Sunday, April 28, 2013

Friday April 26th

Woke up around 8am. Had some breakfast and made myself ready for yet another day here in Vienna.
It didn't take long after I'd left the hotel that I realized it's going to be another hot day. Sun was really burning within minutes - and this was at 9am!

Anyway; first thing on the list today was to visit Schönbrunn Schloss.

It's a nice place to see - and a small scene from 'The Living Daylights' were shot here - and I found the exact spot. :)

After this joyous start of the day I went to the Tiergarten, which is on the premises of Schönbrunn. That fact - and that the zoo is apparently the oldest zoo in the world, were two reasons I didn't really had high expectations. I though it would be along the lines on Central Park Zoo in New York.

But boy, was I wrong. It was actually very big - and one of the best zoos I have ever been to!
I highly recommend it if you ever go to Vienna.

The had a rain forest house (similar to the Universeum in Gothenburg, just slightly better) which was nice.

There were a room with bats and I went to check it out. And discovered that there were no cage - they were flying freely in there!
I will never again make fun of someone who is panicking over bats!
After the initial chock left me though, it was quite interesting to stand there with bats flying around my head.

Other animals at the zoo!




Ant eaters:

And the cutest picture of the day, a sleeping koala bear:

After a few hours at the Tiergarten, I walked to the Technical Museum, mainly to see their Robot Exhibition!

They had other fun stuff as well; I especially liked their experiments they've set up so you could play with. :)

After this I headed back to the city of Vienna again and tried the Butterfly House!
Why not, heh? (maybe one of the reason was that "Schmetterling" must be the most beautiful word in the German language).

I paid my 6 EUR, went in - and melted away. It was hot like an oven in there - but during the few minutes I could stand it, I did see some nice butterflies. :)

There is one small, small scene in 'The Living Daylights' where I had no clue where it was:

Luckily the tourist information could help me out and directed me to the Maria-Theresien Platz, where I found it:

Pretty good, right? :)

This was just next to the Museum of Natural History so I went in there.
They had one of the "Body Worlds Exhibitions"which is always interesting. I did see one, a long time ago in North Carolina, but I didn't mind looking at it again. And this one had the poker playing bodies featured in the Bond movie "Casino Royale"! Bliss! :D

The rest of the museum was also good, they even had a moving dinosaur - which moved pretty good (it wasn't like other horrible mock ups I've seen before).

But as always in these museums, the parts with "exotic animals" aren't really that exciting any longer since you have seen many of them alive.
Heck, I saw most of them alive earlier today at Tiergarten!

Anyhow, heading towards the hotel now to relax before heading to the Prater tonight, I went into the National Liberty - one of the most beautiful libraries in the world (I am just guessing about that part, but I have never seen anything like this before:

In the evening (around 6pm) I went to the Prater, which is an amusement park in Vienna. It's open 24/7 and the entrance is free.

Of course I wanted to go there to check it out, but it was also a place where Bond and Kara went in 'The Living Daylights'.
One scene I never thought I would find in real life was when Bond and Kara just arrived in Vienna:

But, by accident, I walked out of the underground through a side passage and what do I see when I reach ground level? This:
Lucky me! :)

And then I walked into Prater.

Walking around there I realized that while the park is owned by the city, all the rides, games and restaurants seemed to be owned by privates companies. The state of them differed, some were really run down and some were brand new. Several houses and lots were closed. When I was there, there were almost no visitors at all in outer parts of the park (although they did contain rides) so those are apparently not very good places to set up your business.

I planned to find the rides that Bond and Kara took during their visit, but it was very hard to find them. I guess they were all redesigned or replaced in the 30 years it has been since the movie was made (and I guess that really is a good thing).
I did find two things though - at least I think this might be the monster that scared Kara:


And also the Riesenrad (Ferris Wheel) is still there of course:

I did go up in it (and looked down, just as in the movie) and it was a really nice ride.

What other rides did they have then?

Well, it was this scary one, called Black Mamba:

See that little carriage way up there? There's people on it. And it turns up side down, while the big arm (the mamba I presume) goes round and round...
I did not go on that one.

Another one was the Praterturm; a "normal" chairoplane (Swedish: slänggunga):
It's the highest chairoplane in the world. It's 117 meter high. That is an insane amount of meters when it comes to chairoplanes.
I did not go on this one either.

What I did try though, was the "Volare", a roller coaster in which you ride vertically - you lie down the whole ride.
It wasn't too bad of a ride, although my head kept banging into the side of the carriage all the time when it twisted and turned.

Before I left the Prater I ate a pizza at the Pizzeria L'inconto. The pizza was good, the service was not.

Got home around 10 and am still writing this at 1am. Soon time for bed.
[update: publishing this at 3am - writing these blogs takes time!]

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