City break to Vienna and Bratislava

March 03, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

Last month I had a long weekend in Vienna and Bratislava to see my good friend Alex and wanted to share a few photos and experiences of my time there.  I had my 'travel photographer' cap on, intent on getting some decent pictures this time.  I was last in Vienna in 2008 on a double trip to Prague and still quite early in my photography career and looking back at the pictures... let's just say I didn't do them justice.  Even with all my experience now it is still hard to convey the sheer size and spectacle of these ancient buildings.  There is no substitute for experiencing them in person.

Exterior view from park of the Votive Church, ViennaExterior of the Votive Church, Vienna

I am always first drawn visually to the architecture of a cathedral or museum, rather than it's history.  This was illustrated perfectly a few times as Alex and I were looking around and he would be studiously reading the history of the building (and then recounting it to me...perfect tour guide!) while I would be scouting out the scene looking for the best light and angles to capture it, as seen in the interior of the Votive Church with Alex reading a leaflet.

Interior of the Votive Church, ViennaInterior of the Votive Church, Vienna

After a very busy end to 2019, and my new found appreciation for good coffee, I was really looking forward to sitting in a nice cafe with a big mug of coffee and an even bigger slice of cake, and Vienna does not disappoint on either front.  I had to start of course with the world famous Sacher Torte.  Pastry chef Franz Sacher who created it in 1832 in the capital of Austria. Sacher was asked by Prince Klemens von Metternich, heir to a wealthy family of hoteliers, to prepare a special dessert for a guest because the official court pastry chef was ill. Sacher quickly came up with this recipe and the rest is history.

Sacher Torte slice of cake in ViennaSacher Torte slice Hotel Sacher cakesSacher Torte cakes

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Before I left my daughter made me promise to take Doggy on an adventure so I swore a sacred father/daughter oath to show him the best time ever!

Photographer Leon Day outside St Stephen's Cathedral in ViennaWith Doggy outside St Stephen's Cathedral! 20200130_16203820200130_162038 IMG_0316IMG_0316 IMG_0320IMG_0320

One of the biggest and best surprises was all the electric scooters dotted around the city.  They are everywhere!  The idea is brilliant - you download the app, scan the QR code and away you go, and it only costs 19 cents per hour! What better way to see so much more of the city by burning around at a whopping 22kph weaving in and out of people and stopping for photos and cake! Once you're done you literally leave it where you are, sign out and you're done. The app shows on the map where they all are in the city so you know if one is nearby. We NEED this in the UK!

Photographer Leon Day on scooter outside Cafe Central Restaurant in ViennaRiding the scooter in Vienna

Riding the scooter outside the Kunsthistorisches Museum and Maria-Theresien-Platz

As Bratislava is only 1 hour away from Vienna by train we thought we'd pop along and have a look. Bratislava has nowhere near the beauty or architecture that Vienna boasts but does have some interesting artwork and the impressive Bratislava Castle overlooking the River Danube. Our plan to return to Vienna on a cruise back up the Danube was foiled by boats not running this time of year despite the unusually warm weather. 

Bratislava street sceneBratislava city life

This bronze statue of Cumil the Sewer Worker was installed by the council to spice up the look and feel of the area which was traditionally marked with drab Communist-era architecture.  I'm sure many intoxicated people have been face planted by him as they stagger home at night.

Cumil the Sewer Worker bronze statue in BratislavaCumil the Sewer Worker

After heading for a beer on a rooftop bar, Rooftop by Regal, to get some photos of the sunset and castle, the owner introduced himself and asked what we were doing. I explained and said I would gladly do a portrait of him and give him a copy.  To our surprise and delight he gave us a few beers on the house.  Cheers Rusty!

View of the Square from Rooftop by Regal, BratislavaView of the Old Town, Hurbanovo Namestie from Rooftop by Regal, Bratislava

Ratislav Masrna Owner of Rooftop by Regal ViennaOwner of Rooftop by Regal, Ratislav Masrna

I love travelling and seeing new places and if the opportunity arises to visit a new city I'll take it but I'd happily go back to Vienna one day with the family to see the beautiful architecture and museums, and the scooters of course!

View of Votive Church from nearby streetView of Votive Church from nearby street Exterior of Votive Church dramatic skyExterior of Votive Church IMG_0018 (1)IMG_0018 (1) IMG_0032 (1)IMG_0032 (1) IMG_0046 (1)IMG_0046 (1) IMG_0052 (1)IMG_0052 (1) IMG_0061 (1)IMG_0061 (1)

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Hofburg Palace, ViennaHofburg Palace, Vienna

Hofburg Palace, ViennaHofburg Palace, Vienna Exterior of St Stephen's Catherdral, ViennaSt Stephen's Catherdral, Vienna Interior of St Stephen's Catherdral, ViennaInside St Stephen's Catherdral, Vienna IMG_0107IMG_0107 IMG_0109IMG_0109

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IMG_0154IMG_0154 IMG_0141IMG_0141 20200131_130509 (2)20200131_130509 (2) Stag do in BratislavaStag do alert!

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IMG_0217IMG_0217 20200131_16300920200131_163009 20200131_18245420200131_182454 IMG_0230IMG_0230 20200201_10024620200201_100246 20200201_10475320200201_104753 IMG_0236IMG_0236 IMG_0239IMG_0239 IMG_0247IMG_0247 IMG_0261IMG_0261 IMG_0262IMG_0262 IMG_0263IMG_0263 IMG_0272IMG_0272 Street performer Clara ZeiszlStreet performer Clara Zeiszl

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