I started today with a trip out to Vienna's Prater Park to ride the giant 100 year old Ferris wheel. From there I walked back to the ring road to walk the path I took yesterday around the city by tram.
Vienna is definitely the cleanest, quietest, and most relaxed place I've seen so far. Sure there is the odd bit of trash and graffiti here and there but it nothing compared to most other cities. Vienna's large streets lined with interesting buildings and large parks is definitely great to enjoy on foot.
This is Vienna's giant 100 year old Ferris wheel. Those of you James Bond fans may recognized it from the "License To Kill" Bond movie. Of all the places I've been at, Vienna is the only one that really reminds me of a movie. This Ferris wheel, the old tram system, and some of the buildings, look just like they did in that Bond movie.
A view from the top of the Ferris wheel. That tower off in the distance is has a revolving restaurant in the top.
Here we see St. Stephan's Cathedral.
Some of the other cabins on the Ferris wheel and all the cables that hold the thing together. From what I could tell several of the cables where changed not that long ago. It also appears that every other car/cabin is missing from the wheel. I wonder if they did that to improve the view or due to concerns about safety?
I came across this interesting and busy shot as I approached the ring road. In the foreground we see a modern statue of a runner. Behind that is an old building undergoing some very major renovations. The entire inside of the building was removed and all that remains is the outside wall that is being held in place by those metal support beams. Lastly, in the back we see one of several very modern high rise buildings in Vienna.
Here's that modern high rise building and the old one being renovated from a different angle.
We are now on the ring road, the track the tram took yesterday around the old city center. This building is the Urania, Franz Josef's 1910 observatory.
The OPEC headquarters just across one of the "Baby Danube" rivers.
Here's one of several bike rental facilities throughout the city center. They are mainly setup for the locals, however tourists can use them too but I didn't look too closely at the details. People who rent these bikes can pick them up any location, like this one, and then drop them off at any of the other locations around the city.
This castle was built here in 1848 by Emperor Franz Josef, who was only 18 at the time.
This is the Borse, Vienna's stock exchange.
This huge neo-Gothic church is a "votive church" built as a thanks to God when an 1853 assassination attempt on Emperor Franz Josef failed. It was closed today, so I couldn't go inside for a tour. The picture was taken from the Sigmund Freud Park.
Next to this monument is a chunk of the old city wall.
That's the neo-Gothic City Hall behind the Rathaus Platz park.
Just trying a few different settings on my camera.
A more complete shot of City Hall.
Another shot of City Hall from the Rathaus Platz park.
This is the Burgtheater, Austria's national theatre.
I think these police would have a tough time hauling any bad guys away in that car.
There are a ton of horse drawn carriages in Vienna.
This is the imperial park called the Volksgarten.
Another shot from within the Volksgarten.
The Hofburg, the emperor's palace.
The Volks Theatre.
Statue of Mozart in front of the emperor's palace.
A statue of John Strauss, the "Waltz King", in the Stadtpark.
After I completed my walk around the ring road and took a few coffee breaks. I headed in toward the city center for some dinner, but first I made a stop here at St. Peters.
My first coffee stop today was at a place called Coffee Day. It was kind of a disappointment. It's an equivalent to Starbucks from India. Their menu claimed that the folks brewing the coffee "trained for a few years back in their native India". Well, I am quite sure the girls serving the coffee never set foot in India. A while later I went over to Starbucks, I didn't have anything special there but it was at least what I expected from back home in North America.
I almost forgot to mention breakfast. This morning at breakfast it was the first time ever that I saw chocolate syrup in those little containers you normally get jams, peanut butter, or honey in. I heard they loved their chocolate around here, but I never expected this.