I met Victoria last year, on a warm summer evening in Beijing. We walked into a Yunnanese restaurant, hidden in one of those winding hutong alleys. We climbed the spiral staircase, parked our tired bodies in a cozy corner, and forgot about time. I remember we were eating spicy mashed potatoes and mushroom salad–Victoria arrived just in time for the plum wine. I don’t remember what we talked about, but I remember her telling me about growing up in Vienna, Austria.
When I was studying at Charles University in Prague, I loved taking weekend trips to cities and towns nearby. I really wanted to go on a train trip to Vienna, but I never quite made it there. Talking to Victoria brought me back there again. And whenever I visit her blog, I think about my time in Prague and places I have yet to visit. In a way, I’ve vicariously experienced the Baroque gardens of Belvedere, quaint storefronts in the city center, pretty Vienna hotel views, and familiar hazy evening walks. I hope I’ll make it there one day, for a cup of coffee and of course, a slice of sachertorte.
The Belvedere houses two Baroque palaces set in lush landscaped gardens. You walk through wrought iron gates, follow a gravelled path to a garden of tiered fountains and cascades surrounded by the oldest alpine garden in the world. It also happens to be the 150-year anniversary of Gustav Klimt’s birth, and The Belvedere has their extensive collection of Gustav Klimt paintings on view until January. I wish!
All photos by Victoria Jin, the founder of Kneon magazine and an Art History student from Beijing/Vienna.