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Vienna Travel Blog› entry 5 of 28 › view all entries
Wow....simply....wow. Vienna, Austria. 3,711 miles away from Ringgold, GA. My home...I'm far from it. Where I want to go, I can't. Either because, I can't...literally (home) or I can't read German. But I'm making do with what I can.
To recap...quickly, we arrived Wednesday afternoon at our hotel, The Golden Tulip, and had to wait to check in until 2. So...we explored...a lot. We went to the most famous landmark in Vienna, immediately, since we weren't going as a group. Stephansdom Church, aka a church built in celebration of the plague survivors in medieval times. As of right now, this is the biggest church of seen...and the most beautiful. but that might quickly change.
To master a subway station, one doesn't need to master the language, only the recognition of names. Like Doraville, North Ave., and Peachtree Center, Stephansplatz, Karlsplatz, Huttledorf, Simmering, and Ottakring mean just about the same thing. For 1,50 euros, you can ride the subway pretty much any time you want to. It's a very very very laid back security system underground, so we, on frequent occasion, just slipped through the unobstructed gates. ;) By the end of our first day, we had the 4 different routes mastered in the U-bahn station. U1-U4. The welcome dinner that night was great.
Thursday started off with a lecture in the Inter City Hotel which was about 5 blocks away from our hotel. It was an architecture lecture, so it didn't last long. The dispersion began after the lecture...everyone trying their best to get to the Mozart House on time. This elaborate apartment was alright...but nothing spectacular. But, it was Mozart. And that was freakin' cool. Real pamphlets, music sheets, paintings, artifacts, and rooms.
The Return of the Hunters - Pieter Bruegel the Elder
The Artist's Studio - Jan Vermeer
Rembrandt, Titian, Rafael, Monet, Manet, Van Gogh....holy colors! Amazing!!!
The museum was huge...I really can't imagine the Louve being nearly 7 times bigger. We'll see...
After the Kunst., we headed over to the Museumquartier..the big shopping mall. Inside the quarter were the Leopold Museum and the Museum of Modern Art. The expanse of German shopping looked enticing, but the inconvenience of going from store to store through a restaurant quickly deterred us to quit that.
Friday...LCC lecture...then off to the Albertina.
After, a few of us went to a bar, a few of us went to the hotel. We explored parts of Vienna for the evening. Then, we all came back and just kinda crashed...some a tipsy crash, others a satisfied at shopping crash. We hadn't all gotten over this jet lag business yet.
But I'm loving it. German is pretty easy to learn. Ya, nein, danke, bitazen, guttentag, guttenmorgen, it's all with endings like strasse, gasse, stadt, dorf, or burg. Puma is really expensive, it takes about 2 minutes to figure out how to flush each toilet, and the alarm clock next to the bed looks like an oven for it (we haven't tried to set it yet, being too scared).
Finally, the Saturday. Schonbrunn Palace....a summer home of the Vienese rulers. An amazing site to see. Even more amazing, were the gardens in the 'backyard' and the view from the top of the hill behind the palace. We all went through the [much quicker] tour, then headed out and about. Everyone eventually collected at the top...a few of us going to the very top for a nice sum of 1,99 euros. No biggie, it was definitely worth it. After taking waty too many pictures (as evidenced on facebook), I started down and went down the side with the zoo.
Back to the hotel for a final evening...to Praterstern! The amusement park that was soooo messed up. We definitley saw about 7 haunted houses, a 'Rock Me Amadeus Mozart' ride, and really dangerous rides that they definitely wouldn't offer in the states.
My first European city has turned out to be a perfect one. Easy to navigate, easy to speak the language (kinda), and easy to have fun.
Miss you all who are reading this! I'm having a blast and can't wait to get up and get moving. Until Klagenfurt...