Day 15-Stuck on a train

by Amoeba December. 29, 2007 2287 views

Most people would think twice about getting on a train that everyone was leaving. Most people would probably also get off a train that was completely empty. Clearly I do not reason through things like most people:P So this was the start to my early morning as I attempted to make my way to the Naschmarkt. I hopped onto a train that ended up making a pit stop in a tunnel and didn’t look like it was going anywhere fast. I think my mind went completely blank for a few seconds b/c I was trying to figure out what to do and looking around for a little emergency phone to call someone to fetch me. Then thankfully a transit official walked past on the platform outside and seemed a bit surprised to see me. I think this is why they check all the trains, to find crazy tourists like me who end up in a dark tunnel. He gestured for me to stay put and mouthed something about the train moving in a couple of minutes and then left. So there I was in a dark tunnel at around 7 in the morning with not the foggiest idea of what I was doing there. A few minutes later, the train pulled back into the same station that I originally got on at and I sheepishly left the train to go catch another one. Oh and did I mention that I had gotten on the wrong line as well?

With that wonderful little start, the rest of my day went without a hitch…it was just darn cold, so I had to keep moving. The Naschmarkt is absolutely lovely. It was pitch dark outside, but people were already laying out their products for the day and some were already deep into bargaining mode. The smell of fresh fruits and vegetables was incredible and that is sadly one thing that a photo will never be able to capture. The amount of stuff that was being offered was also incredible…I had heard that flea markets in Europe were infinitely better than the ones in North America, but this was just something else.

Here’s a short run down of some things that were being offered up for sale: vintage suitcases, typewriters, chairs, tables, musical instruments, vintage cameras, jewellery, toys, dinnerware, books, postage stamps, door knobs and the list just goes on. There were some really random things like dolls with only one arm and a leg and little bits of stuff that I didn’t know what they were for. One thing I enjoyed along with meandering through this was the haggling that went back and forth between the customer and seller. I didn’t understand a word, but the gestures and facial expressions clearly indicted an animated discussion was taking place. Quite entertaining:)

After this, it was a good long walk past the Secession building towards Michaelerplatz, where I would be meeting the girls at Café Griensteidl for a real Viennese café experience. This was quite the luxurious experience to sit in plush seats with hot and super tasty coffee and very good breaky food. Best thing of all, they don’t shoo you out of there and it was just fantastic to sit and chat and catch up on the mornings events and plans for the rest of the day. After being inside a warm and toasty café, there was little incentive to head back out to the cold, but there were more sites to see and I was eager to get going.

First off, I walked along the Ring and this provided a great opportunity to view some incredibly gorgeous buildings. Along the way were the Sigmund Freud Park, Votivkirche, Rathaus and Parliament as I made my way back to Museumsquartier (MQ). The sucky thing about only having limited time in one place is that I cannot see everything that looks remotely interesting. I would have loved to have explored the Votivkirche, which is a Neo-gothic church built in the mid-1800’s, but didn’t have time. This definitely means a repeat trip back to Vienna!

So eventually I made it back to MQ and what do you know, one of the first things I found was the Lomography store. This was a huge disappointment…I was expecting more cameras, but there was just a lot of clothing and kitschy stuff that wasn’t so interesting. C’est la vie! I was really here to see the China Facing Reality Exhibit at MUMOK []
This has been one of my favourite exhibits that I’ve gone to anywhere this year (well the dinosaurs at the ROM in To were quite cool too, but I’m jumping ahead of myself). Part of it may be b/c I’ve had so little exposure to contemporary Chinese art as so little of it is shown in Vancouver. Another part was that I really love mixed media exhibits and this had a bit of everything from paintings to sculpture, video, photography and even animation. My favourite piece was by Song Tao called “The Floor (2003)” [] It’s this incredible piece composed of 3000 images of daily life in Shanghai in black and white. This was such an interesting concept to install this on the floor b/c it felt like walking quite literally into someone’s memory. Another favourite was Wang Jianwei’s white bubble figures on the outside of MUMOK. This was what caught my attention when I walked into MQ as they are quite striking.

After this, it was time to enjoy the two architectural exhibits also at MQ. One was on Austrian Architecture in the 20th and 21st Centuries ( [] and another in a space across the courtyard was architecture in China, to coincide with the exhibit at MUMOK. The exhibit on Austrian Architecture was really well done - there were photos, text, books and audio clips to detail the entire process. Quite a bit of info to digest actually! The exhibit on architecture in China was also interesting as there is an immense amount of development occurring and one thing that was missing was the consequences of this rapid development. For a glimpse into some of the results of this development in China, I really recommend the documentary Up the Yangtze, which is a beautiful and heartbreaking film. And that was pretty much my day…jam packed with information and sights and we would only have a half day left in Vienna before we hopped onto another train for Salzburg. So time for dindin and more catching up on the day’s events:)

7:30AM…I made it to the Nashmarkt!

I wonder if the shop keepers frown on sampling the goods? Everything looked really tasty:)

Setting up shop

Getting ready for the day ahead

Early morning shoppers

Secession Building…would have loved to have gone inside:(

Inside the Opera Toilet in Vienna

Somewhere close to Michaelerplatz…this may have been at Josefsplatz, but can't really remember…oookay…that was a good story:P

Sigmund Freud Park


Outside corridor of the Rathaus


Wang Jianwei’s white bubble figures outside of MUMOK

Inside MUMOK

Little cartoon books that were sold in vending machines at MQ. I wanted this one but it was completely sold out:(

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Jacek Wiecek 11 years, 6 months ago

Beautiful captures of the architecture and a life in the market.Great!

11 years, 6 months ago Edited
Abe Jackson 11 years, 7 months ago

interesting and entertaining set

11 years, 7 months ago Edited