Sun 29 Dec - Vienna, Austria

To the dead centre of town...

Yes, we were doing a Straßenbahn trip to Zentral Friedhof (Central Cemetary) to pay our respect to foremost some very prominent and impressive composers who made Vienna their home. We visited the cemetery back in 2006 when we were in Vienna the last time, but another visit felt warranted.

A lazy morning and after breakfast, we left just before 10am.

Straßenbahn number 71 has a stop that is less than 10 minutes walk from home which would take us directly to Zentral Friedhof and with a tram leaving every 10 minutes even on Sundays, there was no need to rush or check the timetable. So we waited a couple of minutes...

...and perhaps 30 minutes later we arrived at Zentral Friedhof Tor 2 which appeared to be the main entrance to the Cemetary.

And yes, we bought 2 packs of 2 roses each just outside the Cemetary to put on two very special graves...

And this is how we wandered inside a small portion of the Zentral Friedhof, which we learned later is the second largest cemetery in Europe (London has the largest).

The map of the Zentral Friedhof shows how organised and orderly everything is. No, this is definitely not Pere Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, France.

You just have to find the "Musiker" section which is easy as it is just straight ahead from the entrance of Tor 2 and then on the left just before Friedhof Kirche.

Of course, the "Musiker" section has its own overview and map. If you can read the fine print, you will recognize several very famous composers.

The first 2 roses went to this guy, Beethoven, and that is the complete inscription on the stone. No further names, dates etc just the very famous family name.

Di was adding to an already impressive collection of flowers. Last time we were here the grave had less offerings but still more than all the other composers so that hadn't changed.

Hans put his two roses on Johann Strauss grave given his impact on the new year celebrations. Of course, we were thinking of "Am den schönen blauen Donau"...which is THE New Years Eve tune here and played each year at the end of the NYE Konzert at the Musikverein (and doubtless at many other occasions as well).

A couple of other Viennese composers you may have heard of... Franz Schubert who only lived for less than 32 years (in this world at least).

And Johannes Brahms although he was born in Hamburg, Germany.

This is just a monument to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart as he was buried in another Viennese cemetery, Sankt Marxer Friedhof, but it seemed somehow appropriate that he was also represented here among all the dignitaries.

Surrounding all the composers were others from the entertainment industry such as singers and actors. By accident we found Fritz Muliar's grave who fans of Kommissar Rex or Inspector Rex may recognize as Max from the first series with Moser as the chief detective. Max was the confidant of Moser and they played pool or chess together.

The small metal sign on the left says "Bring me to Crete, don't ask me why" with a Greek island postcard stuck onto it.

A few explorers were buried in what we thought was a very dignified way which honored their passions.

Thomas Oberwalder was apparently an "Alpinist" and was killed through an avanlance at the age of 48 in 1906. We liked his "stone" a lot.

This grave had five names and five ice axes with the words "Himalaya Expedition Dhugaliri IV" which we assumed meant that they were killed while trying to conquer this 36th highest peak in the world at 7661 meters. Quite an innovative way of honoring them.

What this sculpture meant, we have no idea. There was no name, no dates, nothing anywhere except the sculptor's name on the side. Suggestions?

This "grave" seemed highly inappropriate in a cemetery like Zentral Friedhof but in keeping with the other individualistic graves we guess they could not say no. It looked to us that the dead person was giving the finger to... well, to anybody walking past it. There would be a story around this but we don't know what.

And this death mask (?) was a bit spooky. Yes, it was an old lady who died and the mask seemed accurate - it was hollow inside. Moving right along... a couple of, in English, unfortunate names. Here is the family plot of the family Plot.

The Muck...

...and earlier we had seen Nüll (which means "nothing" in German).

Time was just after noon as we decided to have a break and shelter from the cold wind. We had brought hot water in a thermos for tea and home made Wurst Semmel (you Kommissar / Inspector Rex fans know what that is) which we consumed on the steps to a building opposite...

...Friedhof Kirche. This photo was taken as we had our lunch.

All these very long lines of walkways and pathways made for good photography and they were of course used to very good effect in the movie "The Third Man", in particular for the very last scene.

So here is Di doing her best "Anna Schmidt" impersonation from that movie (in the movie Anna is more elegantly dressed).

Hans, looking down down the main road we think actually featured at the end of "The Third Man" movie. No, we didn't know either what the blue lines on the trees were for.

So we exited through Tor 1...

... to catch Straßenbahn number 71 back to town again.

On the way to the cemetery, we travelled in a new tram but we wanted to go on one of the old ones for the way back. So we skipped the first new tram that arrived as the next one arriving at the Halteställe was a good ol' one.

We sat in the caboose. Of course, a selfie was then absolutely necessary.

Hans got off the tram at Schwartenbergplatz as Di, who was getting a bit chilled, and decided to go home instead to warm up with some soup (for those who know Di's eating habits you may know that this is not unusual - she loves soup!). Bye Di.

Di stepped off the tram a few stations earlier to do a quick and sneaky visit to McDonalds for...pepper. Unfortunately our pepper mill we just bought smashed on the kitchen floor last night so replacement pepper was needed and of course on Sunday not much is open. Plus at Maccas those things are free!

Wandering the streets home Di arrived at 2pm and made some nice cream of mushroom soup.

Hans wanted to check out the Stadtpark and this is how he criss crossed it before wandering along the Wienfluss canal and then the Danube back to Rudolfsplatz.

Christmas or winter decorations come in all shapes and forms in Vienna.

This Intercontinental Hotel must be one of the ugliest hotels on record. Furthermore, the hotel is just opposite the Stadtpark. Hans could only ask himself one question; why?

Map of Stadtpark.

Stadtpark was a bit empty this chilly Sunday afternoon, but note benches at the far left where people can sit while feeding the umpteen ducks and pigeons in the park.

There were quite a few statues of prominent Viennese people in the Stadtpark, but Johann Strauss was given a special golden shine.

Despite the park's relative emptiness, Hans had to road test one of the numerous parkbenches that could be found all over the park.

Cutting through the park and in parallel are the U-bahn with its Stadtpark stop and...

...the Vienna Fluss with this opening made famous from featuring in the movie "The Third Man" (here we go again). Hans listened carefully, but he could not hear any running and echoing footsteps from inside the tunnel's opening.

Exiting the Stadtpark, Hans followed the Vienna Fluss down to the Danube. Along the way, a couple of "water features". First, Euro money down the drain...

Engineering on different levels across the Fluss.

And these steps beside it being fenced off - they looked positively scary.

Hans continued along the Danube down by the river. Not many people down there, a few joggers and cyclists and some people taking photographs.

Vienna is definitely not Berlin when it comes to street art. Most is plain graffiti and eyesores, but there were a few exceptions. Here are 3 pieces along the Danube that Hans liked.

Pineapples instead of Molotov cocktails. If only...

What these two were supposed to symbolize, Hans had no idea, but both drawings looked good.

Hans got home just after 3pm where Di had just finished up cooking up the soup. Perfect refreshment from the cold and Hans eagerly had two servings.

Quiet afternoon followed, reading books and blogging.

Home made German dinner today - Nürnberger Bratwurst, potatoe rosti and red cabbage. All from Aldi (or here called Hofer as you can see in the photo below) and all good.

After dinner we did some planning of activities for the next few days given we want to to still do a few big things. All done, with 1 spare day (Thursday before we leave on Friday) which of course will be easy to fill here in beautiful Vienna.

Good night.

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