Sunday, June 15, 2014


All over Europe are amazing churches and I have visited many of them, so when I visited Vienna I decided I would try to visit other places and not focus so much on Cathedrals.  But ultimately I went on a church-crawl... But before visiting churches I needed to figure out how to use Vienna's trams and mass transit.
 This trams are old and old school.  These are about as old as the trams that would be in Detroit today if they were not all sent to Mexico city.
 The first site I visited was Maria-Theresien-Platz, kind of a large public square.
Next to this square if the famous unsthistorisches Museum but I did not visit the museum inside this building.  
 Theseus Temple is an old neo-classic building built in the early 1800's, it use to house a statue but today it is a rolling art show.
This is the current art show, bunch of little ceramic cups.
 And not far from the temple is the Katholisches Pfarramt Votivkirche or the Votive Church.  This is now my most favorite church in Europe, they are not so serious and have lots of fun things on display.
 This church of course has wonderful stain glass.
 This is the stain glass leading up to the museum.
 This is the top of the stair case at the entrance of the museum.  You are not allowed to take photos in the museum but the museum contains the Antwerpener Alter from the 1400's.  Amazingly there are very few photos of this alter on the internet, now I wish I would have sneaked a photo.
 The church had a spot where you could kneel down and pray to a Japanese anime cartoon or a statue, it's no problem at Votive.
More stain glass within the church.
 This church also had an art-piece of mirrors.
Outside the church is the Sigmund Freud part, BC part is near SF part and of course no fun, all you are allowed to do is throw away your garbage.
 Old school trams.
 I wish I could read what the white text next to the plaque says.
 But I was able to piece together what the plaque says, 'in memoriam to the here during the Nazi era for political reasons executed women and men'
 So far, #1 Mexican food in Europe is in Frankfort, just google Chipotle. But for sure #2 Mexican restaurant in Europe is Los Mexikas... But unlike most Mexican restaurants around the globe you need to make reservations for Los Mexikas or arrive exactly when they open.  Dear Los Mexikas, please drop the need for reservations, please calm down.
 The second church I visited was St. Stephen's Cathedral.
 This church was a little more serious.
Again, this church interior was amazing.
But between the area where you sit and attend church behind the pews was a gate, this was the first time I saw something like this, but this date did help to keep me away from the Alter.
 Central Vienna has drinking water.
 It was not super hot outside but there was a constant line for water.
Italian car.
 The last church I visited was St. Peter's Church, again amazing structure.
 The main priest of this church was at the front door meeting guest.  I did not get his name but there was photos of him with the pope in the entrance area of the church.
 If you are in Vienna, it's worth making an effort to visit St. Peter's Church.
 It's not far from St. Stephen's Cathedral.  It's always difficult to take a photo of a large building in a small outside square.
 The gate of Hofburg Palace, this opens up into a piazza.
 Vienna mini copy of Rome's Trevi Fountain... nice try.
 Vienna also had a nice bird house area, this was not far from a fairly good American style Chinese restaurant called Sternzeichen near Rochusgasse station.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Loyalty Box, Austria

This is amazing, newspaper boxes in Austria are nothing more than plastic envelopes with a secure coin box (secure as in it's locked and usually bolted to something, like a sign post).
 These paper boxes are all over the place too, shown here are areas around Vienna but I also passed through Wiener Neustadt and they had these things too.
 Think about it, your typical US newspaper box takes coins and once you insert the correct amount you open the locked box and take one paper. But why?  Maybe the US newspaper box is an overkill, it's way to complex.  This is not much different, you insert the correct amount of change, flip open the open envelope and take one paper.
So, this would be a great social experiment.  For example, looking at this Loyalty Box, if the envelope contained 10 papers and the cost of each paper was 2.50 euro, at the end of the day that little coin box should contain 25 euro.  I think this is what happens in Austria but I wonder if this would hold true in other random cities around the world?

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Sopron, Hungry

Most first visits to Hungry is to the city of Budapest, but I was not far from the border city of Sopron so I went here first.
Slovakia welcomes you to Slovakia, Hungry welcomes you to Sopron.
 'Centrum' or the city center is very small in the city of Sopron, it's not difficult to find the main square.  Just outside the piazza is the clock tower called the Firewatch Tower... Built in the 12th century.
 You can walk up to the observation deck of the Firewatch Tower and it's worth the effort.  But you need 1200 Hungarian dollars for the ticket, if you have just Euros like I did you need to go find a ATM.  These are the pendulum weighs for the clock in the tower.
 Stairs never end.
But once you reach the observation deck, the view is amazing and relaxing.  Looks like a cartoon.
 After visiting the tower I walked south down the street called Uj Utca, on this street was a  recycling festival.
 For example, it is cool to convert a garbage bin into a couch.
Also along this street is an old Synagogue with a museum.
 Lots going on, ECO and Synagogue.
 The museum is very nice, this was my first visit to a Synagogue I think.  It explains the history of Jewish people in Sopron as well as Soprons place in larger Europe.
 Right outside the Synagogue another famous Church called Orsolyita.
 This is the plaza outside of the Church.
Train station stain glass window.  This looks like it was made in the 70's.
I wanted to take the 2:40pm train back to Vienna, but when I arrived at the station I quickly learned that this train was canceled.  I had to wait one more hour for the 3:38 direct train to Vienna.  I went for another walk, here is a Hungarian post box! I did manage to find my way back, but the direct train to Vienna that leaves 38 minutes past the hour has construction on parts of it's tracks.  Half way into your trip you need to exit the train and take a bus to another train on the other side of the construction.  I recommend taking the route backwards to Vienna that you took to get to Sopron.  If you use google maps to determine the best route, google maps is not aware of the bus thing. It's best to pass through and transfer at Wiener Neustadt station.  This is the situation at least for now.