Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Ride Around the Ring

Vienna used to have two tram routes that went around the beautiful, circular Ringstrasse in opposite directions.  I used to take our guests on those trams as an introduction to Vienna, showing them the many points of interest along the way.  In 2008, the city changed the routes for the Euro Cup soccer championship games and never changed them back.  Now if you want to ride around the Ring the city offers a tourist tram, a classic Vienna streetcar painted yellow.  The charge to ride the tram is seven Euros and you'll hear a commentary through an earbud.

There's so much to see on this one route—the Opera, Goethe's statue, the Academy of Fine Arts that refused admission to Hitler, Mozart's Statue, the Burggarten, the Hofburg Palace—the center of power for the Austro-Hungarian Empire,  Kunsthistorisches Museum and Natural History Museum with the Empress Maria Teresa's statue between them, Volksgarten and its rose gardens, the Parliament and the Rathaus, the Burgtheater, Cafe Landtmann where Freud used to hang out, the University of Vienna, the Votive Kirche, the old Borse, (stock exchange), the former military barracks that looks like a castle, the Danube Canal, the site of the former Gestapo headquarters (now a monument against fascism), Rupertskirche, thought to be Vienna's oldest church, the former OPEC headquarters site, Schwedenplatz and the ice cream parlors there, the Urania observatory, a building that appears to have something to do with the military, the Otto Wagner Post Office, Cafe Pruckel—one of the grand coffee houses, Coburg Palace, Stadtpark with its golden statue of Johann Strauss, the Kursalon where Strauss played his waltzes, Schwarzenbergerplatz and another grand coffee house Cafe Schwarzenberg, Hotel Imperial,  the Grand Hotel, the Bristol Hotel and many other grand buildings.

I miss riding the previous tram route around the Ring so much.  If anyone from Wiener Linien should see this post, I hope you'll please consider restoring the Ring-Kai-Ring route.  Bitte.

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