Thursday, 6 February 2014

A few days in Vienna - last day

Just like the previous day, I had breakfast at a cafe, this time Cafe Sperl. I actually searched for it because it was listed on Vienna's tourist website.

Snooty waiters again, but I was used to it by now, so I didn't mind. Plus the place was, once more, really beautiful.

I tried to sketch a small part of it. I'm not sure adding colour was such a good idea, but since all my sketches are more a way of practising than finished products, I can't say that I regret doing it.

Cafe Sperl
I had to call the lady back because she was forgetting her mobile phone
I went to the Schmetterlinghaus (butterfly house) immediately afterwards. This time I was able to enter this small piece of tropical atmosphere. The arched glass house is really pretty and pleasant, particularly when it's so cold outside.

However, I was a tiny bit disappointed to find only one type of (really beautiful) butterfly. I had imagined being surrounded by many colourful winged beauties, like in a movie or something, hahaha. It was probably not the best period of the year to go there, I guess.

There were "owl butterflies" everywhere
After my visit there I remembered that I hadn't actually seen that much of the city as such. The cold was not really inviting me to stroll around. So I decided to do the typical hop-on hop-off bus tour of the centre, stopping here and there for a short walk and photographs.

Which only confirmed to me that Vienna is really a very beautiful and grand city. You can feel that it used to be the centre of an empire, with all its past grandeur.

I had lunch at Cafe Landtmann, which I had spotted from the bus. Apparently it was and still is a very popular place with intellectuals. Freud, for example, used to go there.

I entered what must have been the nicest cafe yet, with even a coat check at the entrance. Very chic. For some reason, I was expecting something a bit more bohemian, like a Parisian cafe in Montmartre.

I think I was one of the only tourists there. Around me I saw many meetings taking place. Must be a great way to do business.

The waiters were very friendly and I had the biggest Apfelstrudel in my life.

Cafe Landtmann
These two were not doing business, I think.
I still had time to go to the Museumsquartier, a logical addition to my improvised museum marathon. Apparently that area used to be the court stables before it was renovated. Today it gathers many museums and other cultural places.

I first went to the Leopold museum because I had seen posters advertising exhibitions on early works of Schiele and Klimt, plus an exhibition of Kupka, and I wanted to continue exploring my newfound appreciation for Schiele's art in particular.

I was sad to learn throught the audioguide that the artist died aged 28. It's so young and such a pity for the art world...

I stopped at the Leopold cafe for a quick bite and went to the neighbouring Mumok (museum of modern art) afterwards. I have to admit that modern art, conceptual art and the like are always hit or miss for me. I have a hard time seeing most of the works as art instead of just ideas. Plus many of them seem obscure and sometimes even flimsy to me. It's often like the author is not really trying to share something with the viewer, and I miss that connection.

The Mumok was hosting a collective exhibition called And Materials and Money and Crisis. The title seems quite self-explanatory, but appart from 2-3 pieces that fit the concept, I didn't really see the point of most of them. At least in this context.

There were a few pieces I found interesting, though. Probably more as concept than as art, but in any case appealing. One of them was a room in which the atmosphere had been changed so it was full of mist. There was a whole explanation on atmosphere, climate, pollution, etc. I think I liked it because it was an installation to which the viewer was supposed to actively participate, and the message seemed relatively clear.

It looked roughly like this. The image is not very clear, but since the room was full of mist, it's fitting.

The title was very long, something like: Sea, Salt, Water, Sand, Climate, etc., etc.
So Mumok was the last stop on my discovery of Vienna. There is a very nice cafe there as well, with beautiful cupcakes to choose from. 

My trip was very short, but successful and I will definitely want to go back to see more and maybe sketch outside next time. The people are very helpful and friendly (except for a few snooty waiters ; but that's probably because I chose the "wrong" places). I didn't have time to see any of the court buildings, the equestrian school, the Freud museum, Schönbrunn, etc. 

That will be for next time.


  1. We should do a sketching weekend together when I'm back in Europe as my idea of seeing a city is via the cafes too :)

    I like the light quality of your butterfly house sketches.

    1. I would love that Sue!! Let me know next time you're in Europe and with a bit of luck we can arrange that. And if you ever feel like discovering Luxembourg, I'm here!

  2. These drawings will carry more memories than a photograph.

    1. Absolutely! When I look at one of my sketches, good or bad, I remember exactly where I was and what it felt like to be there, much more than with a photograph :)
      Thanks for commenting!