To round up my July 2013 Austria trip, I’ll end it with mentioning two of my favorite places in Vienna.
I enjoy going to museums, I remember my bestfriend D’s reaction on facebook when I posted the album on the day she left to return to Hong Kong.
Facebook post: More museums!
D: Museums, again?!
What can I say? The museums weren’t crowded. We had the places to ourselves in most cases and we were able to take the time to read and take photos without having selfie sticks shoved in our faces. To be fair, selfie sticks were just coming into their popularity at that time. A year later, the Paris museums banned selfie sticks.
More than the museums, two places stood out for me: one was Schönbrunn Palace. I’m not sure whether it was because most of the tourists were in Paris taking advantage of the sale season or we were just fortunate but there weren’t a lot of tourists then.
There was so much to see in the compound aside from the Baroque architecture of the palace. There were Roman ruins, a beautiful garden, a grand Neptune fountain, and a mini labyrinth.
The other place was the Vienna Central Cemetery. If you’ve been reading my blog, you would’ve noticed that I have a fascination for cemeteries. Some find it morbid. I find it educational. Cemeteries show a great deal of how the living take care of their dead.
The Central Cemetery in Vienna was and probably still is a tourist draw due to the elaborate tombstones of famous composers such as Schubert, Beethoven, Brahms, etc. We didn’t know about this when we went there and stumbled on them when we were on our way out.
The cemetery is 2.4 square kilometers. That’s roughly 35 football fields. Way back in 1870s, the city leaders had foreseen the population growth and with it the need for a place to bury their dead. Aside from this, they also acknowledged the different religions of the people and ensured that the cemetery was interdenominational.
More than the size of the cemetery, I was struck by the differences in tombstones and tomb styles of each faith. Some were very simple. Some were elaborate. Some were literally works of arts.
I wanted to think that regardless of the differences that those left behind shared the same love and devotion for those who went ahead.