The Most Beautiful Apartment in Bucharest?

Over the weekend, I had the chance to stay in an enchanting apartment. It’s one of the perks of being a writer, you know—you look for inspiration in beautiful places…

Continue reading “The Most Beautiful Apartment in Bucharest?”

Vienna Travels

The Wiener Riesenrad

Earlier this month, I had the good fortune to spend a few days in one of the world’s enchanted cities – Vienna.

Palaces, museums, cafes, parks, cobbled streets, pleasant people, classic music – what does Vienna not have?

Food options for a vegetarian, perhaps.

Austrian cuisine may be limiting in this regard, but then in a cosmopolitan city like Vienna there are plenty of alternatives to the meaty Austrian diet.

And then there’s always the strudel to compensate, to say nothing of the Sachertorte.

Here are some memories from my wanderings…

On the first day, I wandered around the Inner Stadt…

Old Streets of Vienna
Old Streets of Vienna

….and climbed all the 343 steps to the top of the Stephansdom tower…

Stephansdom Tower
Stephansdom Tower
Cathedral Wall
Cathedral Wall

At the cafe Hawelka, I ate my first vegetarian strudel.

Cafe Hawelka
Cafe Hawelka
Griechenbeisl, the oldest restaurant in Vienna
Griechenbeisl, the oldest restaurant in Vienna

There’s a lot to do and see around the Hofburg, and the Imperial Treasury collection is worth your time. You can find there a unicorn horn (ahem, a narwhaal tusk mistaken for one.)

Heldenplatz at the Hofburg
Heldenplatz at the Hofburg

On the second day, I went to Schönbrunn.

Schonbrunn Entrance
Schonbrunn Entrance
The Schonbrunn Gardens
The Schonbrunn Gardens
The Schonbrunn seen from behind the fountain
The Schonbrunn seen from behind the fountain
The Neptune Fountain
The Neptune Fountain
Walk at the Schonbrunn
Walk at the Schonbrunn

I sipped some tea at the Gloriette Café and sat awhile in hot glasshouse, surrounded by greenery.

The Gloriette
The Gloriette
Palmenhouse
Palmenhouse
Palmenhouse Hot House
Palmenhouse Hot House
Palmenhouse Autumn
Palmenhouse Autumn
Karlskirche
Karlskirche

I then headed off to the art museum to see Bruegel’s paintings and other masterpieces.

Kunsthistorisches Museum
Kunsthistorisches Museum

On the third day, after a stop at Gerstner, I went to the Belvedere and Prater.

Gerstner Cafe
Gerstner Cafe
Monument to the Sovient Soldier in Vienna
Monument to the Sovient Soldier in Vienna
The Belvedere Palace
The Belvedere Palace
Belvedere
Belvedere
Statue on the Belvedere Grounds
Statue on the Belvedere Grounds
People on a Bench in the Prater Park
People on a Bench in the Prater Park
View from the Prater Park
View from the Prater Park
View from the Prater Park
View from the Prater Park
Prater Amusement Park Entrance
Prater Amusement Park Entrance

No visit to the Prater is complete without a ride in the city’ iconic Ferris Wheel.

Riesenrad Car
Riesenrad Car
The Wiener Riesenrad
The Wiener Riesenrad

At night, you can see the stars from up there, and be a little closer to them than usual…

A Postcard from Peles

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It’s that time of the year when I visit castles. At Peles, they have everything – a retractable glass roof, a playhouse, a Moorish saloon, a Turkish parlor, a 19th-century heating system that’s so good they never had to clean it, and the first modern toilets in the world.

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Together with Bran, Peles is one of the best places to visit in Romania. But be ready for a queue at the entrance. Many people are coming here, especially after the death of King Michael.

Within walking distance, you’ll find Pelisor, a more intimate summer castle. Don’t skip it. Inside you’ll find a queen’s own art creations, combining Celtic and oriental motifs. And her heart in a box.

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Romania isn’t only beautiful – it can also be refined, even luxurious. But you have to look in the right places, and not be easily put off by appearances.

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The wooded slopes guarding the castle make for a spectacular setting. I felt a little sorry for leaving this statue there alone, though. Wish I could have taken her by the hand and brought her home to meet my mother.