Guten Abend, everyone!

I’m currently in a hotel in Pforzheim (Germany) having finished my first day at a fancy office-job internship (which is a story for another day). I’ve been a busy bee this week, what with planning this little trip, finishing my exams and entertaining my brother for three days, who came to Vienna to celebrate his 18th birthday.

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Rowan had a little list of things to do during his stay, including the Naschmarkt, shopping at Mariahilfer Strasse and a little museum crawl. So on Thursday afternoon we set off to the Kunsthistorisches Museum at the Museumsquarter to indulge in a little fine art and culture.

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I didn’t take many pictures in the actual museum because you’re not allowed to use the flash and the lighting was obviously dodgy at best, so whatever blurred snaps I did get won’t do the inside of the building justice. As you enter, you’re greeted by the enormous statue, Theseus Defeats the Centaur (Antonio Canova, 1805) at the top of a magnificent stairwell, and the domed ceiling opens at the very top to reveal the ceiling of the top floor. It’s like Ceiling Inception.

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Now, I’m a huge fan of art. I study art at home in Dublin as an extra class and I’m all for a bit of Rubens (as seen in the Milan post) Dürer and even Pieter Bruegl the Elder, but what I don’t have a huge amount of time for is very ancient pottery and instruments which involve you guessing their function. Every little bronze spoon or goblet I saw, I found myself inadvertently checking their little placard for a price (does that mean I’m a shopaholic?) Needless to say we got stuck in this section of the museum for about forty minutes, before stumbling out past a room full of heads on sticks.

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Even this guy can’t believe what room he’s stuck in

After trawling merrily through the Baroque and Rococo artists we headed onwards to the Leopold Museum, which was hosting an incredible exhibition of Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt’s work. For anyone who’s never heard of Klimt and Schiele, they were expressionist artists who became popular during the Jugendstil (Vienna’s art nouveau period) and their work is amazing. We couldn’t take pictures in the gallery but I’ll just include a taster of each:

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Gustav cuddling a little cat (www.leopoldmuseum.org)
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‘Moa’ – Schiele (www.leopoldmuseum.org)
Life and Death
‘Life and Death’ – Klimt (www.leopoldmuseum.org)
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‘Selbstportraet mit Lampionfruechte’ – Schiele (www.leopoldmuseum.org)

Anyway, completely cultured-out, we headed off for dinner at Vapiano’s (my second home. Have I been there more than three times in one week? … Maybe)

Another item to check off on Ro’s list was a visit to Belvedere Schloss. Basically this incredible Baroque palace was Prince Eugene of Savoy’s summer house (what a cultural little journey I’m taking you on. Are you fed up of art history yet?). It was designed by von Hildebrandt, who was considered one of Europe’s greatest Baroque artists and it really is beautiful to look at. Sadly we chose to go on the foggiest day of the decade and you can hardly make out the Schloss, but hopefully you’ll get an idea of its splendour. By day three we were both tired, hungover and quite giddy, so obviously the visit included a lot of messing about and almost falling into the stream. Perhaps we didn’t behave as properly as we could have, but I opted for my Posh Coat and left my hat with the sequined chips on at home, so, you know, I didn’t do too badly.

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So, I’ve finished our magical little cultural tour for now. There will surely be more to come when I’m back in sunny Vienna, but for now I’m in a very small town in Southern Germany sitting in the hotel lobby because none of the rooms have wifi. It’s like the Suite Life of Zach and Cody except without all the entertaining nonsense – I’m just listening to Eminem and aptly wearing a tracksuit.

Still, everything is an adventure if you make it so. When I get a couple of days off I will go in search of exciting things to report. Until then, enjoy your week,

K. x

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