My onward flight was cancelled and the airline rebooked me on one flying out at 7pm. That gave me six hours to fill in – in Vienna! So actually it was a bit of a bonus.
At the airport there are a lot of signs for the CAT train to the city – for Eur21 return. I thought they looked like a scam, and they were. The regular train is only Eur 8 return. It doesn’t get you to the middle of the city but at that price you can afford to take an onward trip or just walk, which is what I did.
My morning tea bought at Munich airport – apple pie from Dallmayr, the fancy delicatessen. I ate it in the train station (the luxury life of the jet-set).
I arrived in some random part of town and wandered about. My German is not amazing but I know enough to read ‘Army War Museum’ when I see it. This led me to a 19th century arsenal that has been turned in to a military museum (the HGM). It’s worth it just for the building. Entry is Eur 6 and well worth it. On the bottom floor there is a gallery for the 1860s-80s
These dog tags are actually tiny containers. Neat!
A hanky with instructions on how to operate your weapon
This pack looks even less comfortable than mine
Then there’s the WW1 gallery. This has recently been updated. It has some English but is mostly in Austrian German. They have some very significant artefacts.
This is the car Archduke Franz Ferdinand was shot in. They also have some other exhibits from the assassination
Albanian fighting slippers and mittens
You probably think this looks like a giant ear trumpet. And it is! They used it to listen for approaching aircraft
This is a siege howitzer, calibre 38cm. It took up to 10 days to dig in and was transported on 4 railway carriages
Trench fighting equipment
Note the pockets for carrying grenades
Italian assault troop gear
This is a mortar
Radio and an early codebreaking system to the right
View of the siege howitzer from the mezzanine
Flyer’s kit. The glass object to the lower left is a gas bomb. The white patch on the jacket is gas detction paper
The building is quite magnificent inside, and also has a free toilet (these things are important in Europe).
The upper gallery has a section about the wars of the later Hapsburg and Austro-Hungarian empires. I found it a bit boring.
Balloon captured from Napoleon
Check out those hats!
This is a model of the arsenal building that the museum is in. The museum is just the middle building. The whole complex is enormous
Then there’s a gallery with 17th century things.
If you can figure out what’s going on in this picture then good for you
An Ottoman meeting tent. The Ottomans came to the gates of Vienna
After all that I thought I had my money’s worth. But there was more!
WW2 gallery. These are the voting papers given out for the 1938 Anschluss plebiscite, and the instructions on how to vote JA
Nothing like a pretty throw cushion?!
Some kind of nifty German tiny tank
If you like uniforms and equipment the galleries have a lot for you to look at
Unfortunately the reflection makes it difficult to see but this is a child’s coat made from a German paratrooper’s smock
Notorious German 88mm AA gun
A German paratrooper and FG-42 rifle
I thought I had my money’s worth. But there was more!
A few postwar tanks outside
After the war Austria became neutral. They adopted the hedgehog as their mascot because they wanted to be spiky enough to stop other countries touching them. This cartoon chap was their logo (Note the Steyr rifle). The museum had a short term exhibit about the army 1956-1991. I went DIESE RICHTUNG!
The exhibit was actually quite interesting from a strategy/doctrine point of view, as well as the equipment that was out. Almost everything was in English.
The fore-runner of the Pinzgauer. Nifty!
If you served long enough as a professional (it was a conscript army) they gave you a crystal hedgehog. Cute!
They developed or manufactured a lot of weapons under licence to have an indigenous weapons supply
So you can see it’s well worth a look if you like that sort of thing.
I then set out for town to see the historic buildings. On the way someone asked me for directions! It never stops!
I’m not so sure about the statues
Take THAT! I think this is about 500m long
I looked at this and thought ‘That is a chook house’
It WAS a chook house! But is it art? No. No it is not.
In town. This is a fountain and memorial put up by the Soviets after the war
It ALL looks like this
There were several tour groups looking at this statue so I investigated – it’s Mozart
The centre of town was just monumental building after the other. I think this was the national library
Got enough triumphal arches?!
I then took the cheap train back to the airport. The airline had given me a Eur 12 meal ticket so I had a cheap dinner and expensive dessert.
Sachertorte! Actually it wasn’t worth it. Aso they charge you an extra Euro just for cream. What a rip!