February 10th, 2006 – by: princeza_9
FYI- Brad, Emre and I planned on watching the Super Bowl, but we bailed. It got late and we didn't really care about the teams or the half-time show (Rolling Stones...).
I booked a hotel and caught a train to Vienna for two very important reasons-
1. Border run! My 90-days were quickly coming to an end, and my passport never got stamped going to/from Poland.
2. I Am the Avalanche concert!
I made sure my hotel was close to the venue, since I didn't know what Vienna cabs were like (though my German infinitely better than my Czech or Polish). I ended up at the Gartenhotel Gabriel on Landstrasser Hauptstrasse. It was a nice enough place with a bed, decent bathroom, TV w/ CNN and breakfast. So I got to the hotel, checked in, got settled and got ready to rock! I made my way to the venue, where I paid and got my hand stamped (no ticket, *whines* I wanted a ticket!).
The unavoidable excerpt from an email to family and friends-
I left Prague
Friday morning for the 4.5-hour train ride to Vienna
. And on the way, I got my passport stamped, which was important because I was nearing my 90-day mark. I got into Vienna
mid-afternoon and had a hard time figuring out where I was supposed to go. But first of all...I needed money! Lucky for me I found an ATM machine and I got some Euros. Then I got a map (for free!!!) at the info desk and although it took me a while, I found my way to the hotel. It was nice enough, cheap and close to the concert venue. And it came with breakfast, always a plus.
Statue near Stephansdom
So after some rest and other concert preparations, I left the hotel to find the venue. It took me a while, but I finally did. And 16 Euros later, I was in the Arena waiting for I Am the Avalanche
to take the stage.
First I had to get some band merch...I'm horrible like that. So a sweatshirt and a t-shirt later (both I Am the Avalanche
) I was in the hall waiting for the concert to begin. I had a great time!!! I'd seen them twice before, so I knew what to expect. The group afterwards was The Matches. I'd never heard them before, but I liked them. And they put on a great show! MxPx was last, and they were also really good.
I was about to leave when I noticed three guys from I Am the Avalanche
hanging out by the merch table, so I went and talked to them. Vinnie (the lead singer) said he knew I was American when he saw me in the audience b/c he recognized me. (He'd asked a little earlier if we'd met before). We chatted for a few minutes!! Ah, my second run-in with the lead singer of one of my favorite bands (for anyone interested, the first was Pierre from Simple Plan).
Anyway, the next day I spent doing some sightseeing. My first stop was the cathedral called Stephansdom
. Big, beautiful...a European cathedral. I looked around and left since there was something at noon that I wanted to see, but I couldn't find it in time, so I went back to the cathedral.
Except that by the time I got there, there was a mass in session. So instead of waiting around, I took the U-bahn (metro) to the castle- Schoenbrunn. I got an audio tour and got to look around. I really liked it, it was where Maria Theresa and Sisi both spent time.
After the castle I headed back to the cathedral. The elevator to the top of the tower was closed by then, but I did get to tour the catecombs. It was kinda creepy! But it was really good and the guide did the tour in German and English. I don't think he quite figured out what language I spoke since I was listening intently to both.
Sunday saw me going back to Prague...back to life as I knew it then.
It was great being in Austria just b/c I could practice German. And I got a slice of Kaffeetorte (coffee torte) and a proper chocolate croissant.