6, 2008

After the hubbub of Prague, Vienna feels soothing and a little bit of a mystery: how come a city as grand as this, with so many things to see, is not yet completely overrun with tourists? We suppose it is the reputation of it being expensive, but we found it to be quite a bit more reasonable than Italy, and we managed to find a wonderful hostel, with a standard which could easily classify as 3 stars in Canada for only 56 euros. We´ve had a wonderful stay so far, and Vienna is one of our favourite cities in Europe, at least as far as the culture is concerned.
A century ago, Vienna rivaled Paris, London  and St. Petersburg as one of the greatest cities in Europe. At the center of a huge empire, the city has ammassed centuries of wealth and artistic development. The city feels very grand, far grander than the city´s current population and Austria´s current small size would seem to warrant.  We wandered around the Habsburg imperial palace, the gigantic museums, Parlament and Rathaus (Town Hall), being constantly bewildered at the size and majest of the place, only to realize that we had only seen a small portion of the city and that there was quite a bit more to it. Yesterday we visited the Kunsthistorische Museum (art history), which in terms of the museum itself is probably only surpassed in Europe by the Vatican museums and the Hermitage, and has a fairly good collection of antiquities and art as well, somewhere just under the British Museum. Though the city does feel somewhat underpopulated, it is fairly multicultural and varied, and there are some areas which impressed us with their way of being ´happening´. All in all, we had a great time here and feel that we will not have spent enough time in Vienna to see it all when we will leave for Budapest.
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