Friday, May 20, 2011

Its true, I love urban planning

So, my travel partner in Vienna wanted to take a bike tour of the city, which I was all for!  We ended up choosing the "culture" tour which gave us a look at Vienna we would have NEVER seen had it not been for this tour.  It was absolutely incredible to experience the city in this way.  Our tour guide led us on a 3-hour, 20 kilometer (about 12 miles) ride through the city center, along the Danube River, and through the Prater - a huge park area.  There were times we felt we were in the middle of the forest, and yet we were not far from the city center!  Our guide told us there were over 600 kilometers of bike paths in the city. That's incredible!

120 year old ferris wheel in the Prater Park

Danube River

We are biking under a raised highway.  What a cool use of space! 

Prater Park 

Prater Park - now we're on a gravel path and it felt like a forest!  It was so peaceful.

Prater Park

Our group and our leader (wearing the hat)

Hundertwasser Haus
This bike tour really helped me see the amazing city planning and design of Vienna.  One highlight was seeing the Hundertwasser Haus - designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser as a response the city's request for more public housing.  This public art and public housing area is an example of sustainable design.  The roofs have gardens among other interesting design features.

Inside the "tourist" center of the Hundertwasser Haus.  Since people live in the building, there is this part where you can get a feel
for the architecture and design.

A little corner cafe - this is where I'd hang out if I lived there. 

Why not?

Where I imagine I'd live if I lived here...

Rooftop garden

The bike path network in Vienna is incredible!  Such a wonderful design as it's separated from pedestrian traffic.

And on the city streets, there is a tree lined path for bikes, for pedestrians, and for cars.  Brilliant and beautiful!

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