Schloss Belvedere impressed me with its copper rooftops, elaborate fountains, and artificial waterfalls,
as I wandered around the beautiful gardens
and enjoyed the quiet castle grounds.
At Schloss Belvedere, I wasn't allowed to take photographs of the artwork and furnishings inside (Klimt's famous "The Kiss" is here), but I did get this shot of the lovely gardens high up from a castle window.
The same day, I visited the modernist Leopold Museum and the very hip MuseumsQuartier, which were a stark contrast to the stately Belvedere castle.
The atmosphere in the MuseumsQuartier courtyard was very relaxed with colorful cubist benches to sit on, picnic, have a drink, and listen to local musicians. These very young guys were so cute and wanted me to mention that they have a Facebook page for their band called Matter of Fact. They sang in English and were actually quite good.
I went inside the Leopold to see the Schiele paintings, which they claim is the largest collection of his artwork in the world.
At the Leopold, they call Schiele the James Dean of painting - because of his talent, charisma, and the fact that he also died when he was only 28 years old. I'm not showing any of Schiele's paintings here because I'm unsure about copyright issues, but you can find more of his artwork here. His art is very powerful and people were really responding to it in the museum.
There were also beautiful paintings by Klimt in the Leopold,
and later I saw more decorative Klimt-inspired architectural designs at the Secession.
I liked the swirls of glittery mosaic on these giant pots.
As I walked around, I found lots of lovely signs in Vienna with cool retro lettering.
Demel is the perfect example of Viennese Kaffeehaus charm with red velvet seats, marble topped tables, silver sugar containers, crisply uniformed waitresses,
chandeliers and dark wood.
An old fashioned, historic bar greets you when you walk inside
and the tables and trays loaded with more gorgeous cakes and tarts will make you smile.
Merisi and my husband agreed that every visit to Vienna should include the famous "Buchteln" at Cafe Hawelka. So we shared a plate of this homemade, buttery, hot and fresh out of the oven deliciousness. Light and delicate, the centers have a wonderful plum filling - simple and perfect.
I took an early evening stroll with Merisi by the Hofburg, where she shared the history of the buildings
and we did some window shopping too.
A friendly street musician from Marseille told us that he found Vienna that most beautiful city he has ever seen - much more beautiful than Paris in his opinion! I'll be in Paris next year in the springtime, so then we can compare :)
I hope you are enjoying my travel series. Thanks for all of your nice comments and encouragement!
Tomorrow: Join me for my last day in Vienna as I visit the emperor's castle, meet Austrian designer Manuela from good morning midnight, have a tiny sandwich and a "Pfiff" at Trzesniewski, and write postcards at the glorious Cafe Diglas.