I’m Back From Vienna


If you go on a trip and want to come back and share photos, you’d be well advised to check you’ve got the right camera card with you. Well, I hadn’t and so the only photo I can share from my recent trip to Vienna is this photo taken with my iPad. Vienna by night from my hotel room. The domes you see in the background belong to the Natural History Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts.

I was on a course, so I didn’t have as much time to explore as I would have wished but I still saw an amazing amount of great art.


There was a Munch exhibition at the Albertina.

Kubin und Feininger

Also at the Albertina, I saw an exhibition dedicated to Alfred Kubin and Lionel Feininger.



At the Winterpalais, I saw this Rembrandt, Tizian and Bellotto exhibition and, of course, the beautiful reception rooms of Prinz Eugen.

Dürer Kleine Eule

The Albertina has a nice collection of Dürer’s watercolours. I really like the little owl.


The Leopoldmuseum owns one of the biggest Schiele collections. I’ve always admired his work but never saw so many of his paintings.


I never appreciated Klimt because I’m not fond of his most famous painting “The Kiss”. The collection at the Leopoldmuseum showed another side of the painter, which I found beautiful and inspiring.

I could write a lot more about the trip but I’ll leave it at that. I truly enjoyed it and was glad to see that most of Vienna hasn’t changed much. There have been some unfortunate renovations in the centre, which make it cleaner, and, in my opinion, a bit sterile, but most of the city still has a shabby elegance, I find appealing. And the people are so warm and welcoming and have such a great sense of humour. If you get a chance, visit Vienna. It has such a lot to offer. I have a feeling, I’ll return soon. Also because I didn’t have enough time to go to the theater. That was unfortunate because they showed many interesting plays.

Screen Shot 2015-10-22 at 09.03.47

I discovered a new to me Austrian crime author. I have no idea how good he is, but since he’s been translated into English, I thought the one or the other of you might be interested to pick him up for German Literature Month. His name is Bernhard Aichner and the book is called Woman of the Dead  – Totenfrau. It’s the first in a trilogy. Book two is already out in German. Here’s some praise taken from the blurb:

One of the Financial Times‘s top summer books for 2015

One of the Telegraph‘s Best Crime Fiction Books for 2015

‘An ironclad guarantee of sleepless nights’ INDEPENDENT

‘One of the most arresting thrillers I’ve read for years’ LISA GARDNER

‘Fast, edgy and gripping…full of quirks, with a conflicted heroine as killer at its heart. Do not miss it.’ GEOFFREY WANSELL, DAILY MAIL

‘Aichner has a talent for keeping readers hooked – this is a gripping read and the character of Blum lives long in the mind’ TELEGRAPH

‘An inventive, forceful, engrossing revenge thriller’ MARCEL BERLINS, TIMES

‘Blum is a great character and when Aichner’s ghost-train plot ends in the only place it can – a crematorium – you feel like cheering’ GUARDIAN


50 thoughts on “I’m Back From Vienna

  1. Sounds like you had a good time, in spite of that pesky course… Shame about the lack of pictures, but I’m sure you had plenty of Ohren and Augenschmauss to make up for it! (I may be somewhat biased, as this is the city I grew up in and am therefore most likely to call ‘home’).

  2. Welcome back Caroline.

    I have traveled a bit on business where I managed to get some sightseeing in. It is nice to be able to see places when in that way. On the other hand I find it slightly frustrating that time is limited.

    Your post reminds me that I really need to learn more about art.

    • Thank, Brians. (It is you, isn’t it?)? It’s good to be back. Business and education travels aren’t as much fun as vacations but I went a day early and stayed another day, so I could see some things.
      I love to see art in museums. I think you’d love Vienna.

    • I don’t like all of Klimt but those at the Leopold Museum were really beautiful. It’s an amazing museum. They also showed an exciting exhibition of Expressionist art. I forgot to mention that.

  3. Glad you had a great time, and glad to have you back. Thanks for sharing a few works of all the many wonderful things I’m sure you must have seen. I’ll be keeping a lookout on my library websites for “Woman of the Dead” and the other two books of the trilogy as soon as they are translated and appear. Looking forward also to reading about it in your review.

