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Around Austria By Car - Part 8: Making Our Way To Vienna. Virtual Reality and Some Realities of the Northern Austria

ksenia  ·  Dec 21, 2011  ·  No Comments

In the morning we pack up, leave out hotel and set off towards Vienna! We are going north, and observe the picture outside our car’s window change drastically. No more tiny cottages and amazing corners of nature – instead of them, we see huge industrial complexes and factories. So we arrive to Linz. This city is also full of high multi-storey buildings. No cute cottages. However we came here to visit Ars Electronica Centre – the museum of virtual reality, or ‘Museum of the future’ as the name of the museum itself states. It features some leading technologies of media and digital art and is meant to enlighten people on the latest know-how in the virtual reality and new technologies domains. Actually we found that this museum resembles an exhibition of computer games. Not as profound and diverse though.

At the entrance there is an option to create music using different objects – there is a table with various objects, and a special ray is scanning them creating a piece of music that depends on their layout. The next floor is totally devoted to a sort of ‘Gulliver’s World’: you take a special cube, insert it into the computer and program any character you wish (according to certain parameters, e.g. name, age, race, gender, looks, etc). Then there is a table where you can put your cube – and then, using a 3D camera and a screen, you are able to see the way this world looks. Instead of cubes there are these characters that the visitors have created. The interesting thing about this world is that no physical laws are valid there. Moreover, you can get some 3D eyeglasses for your impressions to be completely realistic and ‘fly’ all over this cyber-world. This flight simulator requires from you to use your hands so that to give the right angle to the flight – you may virtually fly anywhere and see the movements of your legs and hands.

In the museum there are also Musicbottles that are filled with various pieces of music, 3D scanner, a machine that translates the voice into a picture (you just say anything into a microphone, and it generates a picture with certain colours and symbols). There are also some robots. And surely some simulation programmes.

The restaurant in the museum has an excellent view on the city, but regrettably they do not serve schnitzels.  So we get back into our car and go to Vienna, searching for schnitzel in every single restaurant we meet on our way. It takes us more than 20 minutes to finally find a Gasthaus – and to our relief, the desired dish is served there, and after eating it we go further on. We go along Danube which is pretty contaminated and very wide, and pass by a picturesque St. Nikola valley – however, to my mind, it cannot be compared to the beauty of the south Austria.

The last place to visit on our way to Vienna is Aggstein Castle. We can see it on the top of the mountain, however the roads towards it seem a bit scary, and it’s t


far to go by feet as well. But soon we discover a sign of a labyrinth so we go there and find a labyrinth itself – made in a corn field. The corn is quite high – more than 7 feet – so the labyrinth is quite challenging.

Having paid a couple of euro for the entrance, we get instructed to find a pile of stones and bring a stone from there and receive the map of the labyrinth together with these instructions. However, all stones and bridges are marked on the map so we prefer not to use the map to make the quest more challenging.

After finding our way out, we receive some sort of mock certificate for bringing the stone (the certificate is signed by ‘the founder of the castle’, mind you!). After that – we go to Vienna and make it to the city by 9 P.M. Finally! We find our hotel, park the car, find a nice coffee shop with amazing cakes and that is how our eights day in Austria comes to its end.

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Categories: Adventures abroad · Austria · Destinations · So there we were... · Uncategorized
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