Posted on May 27, 2011 by vicki
Tags: austria, tour

Friday 20/5/11 44km dep. 9:30AM arr. 12:15PM

Danube path to Vienna

Danube path to Vienna

It was a pretty easy and fast trip into Vienna, straight along the Danube path. In Vienna, the Danube splits into two, with the main river and a smaller canal surrounding an island that is a maze of paths through bushland, picnic areas and cafes. Lots of people sunbathing, it seems to be a national sport in Austria.

Our lovely campsite, nestled between the autobahn and the trainline, just past the portaloo depot, featured lots of overgrown grass and a large group of Germans who threw an extremely large party in our first night there. Still, it was close enough to Vienna to get into town without too much trouble, and much cheaper than staying in a hostel.

To get in and out of town we crossed two bridges to get over the island then rode through the Prater - this amazing park that includes a wide straight avenue that stretches at least 5km and seems to be permanently closed to traffic. Most of the time it was filled with cyclists, runners, rollerbladers and people on horseback. Nordic walking is very popular here (walking with the aid of two sticks), and we even saw a mass women’s nordic walk and run event on the Sunday morning. There are lots of parks, sporting grounds and a lake in the Prater, so it was quite a nice route to take into town.

Prater Nordic walk Prater

Saturday, the first of our days in Vienna, was mostly filled up with obtaining camping gas, required items for our bikes and maps. We looked around the historic centre, the buildings are lovely but have been taken over by chain stores and the streets are clogged up with shoppers and tourists. We were too tired from shopping to see any museums, so we decided to stay Sunday as well - couldn’t come to Vienna without taking in a bit of culture!

So on Sunday we hit the Museums Quartier and bought triple passes to the Kunsthalle, the Leopold Museum and the MOMUK. The Kunsthalle had an interesting space-themed exhibition, with different interpretations of space over time. The MOMUK featured a lot of art based around groups in Munich and Vienna in the 70s that sponsored individuals to undertake, document meticulously and discuss the impact of certain ‘actions’ or performances eg. one guy looked up at a neon tube in eight different orientations to brand the image of a star on his retina. It’s a bit difficult to explain properly, but we concluded that most of the German ‘actions’ were quite funny but the Austrian ones were just sick, eg. slaughtering animals and covering people with their blood. Gross. The Leopold Musuem was my favourite, containing classical art rather than modern. It had a pretty big collection of Klimt (some of his work is I like, others not so much!) and Schiele and there were some really nice landscapes. I love reading the descriptions in art galleries - they use so many words without seeming to say much at all).

It was dinnertime by the time we left the museums. The shops are all closed on Sunday so we found an Italian restaurant a bit out of the centre and shared a pizza that seemed to be almost as big as one of our bike wheels!