donaukanal, vienna - june 2018

McDonald’s. Political protest. Reinvention. This is why we explore the unknown.

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In June, I travelled to Vienna, Austria with my Father. It was incredible. One specific location resonated most. I find myself thinking back to it every week. Donaukanal or Danube Canal. It is a sensory overload for the eyes. I wouldn’t be surprised to hear David Fincher had used this location for a film (think Se7en). The canal was an arm of the Danube River, one of the longest rivers in Europe. And what was once an important place for trade and business, is now being reinvented.

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I have to give credit to my Father. If it wasn’t for him then I wouldn’t have ever found the canal (He has a talent for finding cool photographic places). Our last morning in Vienna we rented bikes and prayed the grey clouds overhead weren’t rain in waiting. My Dad had told me bits about the canal and I was super curious to explore.

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The canal isn’t full visible on street level. It isn’t until you descend below the street bridges that you truly get a sense for this intriguing place.

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You are immediately hit with colour. I didn’t know where to look first and found it hard to focus on just one thing. Words and images cover every part of the concrete walls. As we rode further along the canal, we past coffee shops, clubs and even an artificial beach; all nestled on the water’s grey cement edge.

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I don’t know how long my Father and I spent down in the canal. Two hours? Three? We rode along the north bank and crossed a bridge and rode along the south side, stopping every couple of minutes to shoot or just take a closer look. Sometimes I wished I had a street art guide with me to to tell me the significance or artist behind some of the pieces. But maybe the mystery and unknown was also what attracted me to this strange place.

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It’s hard to imagine the canal a hundred years ago, busy with trade and business. Now it seems to be part nightclub, part art museum. I am impressed at how the canal’s identity is transforming yet again for the 21st century. But enough with words, I’ll let the photos do the rest of the work.

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This was one of my jams I listened to while in Austria. Rhye’s vocals always get me; soft, haunting, mysterious and smooth.