I am 1

Yesterday, WordPress sent me a notification wishing me a happy blog anniversary. Happy Birthday to Midlifewanderlust1965, you have turned one. In truth I had forgotten about it thinking it was not due until May.

Still this should not stop me from feeling a little pleased with myself. I have managed to keep the blog going for twelve months without ever thinking about stopping. In that time I have managed to collect ninety five followers. I have also made three trip to Europe. They have made up a bulk of the posts on the blog.

Time goes by so quickly as it only seemed like yesterday since I made my first post. Now I want to the blog further forward. The next step is to purchase the domain name. I will have the flexibility to control and do more with the blog.

Finally I want to say thank you to everyone that has taken time out to view the blog in the last twelve months. I am truly grateful for your continued support.

Until the next post stay safe, stay healthy, keep smiling and raise a glass of beer in celebration.

Steve

 

Zentralfriedhof – Vienna

I know it is an unusual place to visit but I find cemeteries fascinating places to visit because they are full of history. Zentralfriedhof (Central Cemetery) falls into that category.

The Dr. Karl Lueger-Gedächtniskirche
The Dr. Karl Lueger-Gedächtniskirche

Opened in 1874 the cemetery became unique in Vienna as one of the first multi-faith. This was very controversial at the time in a very catholic country. It is now one of the largest cemeteries in Europe. It has become renowned as the final resting place for the following people:

Brahms
Brahms
Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss
Schubert
Schubert
Beethoven
Beethoven
Joe Zawinul
Joe Zawinul
Curd Jürgens
Curd Jürgens

There is also a memorial to this composer who was buried in a umarked grave.

Mozart
Mozart

What I found touching were the simple family monuments that had been looked after over the years.

If you are still wandering whether you should visit the Zentralfriedhof may I remind you one of the reasons why cemeteries were established. They were the original green spaces where people could escape from the city. In that respect it does the job as you can escape  with no problem. The quietness and stillness really contrasts with the bustle of Vienna city centre. It made me think of my own mortality and remember the people who I have lost in my life. It also serves as a reminder that life is short and we should make the most of it.

IMG_0026
Three musical greats.

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

Steve

Should I Be Envious?

As I am sitting in a coffee shop my mind was turning to thoughts about one of the people I follow on twitter. Sam Starling of Totally Sam's World is about to embark on her RTW trip. I could not feel anything but envy. She is doing the one thing that I always want to do. However, the question I should be asking myself is 'why be envious?'

What Sam and others like have done is got off their backside and acted to carry out their dreams. This has involved a tremendous amount of self-sacrifice. Meanwhile I am sitting on mine doing the same old thing. Travel has become a passion. I have enjoyed reading people's tales on their blogs. There have contained some tips that I have followed. During the past year I have undertaken three trips with another one planned for September. I do dream of giving it all up for a year to travel around the world. You can see on the bucket list post all the places I would like to see. Yet, I procrastinate too much and never get round to making a plan of action.

With that I have answered my own question. I should not be envious of Sam and others. They are living their dream. The feelings of envy are only because I do not have the balls to do something about it. This has got to change. I just discovered a note on my iPhone which was a itinerary with rough budget of a ideal RTW trip. Time to stop dreaming.

I wish Sam all the best on her trip. You can follow Sam on Totally Sam's World http://www.totallysamsworld.com, twitter @TravelSamsWorld. Sam also contribute to RTW Backpackers http://www.rtwbackpackers.com

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

Steve

Photo of the Week – Trolley Car, Castle Hill, Budapest

This week’s photo is of the Trolley Car that takes you up the Castle Hill in Budapest.

The Trolley Car climbing its way up the hill.
The Trolley Car climbing its way up the hill.

This is the alternative way of climbing the hill if you did not fit enough to do so by foot.  I’m glad to say that I walked up Castle Hill.

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

Steve

Stadtpark – Vienna

Vienna is renowned for its parks. One of my favourites was the Stadtpark. Dating from the 19th Century it is popular with both locals and tourists.

 

Inside the park there are monuments to the composers Johann Strauss, Franz Schubert and Robert Stolz amongst others. In fact the Stadtpark is home to the largest number of sculptures and monuments than anywhere else in Vienna.

 

 

 

There are plenty of chances to admire the plants in the park throughout the year. However, visiting in March meant there was little to see in regards to flowers. There were plenty of birds swimming in the lake. It always relaxing to see them swimming carefree.

 

Stadtpark is the perfect place to visit if you are looking to escape the bustle of Vienna. I would suggest an ideal spot to have a picnic lunch when the weather is warm.

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

Steve

 

The Next Trip – September 2013

You may have read in a earlier post that I had planned to visit the Balkans in September 2013. After much planning I am pleased to share my schedule with you.

Balkans 2013

Split 9 – 11 September

Dubrovnik 12 – 14 September

Mostar 15 – 16 September

Sarajevo 17 – 19 September

Belgrade 20 – 22 September

Ljubljana 23 – 25 September

Zagreb 26 – 28 September

There were plenty of places I wanted to visit. However, I did not want to get into the situation where I am forever on a train or coach. It was quality time I wanted to spend in these places.

I am looking forward to the trip and will be counting down the days until departure.

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

Steve

 

Hofburg Palace Museums, Vienna

The Hofburg Palace was once home to the Habsburg Family who ruled the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It is now home to the President of Austria.

The reason for my visit was to look was the chance to see the three museums that are located inside.  They are ‘The Imperial Silver Collection”, Sisi Museum and “Imperial Apartments.”

Before entering I would recommend that you take a walk around the building. Whatever the weather or time of day it is a magnificent structure to view. Sadly my photographs does not do it any justice.

Hofburg Palace
Hofburg Palace
The Hofburg at Night
The Hofburg at Night

Imperial Silver Collection

This is home to a collection of dining services, glassware and silverware. There are certainly impressive collections of china that have been accumulated from around the world. I suspect that a lot of the pieces were used only sparingly. The most impressive exhibit must be the ‘Milan Centrepiece,’ It stands at thirty metres long. There is also the Grand Vermeil Service which could serve up to 140 people at one sitting. The collection is a perfect opportunity to take photographs as you marvel at the opulence of the Habsburgs.

Milan Centrepiece
Milan Centrepiece
Grand Vermeil Service
Grand Vermeil Service
Impressive piece of china
Impressive piece of china

Sisi Museum

Next up is the Sisi Museum. This is dedicated to the Empress Elisabeth who is a revered figure in Austria. This may be down to the tragic way here life ended. The museum revolves around Sisi’s private life and contains plenty of personal artefacts belonging to her. Sadly, you are unable to photograph any of the exhibits.

What the Sisi Museum does well is that it is not a shrine to the Empress but will point out all her flaws. The impression that I was left of her was that she was a vain selfish person towards the end of her life who neglected her husband and country while she went off on her travels. I suppose the nearest person who I compare her with is Princess Diana.

The Imperial Apartments

The final museum to visit is the Imperial Apartments. These were the private apartments of the Habsburgs. It is the chance to see the offices, private quarters and bedrooms. Like the Sisi Museum you are unable to take any photographs.

I found the museums to be of good value especially if you hold a Vienna Card. You will get a discount of between 7-9% off the normal admission charge. It is the perfect opportunity to surround yourself in the decadence of the Habsburgs.

Hofburg Vienna, Michaelerkuppel, 1010 Vienna.

Nearest U-bahn stop – Herrengasse U3 line (Orange)

Opening Hours 09:00-17:30 (September – June), 09:00-18:00 (July – August)

Admission with audio guide €11.50, with Vienna Card €10.50

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

Steve