Posts Tagged With: vienna

Out From Behind the Lens in Vienna

Karlskirche – a.k.a. St. Charles’s Church

As a photographer (and by that I mean someone who always has her camera, not necessarily a great visual artist), I sometimes get caught up in how the world looks through a frame.  There’s a lot of self-imposed pressure when presented with the task of documenting new places.  I feel a need  to capture every single sight and moment in order to share it, and also to look back on it in the future.

The truth is, there is no pressure.  My friends and family probably will get the gist after five or six pictures from the same location, and I will need a despicable amount of time in my future to ever skim the surface of all of the shots I have taken for self-preservation.  But never-the-less, I continue to feel a sense of paranoia that the one shot I miss will be the one shot I wish I had.

Vienna is a city where anyone, paranoid paparazzi or not, could get caught up in snapping away until they develop carpal tunnel syndrome via the shutter release.  It’s not just that the architecture is breathtaking. There are so many cities that boast dramatic buildings and monuments. It is that there are literally stunning structures around every single corner.  Apartment buildings, schools, restaurants, anything.  Everywhere you look there are intricately decorated buildings that would demand a gate and entrance fee, or at least a really big plaque, if they were to exist in an American city. But in Vienna, it’s just part of your normal street scene.

So anyways, long story short, when Chris offered to take the camera for our main day of sightseeing, I was excited, although a little skeptical, to get to see the city without worrying about what shutter speed would be best for a certain lighting.  To be honest, it was liberating walking around and just looking to appreciate, rather than to scope out the next shot. And if there’s any city  that deserves full appreciation, it’s Vienna.  An added bonus is, that now that Chris has taken on a role as part-time photographer, and done very well I might add, I will start to appear in some pictures.

So here they are: Chris’ ingenious photographic interpretations of Vienna, while I just watched, enjoyed and took it all in. Except of course, when everything was just perfect and I just couldn’t help myself 🙂

Dramatic sculptures in the Belvedere Palace gardens

Dramatic interpretations of statues in the Belvedere Palace Gardens

Cheesy couple picture in front of tourist attractions. Sometimes you just have to.

The cameraman gets artsy.

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Finding the High Ground in Vienna

The best view of Vienna. (My students later informed me this is a park originally reserved for imperial hunting grounds…pretty cool.)

It is my most trusted theory that if you head to the highest ground in any place (or if that fails, the highest building), you will always find something amazing.  Last Sunday, I tested this philosophy once again as Chris and I trekked up the winding residential roads on the outskirts of Vienna, pursuing a speck of pasture I thought I spotted from below.

I was encouraged as each level of houses we advanced brought wider and longer views of the Vienna cityscape.  When we finally paced the highest road, I found myself more than satisfied with our hike’s supposedly final outcome.  That is, until I saw a woman and her dog slip up a dirt path into the woods above.  Upon further inspection, the trail seemed public enough, and even if it wasn’t, the intrigue was worth any slap on the hand we might have received for trespassing.

Our curiosity was duly rewarded.  The speck of pasture turned out to be much more than a speck.  Instead there was a sprawling field of long green grass dotted with tiny white flowers, which I can only hope to be edelweiss in order to fulfill all of my Sound of Music-esque fantasies.  To further indulge my whimsical ideals of Austrian pastures, I may or may not have taken a few moments to demonstrate my finest yodeling abilities.  This very liberating experience continued for a few perfect moments until interrupted by the chuckles of the (probably actually quite disturbed) hikers who had snuck up behind us.  Embarrassing as that was, the immensity of the culture-drenched city before us, combined with the friendly September sun warming our bare feet above us, made for just about the most quintessentially Austrian moment I could have wanted.

And so, my theory has been proven true once again.  Just stay tuned for my post on Slovakia’s High Tatras for further evidence.

To read more about Christopher and his “yawping” (pictured above) check out

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Vienna and High Tatras Tease

So my first two weeks of teaching have flown by. Time has been limited and so has good internet access, but I have thoughts bubbling over and pictures I’m extremely eager to post.  After Volkersdorf I had a full week in the beautiful city of Vienna, Austria, followed by a weekend in the Zdiar, located in the High Tatras of Slovakia. Both were stunning and perfect in their respective ways.  Here’s a photo from each with more to come soon, I promise.

Nothing beats Viennese architecture

Except maybe mountain goats taking in views on a peak in the High Tatras

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