Tag Archives: museums

Beautiful Vienna

Arrived to Vienna

Saturday, my cousin’s wife planned a wonderful trip to Vienna, Austria! I fell in love with the city! It truly opened my eyes to how many wonderful things the world has to offer! I never would of imagined visiting Vienna, I honestly didn’t even know anything about the city. A lot of times we get stuck in our bubble forgetting there’s an entire world out there so different from what we are used too! Sometimes we might be very amazed with what we find outside our bubbles.

It was decided that we would take the train to Vienna so I could experience more also because parking would of taken time away from the trip. It was interesting because as soon as we got in the train I went from listening to Slovak to German. The train ride from Bratislava to Vienna only took an hour. This is nothing for a person who has to take the train to New York all the time (my cousin was impressed by my patience.) What shocked us all was the weather change as we left Bratislava. It went from sunny to having fog everywhere! You couldn’t see anything! However, that was NOT going to stop us from having a great day!

St. Stephen’s Cathedral

The first sight we visited was St. Stephen’s Cathedral, the most famous church in Vienna. It’s an absolutely breathtaking gothic church with so many intricate details in its design. As we approached the church there were people dressed in 18th century clothing promoting a Mozart concert that was happening in the evening. That was something you don’t come across or hear everyday. Inside the church was incredible and extremely beautiful. Outside, around the back of the church we came across horses with carriages! There were so many of them! I seriously felt like I was stepping into a scene from a movie.

Burggarten

We came across Mozart’s house, which is now a museum. We also came across a wedding dress shop with future brides trying on dresses! It was such a beautiful scene! They looked so happy and pretty. My cousin said people in Vienna love weddings. It is such a beautiful city I don’t doubt it one bit. Getting married in Vienna must be something else!

Inside the Butterfly House

By the time we stepped foot into the Butterfly House, which is right next to the Palm House around the Burggarten the sun was coming out. The Butterfly House was such a great experience! It is truly unforgettable. There was a waterfall, small ponds, a beautiful bridge made out of a tree trunk, and dozens of butterflies flying everywhere. It was ridiculously hot inside but worth every inch of sweat. The Burggarten is a park where the statue of Mozart stands. (Vienna is full of beautiful parks) Burggarten was the former private park of the monarch. It is attached to the Imperial Palace. The palace is absolutely stunning. It is also huge! I honestly could of sat around there all day!

Imperial Palace

Fountain at the Maria-Theresien-Platz my little cousin almost fell into

We then visited the Maria-Theresien-Platz it’s a huge square with 2 mirroring museums (Natural History Museum and Art History Museum) and a garden in the middle. Maria-Theresien was the only female ruler of the Habsburg dominions. The Platz was beautiful and very peaceful. My little cousin almost fell in one of the garden’s many fountains so we didn’t stay there for long. My cousin-in law almost had a heart attack! I mean who wouldn’t!

Next was a walk to parliament! I fell in LOVE with the statue of Athena that stood right in the middle. I couldn’t stop starring at it! In my opinion the statue is what makes the scenery the beauty it is today!

Athena Statue in front of Parliament

Our last stop was the Rathaus, which serves as the city hall of Vienna. It’s a beautiful building with a huge open space. Apparently, during Christmas season it’s used for a Christmas market! It must be something amazing!

City Hall

After visiting one last church, there was a choir singing so we stopped for a look, and walking around for a bit we went to a small park. The park had a nice playground and some swings! I was so happy! I joined my little cousin on the swings and felt the wind on my face! Oh and I finally got to eat the famous Turkish Kebab. They are very similar to a Greek Pita wrap. They were being sold all over Vienna! My cousin really wanted me to try one! They were DELICIOUS!

I saw so much and yet so little of Vienna! It is a big city with many things to see! I’m very grateful that I got to experience such an amazing city! I’m glad I stepped outside my bubble and experienced something completely new!    

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Musée Magritte Museum

Musée Magritte Entrance

René François Ghislain Magritte

Today, I visited the Musée Magritte (English translation) Magritte Museum located in downtown Brussels. It is a museum dedicated to the Belgian surrealist artist René François Ghislain Magritte. His artwork is suppose to challenge observers views of what they consider reality. The museum is composed of 3 different floors each pertaining to a specific period of his life. The rooms are dark with dimmed light (no pictures allowed because of this.) There are paintings, sketches, advertising posters, vintage photographs, and letters hung up all over the rooms. There were also a couple of videos. What I found to be the best part of the museum were the beautiful quotes (in French) all around the rooms said by Magritte himself .

René Magritte

 

Some of the quotes translated into English:

“I love subversive humour, freckles, knees, the long hair of women, the dreams of young children at liberty, a young girl running in the street.” –  René Magritte

“Life obliges me to do something, so I paint.” – René Magritte

“Art evokes the mystery without which the world would not exist.” – René Magritte

Magritte at work

 

Some of my favorite painting were: “The Unexpected Answer” – 1933, “The Harvest” – 1943, “Black Magic” – 1945, “The Companions of Fear” – 1942, “The Lovers” – 1928 (This one wasn’t exhibited in the museum but I absolutely love it!)

I absolutely loved that his paintings were so different. You can interpret so many different things from his work. It also seemed like he appreciated the female body because he had a lot of creative works that incorporated a woman’s body. I definitely recommend visiting the museums site Musée Magritte Museum . You might learn a thing or two about one of Belgium’s famous artists.

