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Posts Tagged ‘austria’

Day 126: Big and crowded, yet surprisingly quiet

August 18th, 2011 4 comments

The thing that strikes me the most about Vienna’s inner city is the quiet that fills the streets and courtyards. The city is alive with people, tourists and non-tourists alike, cars, and activity, but there is a surprising lack of noise. Missing is the honking of cars, the running of idle engines, the chatter of kids, the laughter or loud talking of drunks, the odd bits of music that may drift out of shops. When the tram stops, I only hear the quiet murmur of people’s conversations. Even the street performers are subdued and the audience reserved.

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When I walk around the streets and go to places like Naschmarkt where there are cafes and shops back-to-back, I still only hear muted conversations and the sound of walking. It’s hard to explain. Maybe the enormity of the buildings and city absorbs all the extra noise.

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Nonetheless, it is beautiful. Vienna has kept a lot of pre-WWII historical architecture, unlike many cities in Germany, so there is a unique blend of styles and cultures between western and eastern European people.

My travel mate for the day was Charly, from Argentina. I couldn’t have asked for a more appropriate person with whom to share my day in Vienna. We were both content getting lost in the city streets and walking and watching.

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Day 125: In the Austrian countryside

August 17th, 2011 3 comments

I spent a few hours with new friends that I’d met in my travels in Russia and whom I came to visit near the Austrian town of Eisenstadt. To my surprise, driving around the countryside at night reminded me a lot of Cebu at night. We had a drink in a posh lake-side bar, then drove around a bit on quiet streets and had another drink at a different bar. It was a similar experience to my high school years in Cebu – drinking in quiet, fancy bars in resort areas, driving around on country roads where all you see on each side are tall grasses, warm summer air (minus the mosquitos).

In the morning, I woke up to the sounds of hundreds of birds. Before heading off to Vienna, I walked around the town of Oggau where I encountered many bicyclists and a few elder locals who stared at me the whole way up and down the empty streets.

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Austria

May 24th, 2011 Comments off

Esther and Raphaela said this about the district of Burgenland, Austria:

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And Esther’s brother on Austria:

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translation (kind of): Austria has great landscapes, the Alps, lakes. There are 4 seasons – cold winters and hot summers. The social system is good. There is low crime and poverty. The 1st district in Vienna is the historic district and all the tourists go there. But the 1st district is not Vienna, and Vienna is not Austria.

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