Haus of the Baroque and Majestic (Part 1)

Alas! End of exams for the year! Last week, taking a break from baking plus celebrating the end of exams, I was jetting off to the all so musical and majestic Austrian capital of Vienna! I chose Vienna mainly due to the fact that it was home to the living quarters and office of psychologist, Sigmund Freud. Having been studying psychology since I was 15 years old (that’s a whooping 6 years now!), Freud was most definitely a prominent figure who came up in my studies every year and still comes up in our modules to this day. For those who know about Freud and his controversial theories, you can guess as to why I’d be intrigued about where he came from and his background. For those who don’t know about Freud, a quick informative read here should put his work into more perspective.

This is also a good time to announce that this was my FIRST SOLO TRIP! And it went brilliantly! Leaving the UK a bundle of nerves and excitement and arriving in Vienna in, basically the same state had me taking my anxious self to the first stop on my list: St. Stephen’s Cathedral. St. Stephen’s Cathedral (or Stephansdom in German) located in Stephansplatz is one of Austria’s most iconic Gothic structures. From the many elevated standpoints in Vienna, from the giant wheel in Prater to the Belvedere gardens, I could always see the noticeable south tower of St. Stephen’s Cathedral in the Vienna skyline.

Having wanting to see a live play or concert in Vienna, there were street sellers conveniently selling tickets outside Stephansplatz to a classical concert at Palais Palffy in Josefsplatz for €32 (this was the student price, though I think adult price was between €40-€45). The concert lasted an hour and a half but silly me ended up getting lost and missing the first half! But if you love classical music then this concert is definitely for you. Some of the pieces brought me back to my childhood reminding me of the Disney films that ended in classical pieces, oh how I miss those days! As the concert finished late, I decided that was the end of the day for me which had gone much better than what I panned out in my head, despite it taking an hour of walking aimlessly around lookalike buildings for me to find my hotel haha! Other than this, I was excited for what the next day was to bring – bring on Tuesday!

Tuesday: I started off Tuesday bright and early heading to the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site of the Schönbrunn Palace. The grounds of the Schönbrunn Palace are absolutely massive with hardly any shade so yes, at this time of year, my skin was literally sizzling in the heat – I may as well have been a rash of bacon the amount the sun was frying me alive! Never thought I’d say this but at that moment in time I actually missed the depressing greyness that is the UK weather… Anyways, the ticket to get inside the Schönbrunn Palace cost me €21.60, but that was just for a Classic Pass which included entry into the Maze & Labyrinth; the Gloriette; the Orangery Garden; the Crown Prince Garden and a free audioguide to tour the palace with (I suggest bringing headphones in case you’re next to a loud tour group…) . If you want to go all out, they have a Gold Pass (€55.50 for adults) which is the whole shebang!

Walking through the palace was definitely an enlightenment on how the famous Habsburgs and the rest of the Imperial Family lived. The audioguide took me through 41 rooms all depicting something interesting about one or all of their lives. Sadly, no pictures were allowed to be taken in the palace… Though I was allowed to take one of the front!

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How beautiful eh!

Wanting to indulge in some traditional Viennese cuisine, I was on the hunt for a Viennese favourite – the Wiener Schnitzel! I managed to find a cafe-bar-restaurant serving this, after a packed bus prevented me from getting off the right stop on my way to the Sigmund Freud Museum. But then I guess everything happens for a reason right? Because then I wouldn’t have found this lovely meal (I loved it by the way!):

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So after enjoying my meal in the sun (under shade!) I proceeded to head back to the correct stop and head to the Sigmund Freud Museum. My time spent in this cute little museum highlighted a lot more than what I have previously and currently been taught at school. A lot more emphasis is put on his daughter and her work, Anna Freud, who hardly even gets a mention in my studies!

After a long, exhausting and VERY hot day, I thought I could fit one more sight in before calling it time. I headed on another long-ish journey to the famed and unusual Hundertwasserhaus.

This colourful and unusual apartment complex definitely stood out for me. I don’t know about you but I’ve never seen people inhabiting in an apartment as colourful as these with shrubs growing everywhere! I didn’t get a chance to go to the museum based on the artist who designed this house as it was closed (Friedensreich Hundertwasser), but I hear it’s great! To finally top the evening off, a cute cafe-restaurant was serving what is said to be the most famous chocolate cake in the world today – the Sacher Torte! This cake was actually invented in Vienna by Austrian Franz Sacher (hence the name Sacher Torte) so I knew I’d be getting authenticity and boy was the cake lovely! There were a few other delicacies but there’s only so much my stomach can take…sadly!

That takes me to the end of the day, and the end of half of my trip. Thus far it’s been lovely! Catch Part 2 soon!

Thank you for reading!

Deborah x

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