Vienna

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Vienna is Mozart Central. It’s full of people dressed up in Mozart costumes flogging concert tickets to tourists. The tourist groups here walk around with wireless receivers and earplugs listening to their tour guide – at least better than the system where the tour guide has an amplifier. Going around in a horse-drawn carriage is also popular. Vienna gets 3 Ukuleles for having the largest number of unusual museums, including the Museum of Crime, Museum of Torture, Museum of Contraception and Abortion, Funeral Museum, Esperanto Museum and the Third Man Museum. We went to the Museum of Torture – not sure why really except that it was nearby. It is not recommended as it only displays dusty old scenes of medieval torture and ignores any contemporary situations. It is linked with Amnesty though and has a display about human rights. Next stop: St Stephens Cathedral. It is being repaired but the hoardings have the image of the walls they are covering, so well done the person who thought up that idea. Like all the great cathedrals there was a stream of people walking around, including us. Incredibly there was a wedding ceremony taking place – it seemed an enormous intrusion to have tourists talking, taking photos and milling around, even though the front area of the church was off limits.

roof tiles of Vienna's cathedral

After a rest we decided to go on a self-designed Third Man tour so we went to the spot where Harry Lime didn’t get run over, and then headed to the Prater. Only the Garmin took us to another Prater, the Laaer Berg Prater, a kind of permanent side show alley, via the gritty area of Vienna, seldom seen by tourists. No Mozart costumes here. We had to ride through a lot more grit to get to the desired destination so that we could go on the Wiener Riesenrad, the giant ferris wheel, that is featured in The Third Man. I played the theme tune on the ukulele as we ascended. A violent thunderstorm descended shortly afterwards with torrential rain.

Ian on the giant wheel

Cycle route:
Langenlebarn – Wien

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