• Danube Dreams!

    The Danube River…Instead of another train ride, I choose to take to the famous Danube on a hydrofoil boat from Vienna to Bratislava. The two cities are extremely close and this was my way of getting the flavor of cruising this waterway into my experience!

    Lushly green, the banks of the river are laden with and abundance of trees that kind of hang over the water’s edge. We passed under bridges of all designs, from classic to uber modernist. Anyone expecting to see a blue hued Danube as described in the famous waltz will be surprised. Today, there is nothing blue about it! Nevertheless, it was fun seeing dogs splashing in the rocky shore, fishing nets set to score today’s prize, weird looking barges float by, and castle spires poke out from the passing forests. My pre conceived notion of some fantastical river that was lifted from a storybook were quickly broken!

    Upon arriving in Slovakia, the harbor was dotted with low riding river cruise boats set against a vintage skyline of castles and churches mixed with modern bland blocks of buildings.

    A small yet simpler version of Prague, Bratislava’s Old Town was easy to walk without the crush of tourists found elsewhere. The palace was patrolled by costumed guards, yet I have seen grander homes in East Hampton or Beverly Hills and overall it all felt still undiscovered by mass tourism. After days of churches, castles, and cobblestones it all starts to blur, yet it was nice to just stroll without being concerned about hitting a list of big sights.

    Far from a must stop on any itinerary, it’s still fun experiencing a place that most people will say “where?”…I can say I’ve been to Slovakia! Plus, I can now spell Bratislava…







  • Works of Art!

    Vienna, Austria…I am blown away by the art, but the museums themselves are masterpieces! Smartly, a large group of museums are built together around a modernist central courtyard, called Museum Quartier. It’s as enjoyable hanging out there as it is to admire the exhibitions inside! This planning also makes museum hopping very easy…

    Away from Museum Quartier, the Secession Building is a sight to behold on its own with it’s ornate gold ball top and Klimt murals adorning the facade…literally, it glistens under the sun! All that before you get a sight of the magnificent work on the inside!

    The grand museums of Belvedere and Upper Belvedere are connected by an elaborate garden…the whitewashed interior of Upper Belvedere leading to that chandelier strewn great room is more than an opening act for the great artwork collection inside!

    Beauty to behold on both the inside and out!







  • Me & Klimt!

    Vienna, Austria…Vienna is celebrating it’s acclaimed artist, Gustav Klimt’s 150th birthday this year with special exhibits allover town…His work along with his turn of the century friends Egon Schiele and Koloman Moser define an era and secessionist period. Their influence on Austria and the Art Nouveau period is huge!

    The Leopold Museum’s exhibit focused on Klimt the man…entitled “Klimt: Up close and personal”. Showcasing his love of travel; the exhibit displays hundreds of postcards he wrote while traveling and how creative he felt and became when traveling! I can totally relate! It was a great way to learn about the man behind the art…ultimately, I found that we share the same love to be so inspirational! Leopold also houses the largest Schiele collection and lesser known Moser. Schiele, referred to as more of a bad boy, his art had a more erotic and dark feeling. He was tapped as an art genius at an early age and him and Klimt were friends.

    The museum at Upper Belvedere holds the largest Klimt collection in the world and didn’t disappoint with famous works such as “The Kiss”…but it’s the behind the scenes that excites me…seeing that every work had a series of studies and sketches and a mini pre-painting before the final work! Looking closely I see the huge impact he has had today on fashion. Dries Van Noten and Marni collections jump from his artwork! Look at his portrait of Johanna Straude in a 1910 Martha Alber design: it could be a Marni lookbook!

    Art is amazing…but it’s the artist that defines the art! A reminder to myself to be thankful that I am gifted with creativity and also the ability to travel the world for creative inspiration!







  • Change of Plans!

    Experiences teach you lessons!

    I am a firm believer in being fluid and not over planning a trip. The worst is to feel “stuck” in a place you don’t like, a hotel you hate, or a setting that doesn’t interest you!

    I hit a snag in the road and needed to do an about face…I loved the hotel in Vienna, but I suffered miserably through a night of unbearable heat and I needed to make a change! And QUICK!

    I plotted out my entire trip and made sure to book hotels throughout, but I used booking.com which doesn’t make you pay upfront and I made all reservations that were fully cancelable…so in this instance, I was able to break free from the idea of 3 nights sweating it out! I got a great last minute deal on hotwire.com and made the switch. Ahhh!!! The comforts of air-conditioning!

    I double checked my upcoming hotel in Budapest, it too was un-airconditioned! So I quickly canceled and rebooked an amazing last minute flash sale on booking.com…

    Don’t let travel freak you out and definitely don’t allow yourself to become a victim to a booking mistake, we all make them, just be flexible!