Vienna, Austria

My childhood memory of Vienna is rather traumatic: in a park near a castle (Schoenbrunn?) I was accidentally hit by a little Viennese girl because I came too close to her swing. She was all dressed up in a dirndl. Luckily, my successive visits to Vienna have been less aggressive and more pleasant, but other people's clothes are more often than not the focus of my attention.

My country used to be part of the Hapsburg Monarchy, traces of which can be found in the architectural style of Downtown Zagreb and the lingo the Zagreb citizens have been using for more than a century. Since it takes only five hours to get to Vienna, I often take my students on day trips to see the sights and visit an exhibition or two. Because being as rich a city as Vienna is, it'd be a shame to miss such perfect opportunities to see the world famous masterpieces in numerous Viennese museums. We've seen the paintings by Cezanne, Picasso, Van Gogh, the Impressionists from the Paris Musée d'Orsay, Dali, Hundertwasser, Schiele...and of course, Klimt, my most favorite painter. Klimt and his fellowmen from the Sezession, that you can see on every corner of the city, might easily be the reason I'm so fond of Vienna.

I've been to Vienna on a number of occasions, but it was the two-week seminar for German teachers from all over the world, held in Vienna in September 2001, that gave me the greatest opportunity to explore this amazing city.