Wednesday, February 15, 2006

A Slice of Vienna


My traveling philosophy: When you have only a few days to spend in a new town, it is impossible to "see" everything. At most, all one can get is "a slice" of the place. While one can get additional slices during subsequent visits, it is futile to try and "get it all" in just a few days--and it is also, in my opinion, downright unenjoyable. I am not the type to rush myself around from point to point, trying to "get it all in." Blahgh! I want to have a nice experience in a place. I want to see what I see as I am having "my" experience. Beth, as it turns out, has similar views, so we traveled well together and got along famously. And we happily spent our first full day shopping. The street our hotel was on was (not coincidentally) the longest shopping street in Vienna. How pleasant! After that, we ventured into the center to see some of what the town is known for.

OK, I PROMISE not to fill every travel blog with moronic photos of my hotel rooms, but this was really something. Our room was ENORMOUS--especially for hotels in Europe! I have never seen such a room in a regular hotel in Europe (check out the room in Velke Bilovice). I was amazed. And even more surprisingly, the bathroom was gigantic too!

The room--success! Well, when we first arrived, they tried to give us a room with one bed. Not acceptable. So they tried to give us a room, with one box spring and two mattresses. We quietly declined.

"Don't you have anything with beds we can separate??"

So finally we got to our room. Huge, as you may already know. =) Much bigger than the other two. The floors were hardwood. It really reminded me of the "olden golden days" when people went on those glorious and glamorous EUROPEAN TOURS. It was something in the STYLE of the place that gave me the impression. Truly lovely--and not so expensive (but maybe because of the season). can work!

Coming to pick us up

In the carriage--totally touristy, I know, but it fed my imagination. And of course you know what I was imagining...the times when this was the normal mode of transport. Oh boy. We passed the house where Mozart gave his first concert at five years of age. We passed Beethoven's house too.

As you may be becoming aware of, music (not strictly history) was our main interest in Vienna. We bought tickets to see a concert of Mozart and Strauss, with a little Beethoven and Hayden thrown in for seasoning. And while the music WAS outstanding, we were a little disappointed in the venue. It was cute and had lovely decor, but we were really hoping for a place like this....
The Kursalon (where they DO have a daily Strauss concert)

The Opera house

Music school

But it was really OK. We weren't exactly dressed for something fancy, and we had no time to go back to our hotel to change. And, as I said, the music was really beautifully performed.

We took a tour of the Mozarthaus. Excellent audio guide. Very fascinating stuff, most of which I am SURE I have already forgotten. =)

Mozart Bust
We stopped in the Mozarthaus cafe for a chocolate which ended up being a beer. They have their own labels for the beer. A Mozarthaus beer!

And the best thing about the cafe...
My favorite sign! I want to put it on a T-Shirt!!!!

So that was my slice of Vienna. I plan to have at least one more this coming summer. (I didn't even see that big yellow building that is ALWAYS shown as the symbol of Vienna. Yes, I know what it is called, but I don't remember how to spell it. And I want to finish NOW so I can get ready to go to Prague and pick up Katherine from the airport. A visitor. Yay!) Hope you enjoyed.


Blogger Elaine said...

A "slice" is very appropriate. It was quite interesting, maybe next time we'll get to see the actual houses you spoke of and a little country side. As always... great photos and thank you for sharing. I hope your summer experience is much more fulfilling for you.

8:44 AM  
Blogger Robin said...

Oh, Kylowna - How I envy you. I've never seen Vienna and your photos are so evocative. I can hear the Von Trapp children singing in the background (I know, I know, that's Saltzburg, but it's close ...) I also loved your photos of the Alps -- Wow! We just came back from a snow weekend in Big Bear and I thought that was beautiful. Hah! Keep the comments and photos coming. It's great to see the world through your eyes. We miss you here! - Robin

10:28 PM  

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