The River Danube traverses Vienna like a vein, a vital vessel pumping life to and from the city’s heart. Growing up in Vienna, I have all these wonderful memories tied to the river; from hot summer days swimming in the Old Danube to sitting outside of my favorite canal-side club as a teenager, wondering how on earth none of the nearby party kids, perched on the waterfront till sunrise, ever managed to fall in. Austria is far from the ocean, Vienna far from our beautiful lakes, but the Danube is always around for the city’s children who need an oasis and escape – if only for a few hours or so. From my particular point of view, a small pedestrian bridge, you can also spot another secret Viennese landmark: the tower of an incineration plant designed by artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser. A waste-to-energy plant that looks like Charlie’s Chocolate Factory … not sure how many other cities could claim a similar wealth of wonderfully absurd sights.

The River Danube and the tower of an incineration plant designed by artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser
The River Danube and the tower of an incineration plant designed by artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser, photo: Kira Stachowitsch

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header image: Kira Stachowitsch