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.

One of The Witcher’s locations

Have you guys seen the first season of The Witcher already? As someone who hasn’t read the books or played the games it took me a while to get into it, but by the end of the season I was already hooked. A big part of the series was filmed in Central and Eastern Europe. On the one hand to honor the fact that the books come from Poland and on the other hand it’s convenient because there are so, so many castles in Europe. One of the castles that the show uses as a filming location I recognised to be the Kreuzenstein Castle near Vienna, which I have been to!

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Laxenburg//autumn

No, Laxenburg isn’t how I misspell Luxembourg. It’s a place, close to Vienna with a castle, a park and a lake that I’ve been to a couple of times, but only in the summer, so I thought it must be wonderful in autumn. I was right, of course. Laxenburg is a great place for a walk on a sunny Saturday and a convenient day trip from Vienna. The bus ride takes only half an hour from the main station. In the park, you can rent a boat or just walk around with your legs. The castle itself is rather small and on an island that could be reached through a bridge or a very short “ferry” ride (it’s a platform on underwater rails). You could also take a guided tour around the castle if you like and although I haven’t done it, I can tell you that you don’t need to go in to have a good day. I recommend strolling around the park or sitting on a bench by the lake, looking at the people passing by with their tiny dogs.

High above Vienna (on the Stephansdom)

The Stephansdom is one of the symbols of Vienna. This Gothic Cathedral stands tall in the perfect centre since the 14th century. Back in the day, more than 10 000 people were buried under this church. Now, a part of the catacombs is open to visitors who are interested in this kind of thing. So you could go down into the depths of the city and see its past. Or, alternatively, rise high above it for a different experience.

A Viennese Lamp

Vienna is a classical city, with lots of culture and class, right? Yes, that might be one side of it. But it has so many more sides. Like this one.

What is this, you might ask, because the window glare is horrendous.
I will tell you what it is.
It is a FULL.SIZED.HORSE.LAMP.
A lamp?
Yes, a lamp. The thing on the horse’s head is a lampshade.
This shop is next to where I used to live for many years in Vienna and in all that time no one has bought the full sized horse lamp on display.
I wonder why.
I wonder who was the customer they had in mind when they designed this lamp. What is their life? What is their living room? And why? Just why?
Am I ever going to be somebody if I don’t own a full sized horse lamp?
I have so many questions, but the horse remains silent and dark.
Keep your secrets, horse. Maybe one day your light will turn on.

An answer to the Weekly Prompts – Store Display.