Schloss Grafenegg

In such times, when travelling outside of the country is difficult, risky and in some cases – impossible – the only thing a hungry traveller can do is explore whatever’s nearby. Luckily for me, after 11 years in Vienna, there are still places I have not visited. One such place on my list was this castle, Schloss Grafenegg. Not far from Vienna, it is usually a setting for big concerts, which is why there were several stages in its grounds. It’s also a nice place for a walk when there are no concerts scheduled. And if you walk to the small lake, you will find a surreal modern art phone box that looks like a fun random anachronism in the romantic castle’s gardens.

Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències

It seems that it might be some time until it’s safe to travel again and no one knows exactly how that travel will look like. And while there isn’t that much that I miss as an introvert stuck at home with someone I love, finally having the chance to work from home, I am nostalgic for the time I was free to take a cheap flight and spend the weekend in a different European country every now and again. A year ago, in May, I went to Valencia in what is one nicest trips I’ve ever taken and I can’t help but remember the palm trees and the architecture (and the food and the drinks).

Valencia does not only have a wonderful old town, but also some of the most modern and futuristic looking buildings I have ever seen. I am talking, of course, about the Ciutat de les Arts i les Ciències, or the City of Arts and Sciences. When I imagine an utopian future, where everyone is happy and healthy and provided for, this is what my brain thinks that it could look like. Big, bright, white and beautiful, the buildings in this architectural complex look like someone plucked them out of a futuristic film and put them in our reality by mistake.

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The statues of Budapest

Budapest has a lot of statues. Perhaps its most famous monument is the group of shoes on the bank of the Danube, honouring the Jews who had to take off their shoes before they were shot and fell into the river. But there are many other, far less heartbreaking statues sprinkled around the city. Like this fat policeman, whose belly you should rub for good luck.

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One of my favourite cities

I’ve been to a lot of cities, so for this week’s City photo challenge from Dutch goes the Photo! I had a lot of pictures from which I could choose. And somehow I knew that I wanted to go with Edinburgh. It’s one of the cities I can definitely imagine living in and it’s a special one. With its gloomy weather and and fascinating history, it seems like a good fit. I don’t know when I’ll get the chance to go back and for how long, all I know is that sometimes, especially during this year’s hot summer, I check up on the Edinburgh weather and sigh, wishing I wasn’t melting in Continental Europe, but instead was sitting in a small dark pub, writing my book and looking at the soft rain in Scotland.

Weekly Prompts – White

There isn’t a lot of white in my life. I don’t wear white clothes and if my shoes have anything white on them it’s gone in about a week, stifled by the dirt and dust of city life. But every now and then I see a building and it’s so perfectly white despite its surroundings. It seems futuristic. It’s too nice for the world we live in now, but some day, in some utopian future, maybe everything will be this sleek and clean.

Economics University in Vienna, by Zaha Hadid

A post for the White Photo Challenge.

Budapest Parliament

The Hungarian Parliament is the most famous in the world, said to me once a Hungarian girl I used to work with and I thought really, girl, cause I have no idea what you are talking about. But I am not an architecture expert and when I google most famous parliaments, there’s the Hungarian at the top spot, so there you have it. It appears that I am the ignorant one.
I have to say, this exchange happened before I had ever been to Budapest and a few months later I went and the massive white Gothic building on the bank of the Danube was there not caring about what anyone thought of it. It knew it was the boss.

High above Copenhagen

The Rundetaarn or Round Tower in Copenhagen is one of the nicer towers I’ve ever climbed. Not only is it roomy it also has no stairs. I repeat, no stairs to remind me I’m not doing enough cardio and to make me question if I have claustrophobia or if it’s normal to feel a bit disconcerted while being out of breath in a small space tens of meters above ground.

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