Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Vienna in 48 hrs

A Freemason at Mozart's House
In September, I had a round the world ticket that included 3 stops, where I was able to do some sightseeing in addition to work:
  • Vienna  September 18th to 20th.
  • Bangkok  September 21st to 23rd.
  • Hong Kong  September 24th to 27th.

Vienna in the lovely downtown area. I had a chance to revisit the famous Spanish Riding School : Spanische Hofreitschule, yes that's right - Spanish. Originally the horses and training system was brought over by the Spanish when attempted to conquer this part of Europe centuries ago.

Quite a number of decades ago, my family visited Vienna in the dead of winter and we weren't able to see the horses but this time I made sure I got at least a quick peek at the famous Lippizan horses.

Vienna downtown

Vienna has wonderful cafes and shopping, in addition to the old historical sites, time out for coffee and slice of cake is always an good option. One other must tourist stop I made was to Mozart's house. It was a self guided audio tour and you can see the original rooms which are actually quite large and nice.  I learned a few things - Mozart was a freemason. One of the tutors for the licenstein tutors was a talented black man - one of the few that had such a position in the era!

LCD screen on Metalabs' Front Door for Events

In my 48 hours in Vienna, I also decided to include in my visit my first hackerspace abroad, Metalab. Here is a photo of the Metalab Hackspace front door sign, which announces events.

The engineering quality was really well done for an adhoc space. But then again I'm not surprised... Austrians, like Germans are known for their quality engineering. :)

The Metalab hackers also created a window of individually addressable LEDs embedded in glass. It is called the Blinkenwall. It is located inside of the Metalab hackerspace, and I believe can be remotely controlled via the Internet from anywhere? While not everyone here speaks English, many are eager to listen and socialize. It is a very positive and welcoming space. In addition, if you are a smoker they have a separate room which has some wonderful murals for smoking only.


Metalab is located near the center of downtown Vienna, near the tram and is physically set in the basement of a elegant old building. The exterior seemed so formal, I assumed at first I was in the wrong spot. But the front door certainly matched the character of a hackerspace. :) 

No comments: