Vienna & Budapest – Day 4, 9 March 2013

Another good nights rest was taken and another hearty breakfast had been eaten. I was ready to take on Vienna again. However, there was a slight setback. I had overspent yesterday and I needed to preserve my Euros. So I made the decision to visit landmarks that were going to be free of charge.

First stop was the famous Naschmarkt. This is an institution in Vienna.

A food market where you can literally eat the world. Another bonus point is the store holders who were on hand offering free samples so I could get fed as I was walking along. It is a big market and you can spend some time here. I noticed there was a hostel nearby. To have the ability to purchase and cook fresh produce daily. Being Saturday the Naschmarkt was also holding its weekly flea market.

I can only say that some people have rubbish they wish to sell. A lot of it was broken yet the locals seemed intent on buying it. Each to their own as they say. One nice thing about the market was the amount of vinyl records that were being sold. Flicking through the covers took me back to my youth where every Saturday was spent in record shops. I often wonder if CD's had not been invented would we still have record stores. It was while walking when I spotted something that literally stopped me in my tracks. Amongst the LP's the elderly gentleman was selling was a copy of Gobbels greatest speeches. I had to take a photo to share but the gentleman looked at me wondering what was the big deal.

Even though Germany invaded Austria in 1938 there were plenty of Austrians who were sympathetic to the Nazi values.

Fortified by an excellent Vanilla Custard cake that cost one euro I made my way towards the Stadtpark. It has an almost English feel to it. It contains a golden statue of Johann Strauss. Just be vary of people trying to sell you tickets to concerts. The park itself had plenty to see and photograph.

After a quick cup of coffee my final destination of the day was the Zentralfriedhoff or Central Cemetery. An unusual choice you may argue but there are some famous people buried in there. It was a long walk from the U-bahn station Stringasse. I knew I was getting close as I noticed there were a lot of shops selling gravestones.

How does one go about visiting a cemetery? After all it is a place of rest and reflection. It is Europe's second largest cemetery and is in use today. I could not get used to how large it was. As you walk you notice the gravestones. These were not individual graves but family plots that have lasted for generations. What I also noticed were how well looked after the graves were. I could see families taking as much care as if it was their own homes. It was touching to see. Also moving were the number of graves were one partner was buried whiles both names were carved on the gravestone.

You reach the main building where there is a map showing where the famous are buried. The highlight of the visit would be the grave of Beethoven and the memorial to Mozart. He is not buried in the cemetery. When Mozart died he was buried in a pauper's grave.

 

I also found the graves of Brahms, Joe Zawinul and Curt Jurgens. The only grave I could not find was 80's popstar Falco. Visiting the cemetery gave me time to reflect. We will all end up in that state one day. So it is best that we make the most of life while we can.

From the cemetery I made my way back to the Naschmarkt. Maybe there was a store open to get some food. By the time I had arrived there stores were closing so I made my way towards the city centre.

This is my second visit to Vienna but I had yet to see it at night time. I was simply bowled over by the sights. Again I was snapping away.

 

Being out at nighttime allowed me to try a Currywurst. This was not wrapped in a bun but sliced up and served on a plate with a bread roll. It still tasted delicious.

With my feet starting to feel like they could no longer take another step I made my way back to the hostel. Not before stopping off to purchase an ice cream. Yes, chocolate and caramel cone. The weather was cold but the temptation was there and I succumbed.

 

This was an enjoyable day where I proved that you do not need to have money to have a good time.

Until the next post stay safe, stay healthy and keep smiling.

Steve

 

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