Happy New Year!
My best News Years yet, celebrated in one of the most incredible atmospheres. Who said you need to go to Times Square for the big party, when an equal size one is happening in Vienna, Austria! On New Years Eve, 2012 Vienna was expected to host around one million people to count in the New Year together. This number crazily was the same size of the amount of people expected to see the ball drop in Times Square, New York. By the end of the night you could clearly see why so many people crowded into Vienna to end twenty-twelve and begin twenty-thirteen!
Although first to rewind a little bit, to the days leading up to end of the year. Arriving in Vienna on the 27th it was already bustling with people ready to celebrate. Smiles and laughter in all directions you looked and tour bus after tour bus traipsing around in white and red, showing of the castle of a city to tourists. Walking on the streets was like a zoo, people of all types running around like a mad man, everyone trying to take in as much of Vienna as possible. The metro was like a giant group hug, so crowded with people you couldn’t see your feet. Around this time it would probably be better to stay at home or cook at your hotel for dinner as finding a restaurant or even small coffee house that didn’t have a two hour entry line was nearly impossible. After 4 different places that consisted of hours of waiting before you could even see the building we finally found a little Italian place. Also jam packed, it took a good 40 minutes to get a plate of food – though completely worth it as the food was incredible!
As the 31st arrived my agenda was full with an incredible last day of the year. To start with a show from the Spanish Horse Riding School, which left everyone gobsmacked wondering how those angelic white horses performed such a beautiful show. A definite must see in Vienna, if you can get tickets – beware though you will probably have to book in advance. I had a standing ticket which cost only 30EUR, the one row of people sitting in front of us paid 120EUO+ for their ticket. I would recommend the 30EUR ticket as the view is pretty much the same and really is a show worth going to.
My afternoon continued with a walk around the city, stopping a few of the traditional New Year’s market stalls. Every 5 metres you would find someone trying to sell you anything with a four leafed clover, a pig or a bird; as they symbolise luck to the Europeans. If I didn’t have the space left in my luggage in mind, I would of definitely vouched for one of the lit up pig hats!
The party started at 6pm with the million people filling up every centimetre of the streets. Crowding in front of stages with DJ’s or singers, the party had started. People were dancing everywhere, a punsch in their hand and laughter coming out of every person in sight – whether a 5 year old girl or a 50 year business man. DJ’s combined the songs of Culcha Condela and various other German bands that now fill the majority of my ipod.
Crackers and Fireworks had been erupting since 6am, as it is legal to buy them, simple as picking a couple up in the supermarket. I was told that nearly every family invested in at least 50EUR into fireworks for New Years, meaning the whole day was a constant fireworks spectacular from and for the people of Vienna. Crackers were being blown up hundreds by the second, bringing the sound of gun shots to continue ringing in in my ears throughout the whole day.
At 11pm it seemed like it was 11am with such light illuminating the skies, the fireworks taking over the role as the sun. Fireworks were going of left right and centre, everywhere you looked. With an incredible view upon a roof top party there were no questions asked when i had camera in each hand, filming in every direction – spinning around continuously, trying to capture this incredible view offered in every direction.
The fireworks continued non-stop until around 1am, where it finally started to calm down. Although even at 8am there were a couple fireworks were still going off every minute. At midnight there was no firework show like in Sydney or even Mooloolaba beach, as the people of Vienna really created a show of their own. Something so magical and exhilarating as you were really part of it – lighting up your own firework and watching it shoot into the air, ending with a huge BANG! It was such a different experience to anything offered in Australia and whilst sitting on top of the roof I had one of those life contemplating-does it get better than this moments and could not think of a better, magical and happier way to start the New Year. Feeling like nothing could ever compare to this moment, it then became reality that I was flying out to New York the next day. Along with a helicopter flight over Manhattan the day afterwards.
“Big lights will inspire you”
– Alicia Keys “Empire State of Mind”
Whether those lights were the fireworks or will be the skyline of the big apple, it was the most inspiring and perfect way to begin 2013 – who said 13 was unlucky?