Amsterdam

There is only one way to describe Amsterdam: Beautifully Crazy

Welcome to Amsterdam (Train station)

My day yesterday started at 6am. I was going to meet up with the Amsterdam crew Talya, Brielle, and Skyler. We bought our tickets at the station for 49.30 Euros (roundtrip) and off we were. 3 hours later after what seemed like the longest train ride ever! We made it to Amsterdam!

Street Performer

Amsterdam is the largest city and capital of the Netherlands. Amsterdam is one of the most popular tourists destinations in Europe. There were so many people there I was in shock! As soon as we arrived I had my first Falafel ever at Maoz Vegetarian with frites on the side, topping mayonnaise (keep count of how many meals I ate during this trip!) After we had our lunch we continued to walk and ended up in the middle of Amsterdam’s central square right in front of the Royal Palace. The square was overcrowded with street performers, tourists, and pigeons. We became curious about a specific performer and stopped to watch him escape from saran wrap  and chains. This man took FOREVER to do the escape! He was annoying the entire crowd! I was so over him! And his jokes were so bad. We think he was stalling to make sure he sweated excessively under the saran wrap, which most likely was the key to escaping. The funny moments during his show included a random italian man dressed as Mario, who I’m pretty sure had no idea who Mario was, and got shouted out by the performer. Also, a drunk man that interrupted the performance by trying to do a hand stand but failing miserably. What a welcome into Amsterdam.

Entrance of Heineken Museum

Heineken Museum

We then proceeded to the Heineken Museum. First of all I had no idea that Heineken was a beer from Amsterdam! You seriously learn something new everyday! The museum cost 17 Euros. I must say that those were 17 Euros well spent! The museum package came with 3 beers, a boat ride, and a souvenir. I learned how Heineken beer is a family business and how it is processed. The museum even has a room where you can watch all the Heineken commercials. I even learned how to drink a beer without sipping the foam, which protects the beer from getting flat while you are drinking it. After exploring all the the museum has to offer we met some cool people at the bar (part of the museum.) A 2010 RU graduate who was on a business trip for his job and a cute couple who teach kids in military bases. The boat ride was absolutely peaceful and so beautiful! Amsterdam has so many “boat houses,” which are apparently very expensive, according to the tour guide. I can’t imagine living in houses like that. They were houses built on water not really “boat houses” per say. After we got our souvenirs, a bottle opener shaped as the Heineken “e.” I was very pleased!

Ahead: The Red Light District

Walking around Amsterdam you notice how beautiful it is. The buildings have their own unique structures and mix in well with the scenery. We stopped by the flower market and decided to get some frites to snack on. Slowly we started approaching the red light district. Never have I seen something like that before in my life! Let me tell you that the red light district does NOT discriminate! You have your skinny prostitutes, your chubby ones, the one with small titis, the ones with flat asses… well you get the idea. Every type of girl you can think of is available.The amount of men that walk around horny and wishing to get laid is also unbelievable. Some of these girls are literally wearing close to nothing as they are displayed behind the glass doors like dolls. I actually saw a man go into one of the girls door and curtains were immediately closed. One girl even had a sign that said she takes S&M and lesbian action. Like I said before no discrimination whatsoever in the red light district. It was something you seriously have to experience to understand.

Side note: A man approached us saying “I’m a gigolo try me before buying…” .__. 

Eat Me Restaurant

Before continuing to explore the red light district we needed some food! We decided to eat at this place called “Eat Me.” The place was very pretty inside and they played some spanish music. I ordered the steak because I realized how much I missed eating steak. From what I understood it was the back of the cow and it came with some frites. I got a cappuccino to drink.  I get the steak, eat a little and realized the steak looked practically raw to me. Of course they tell me that’s how it was suppose to be but they still cook it a little more for me. It looked the same when they returned it but whatever I ate it anyways I’m not really picky with food. It was juicy I’m not going to lie. Come to find out it was beef that came from Galicia, Spain. After dinner we thought about going back home and last minute we decided to catch the morning train. We watched the train leave us. We had 9 hours to kill and no hostel to stay in. Hello Amsterdam! There were so many people on the streets!! After visiting various bars/clubs we felt absolutely exhausted! We even ended up getting Wok and Go (a chinese noodle place) like at 1am in the morning. I ate the entire thing by the end of the night! Yes, I am currently regretting it. We even managed to crash McDonalds and chill there while Brielle got a McFlurry. We were trying anything to stay awake!

Rotterdam Station

We get to the train station and only one section of the station was open. Security told us we had 2 choices: 1. Wait somewhere in Amsterdam till our train arrived or station opened at 5am (it was about 3-4:00am at this point.) 2. Catch the last train to Rotterdam. We decided option 2 would be best so we could get at least 1.5 hours of sleep and take the train from there back home.

We get to Rotterdam and the train station is outside!! We were freezing for about 2.5 hours! Train didn’t get there till 8:34am. I had to end up buying another cappuccino. It was the train station from hell! We even resulted to going into the bathroom and putting our hands under the dryer! Basically I didn’t get home till 12:00pm absolutely exhausted and without energy whatsoever!

Nothing like Beautiful Crazy Amsterdam to wear you out!