Vienna and Budapest; Hungary for more?

I’ve always fancied going to Vienna. It’s such a rich and indulgent city busting at the seams with theatre, art and culture. Plus, I dig Viennesse art – particularly Jugendstil.

For the first day, we thought we’d get get LOST in “SCHLOSS” … Belvedere that is. A gorgeous palace and museum. The stunning grounds reminded me a bit of Versailles. I dunno … maybe it’s those shrubs. You just KNOW you’ve found a “good” palace when you see legit cone shaped shrubs like these. Am I right??

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I was VERY keen visit because it is currently the home to my most favorite painting ever – The Kiss by Gustav Klimt. Everyone had their own plans but I tugged at their sleeves and practically threw a tantrum, INSISTING on seeing MY favorite painting FIRST and foremost. “The Kiss” is very special to me. It’s got a luminescent quality and the hypnotic patterns are something to marvel at. Moreover, it’s very romantic. Very welled up with emotion and it effectively captures the amazing sensation of a whole environment turning standstill – becoming SWEPT away in a moment. Indeed, when you are in love, everything is golden and gleaming.

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A far better love story than Twilight wouldn’t you say? :p

The gallery was interesting because it was filled to the brim with so much classic art like Impressionism and Romanticism but every so often they would keep us guessing with the odd modern artist thrown in. Like this random Jeff Koons, for instance. Kept us on our toes.

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After browsing the amazing art collection at Belvedere we took a walk around the gardens and pretty much skipped around. We were the definition of footloose and fancy free.

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Not quite museumed-out, the next day we visited the breathtaking Kunsthistorisches Museum. Just LOOK at that interior. Oooft. I adored their impressive collections of paintings; from Neoclassical to Rococo.

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The Ancient Egyptian wing was like a cave of wonders.

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Later that day, we visited the Imperial Treasury.

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The day after that, we took an overnight trip to Budapest to randomly see a Blondie concert. Ever since her rainbow connection duet with Kermit the frog, Blondie had stolen my heart so seeing her live was practically mandatory.

Budapest is a seriously cool place. It’s like Marmite. It ain’t for everyone. You either love it or hate it. It’s a curious city that has been re-built with an interesting mish mash of architectural styles. Very different to Prague or Salzburg, it’s a bit grottier with more of a hippie vibe. A mix of eclectic and indie; it’s fancy yet casual. Some areas looked as pristine and spotless as the Champs Elysees, and then you turn a corner and hear musicians playing live jazz, little cafes and some mystical little gypsy shops that look like they’ve been there for ages.

It’s Bohemian and diverse with a youthful, magical spirit.

The city names “Buda” and “Pest” were united (with Óbuda) to become a single city in 1873. This metropolis has a population of 2 million and is separated by the Danube with hills and valleys on the Buda side and the flat, low-lying Pest on the other.

We didn’t have a chance to explore too much but we did get to explore some pretty awesome castles… I love how medieval they look … like something from Sleeping Beauty complete with it’s very own drawbridge.

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We also made sure to see Budapest parliament building before dancing the night away with Blondie.

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Needless to say … we were left feeling … somewhat elated, and on a high afterwards.

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Bring on the Munich madness!!!!