Mark Brownlow is a real writer, he writes articles on his own website and gives visitors of Vienna tips and advises with his ‘do’s and dont’s’. Vienna is the city he has lived in since 1994 and he writes with proud about ‘his’ city.
Where did you live before Vienna?
In the UK.
Did you plan to stay for as long as you did?
Yeah, I came to Vienna to get married. My family also lived in Vienna.
What was the main reason for you to start your website with articles, tips and advises for people who want to visit Vienna?
Basically, the website wants to give more personal, inside information of Vienna instead of the usuals information, I also give a few tips to people that you can only learn when you live in Vienna.
I saw on your website that you are a writer, accredited journalist and also part-time lecture on the University. I was thinking; when did it all start?
Well, I have a very unusual background. First I was a scientist and as an scientist I learned to write. Then I became a writer, now I am both; writing articles, novels and teaching. I like to do different things and as a writer that is all possible.
During the elections last year Austria became more right wing. How is the current situation in Vienna?
Vienna is an exception. Austria became more right wing. There are two important things: first of all, from the outside Austria sounds more right wing than we actually are. The description of the government is not complete when you read it on the internet. Some internet sources say the Austrians are Neo-Nazi’s, I believe that is not fair, I’m a socialist, so I have a reason to defend them.
Further more, Vienna is an exception, a big exception. Vienna is quite left- wing. People call us ‘wreck- Vienna’, because we are always supporting the left- wing. Austria is right wing, Vienna is left- wing.
”People call us ‘wreck- Vienna’, because we are always supporting the left- wing.”
Are you worried about the future of Austria/ Vienna?
I am not worried, no. There is a strong democratic system. Left- wings protests a lot against the right- wings. The media can really make these protests worse than it actually is. Democracy is very well stablished in Austria.
What are, in your opinion, the most important developments of Vienna’s population in the last few years?
I believe there is a big development in accepting other cultures. Other countries had that development a lot earlier. Immigration is a big topic at the elections.
What are the top 3 places to visit in Vienna? Apart from the known touristic highlights?
It’s difficult to say, I really like the Naschmarket. That is the open market, it is very international. Vienna is full of Austrian architecture and history but the Naschmarket is very multiculture and international, in that way it is different. It is a really nice place to go, especially for younger people.
Also, there are a lot of bars. My next point could be a strange one; Mozarts grave. It is a cementry on a quiet place. The grave has got a special atmosphere, it is very natural; there is nothing else and there is nothing in use anymore.
My last ‘visit’ is just to walk in the centre, especially the side streets, I do not mean the main shops but just the little streets with beautiful houses and restaurants.
Vienna is in the 9th time in a row ‘the best city to live’. Do you agree with that statement?
Yes, cities now a days have a lot of problems, that is not the situation in Vienna. I believe people should be more proud and happy to live here, I think it is a fantastic city.