Prater und Hundertwasserhaus und Belvedere

Trip Start Dec 18, 2008
Trip End Jan 15, 2009

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Flag of Austria  , Vienna,
Monday, December 22, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008
Prater und Hundertwasserhaus und Belvedere

Guten Tag!!! Es ist Kalt heute!! Und sehr vindy!
The day started well... Leigh's bag had been delivered - a bit damaged but now after 3 days she could change into something fresh. Disappointed that she didn't get to go shopping.
We visited the famous Hundertwasser Haus built in 1985 by a Viennese born architect who changed his name to Hundred Waters cos he was a bit of a hippy!It is seriously colourful and a bit manic as he shunned convention. Later in life he built a toilet in Kawakawa NZ and considered himself a Kiwi. He died on board QE2 and was buried in NZ.
Then we went on to the Prater - a massive park, which has a fun fair and the giant ferris wheel..aside from the dodgems - which we had seriously good fun on- and the ferris wheel, the fun fair was closed.We rode the ferris wheel -called the Reisenrad- which had been bombed in WW2. It travels very slowly but gives you a great view of the city. We then had great pizza.
Next, we went to Belvedere - a beautiful art gallery set in the Hapsberg's winter palace. It was originally built by Johann Lukas von  Hildebrandt (who also designed Scoenbrunn)  in 1723 for Prince Eugene of Savoy. Here we saw famous pieces by Klimt, Van Gogh, Degas, Renoir and Monet - as well as the famous Napoleon crossing the Alps at the Saint-Bernard Pass painting by Jacques-Loius David.There was a great market in the palace grounds - a lot easier to navigate than the Schoenbrunn crowds.
Leigh could not believe that she could (almost) touch these original masterpieces by the Grand Masters and impressionists that you normally see in art books or on posters. Great experience. Kids amused themselves by annoying the guards and playing games.
We returned home to have ein bier at the bar attached to the hotel. Leigh had Heiss Schokalade of course 
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