    • Thanks, Victoria. I’m glad to be back. But I enjoyed it a great deal. I had forgotten how many beautiful museums they have.
      I wanted to visit the Freud museum but the queue was so long. Next time.

    • No. No meerkat mysteries.
      Yes – so, so much art. It would be lovely to live there. Where can you sit for hours in a café, drink one coffee and read all the major newspapers and nobody rushes you.
      It was a shame I couldn’t go to the theater.

  4. Vienna’s great, I’m terribly jealous. I’ve never had the time for the galleries sadly – my trips were both too short.

    Fortunately I’ve seen a fair bit of Klimt outside the context of The Kiss (I’m not sure I realised until this post that The Kiss was seen as such a big deal in his work). I think not having been overexposed to one helped me appreciate him, otherwise it would be like Munch who for me is basically one painting which I’m quite sure is horribly unfair.

    Welcome back!

    • Thanks, Max.
      I had the same image of Munch – The Scream and that was it. I was glad the exhibition opened my eyes – regarding Munch and Klimt. The Kiss is one of thise paintings that even people who know nothing about art would know and buy to hand in their toilets. Last time I was there I visited more castles and other museums. They have stunning collections as well. I also liked that it’s not an exhausting city. Zürich is only about a third but it’s hectic and frantic. Very business. Nobody strolls in Zürich. (I just mention it because I was there twice this summer).

  5. Vienna… one of my favorite cities. A city where you can just walk around and look around. And even though I’ve gotten a few French people mad at me already by saying this… I like Viennese croissants better than French ones. 😉

    • Yes, exactly. that’s what i just said to Max. It’s ideal for a leisurely walk and just absorb all the stunning architecture and parks it offers. So many parks. It’s so green.
      I didn’t eat a croissant. I’m not too keen on the French ones either. A bit too rich for me.

  6. That owl is very charming!

    What you describe with Klimt (and Max mentions with Munch) can happen to writers as well: I think Flaubert and even Fitzgerald are to some extent victims of one book overwhelming their other work.

  7. Loved your post, Caroline! Lovely picture! I love Dürer’s art and I am so jealous that you went to an exhibition which displayed his watercolours. That Klimt painting is so beautiful! That Aichner book looks quite interesting! Would be a good read for GLM 🙂 Sorry to know that your camera didn’t work as well as you had hoped. Hope you can take more pictures next time. Welcome back 🙂

    • Thanks, Vishy. The art alone was worth the trip. And I haven’t even covered half of what I saw. 🙂
      Another Dürer I liked was the rabbit.
      I bought the Aichner but I don’t think I’ll be able to read it. I want to keep Lizzy company with Erebos, her readalong title, and it’s huge.

  8. I really love that Klimt watercolor. It’s so calm and serene. I think my stress would evaporate just by looking at it. 🙂
    I’m glad that you had a lovely time in Vienna, and I hope you get to visit again soon!

    • Thanks, Carole. I feel like going to Vienna more regularly from now on. Just for the exhibitions. It’s stunning.
      I don’t think I’ll get to the book this November as I’ve got too many others lined up. Let me know how you like it.

  9. Hi Caroline, what a nice post! I love the pictures, especially the little owl. I hope you would make another trip to Vienna at leisure. 🙂

  10. I reviewed woman of the dead the other day and am looking forward to the other two parts coming to english in due course . I would recommend the Vienna tales collection from oup

  11. I’ve been to Vienna this summer and I loved the Museum quarter and especially The Leopoldmuseum

    For the rest, I thought it was beautiful but as you say a bit too clean and sterile in the historical district. (And we did the “classic” tour and I got SO fed up with hearing about the Habsbourgs. Sissi’s apartments were the last straw)

    As for the locals’ sense of humour, I guess you need to speak German to hear it. Honestly, this is not a city where I’d choose to live. I liked Budapest better.

    • I visisted quite a lot of quarters outside of the tourist area and there you find it has a lot in common with Budapest – or rather the other way around. I saw Vienna before it was renovated and liked it more. The Museumsquartier is amazing because of the museums. I didn’t like the cold, functional style though. Since I do speak German I saw other aspects and found it so appealing.
      A lot factors in when you move to another city. If I chose for beauty alone, I’d prefer Prague any day. But I did like Budapest a great deal.

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