Wien, city of coffee, wine, music, and art

Vienna Travel Blog

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I am in my third day in Vienna, Austria and feeling much better than when I arrived with a terrible cold, a voice in serious disrepair, and a body severely under-rested.  After several day of naps and long sleeps, I have regained my strength.  The city is graceful, imposing, old, romantic, and cold all at once.

Highlights of my stay:  The Leopold art museum on the first day was wonderful.  There I saw amazing Austrian artists among which Schiele and Gerstl were my favorite, and, unfortunately, those whom were met with the ugliest ends.  Schiele died in the influenza epidemic in Austira in the 1900s and Gerstl killed himself much like a great influence to him, Van Gogh. Today I had two highlights:  the first was drinking two cups of a traditional Austrian coffee called Melange and reading my book in a cafe. The second was visiting the Hofsburg, home of the Austrian royalty, the Hapsburgs.  I learned interesting and ridiculous facts like:  the emporers often had dinners of 30, yes 30, dishes and evey year there was a foot-washing ceremony during holy week where, in remembrance of Christ, the emporer and empress would get 12 poor people, make them wash up, dress them in pilgrims' clothes, serve them food which they weren't allowed to eat, and then pour water over their feet.  How very charitable of them.

Mishaps:  I almost lost my voice my first day here.  Trying to use the limited German (ie two words) that I know, I spotted a friendly-looking couple and tried to say excuse me (sounds like enchooldigong) to get directions from them.  This came out as "Enchooohahah," and after the third attempt they noticed I was trying to get their attention.  Later that morning, I realized that I didn't have any batteries for my camera, so I asked a an overweight, Greek shopkeeper who at about 52, I presumed to be a nice, fatherly figure who could help me. Telling me that he knew where to look and leading me to the supposed place, he instead took me to his Greek restaurant next store.  He served me tea (nice) then proceeded to say "How old are you 20?" when I said "24" he said "Ah, this is the perfect age to have fun. You come here, we eat dinner, we have fun."  I said "I don't think my boyfriend would appreciate me eating out with another man." To this, he replied, "Boyfriend, girlfriend, everyone has someone.   Everyone needs to have fun."  I drank the tea as fast as humanly possible and escaped. Next time I am not doing the boyfriend tactic and am trying instead the Lesbian tactic, though that may be more provacative depending on the man. When I finally arrived at the museum I to which I was headed, the security guard struck up a 45 minute conversation about the famous American poet Charles Bukowski.  I learned such interesting facts as Charles Bukowski had terrible acne when he was young, he wrote prolifically, and he liked to compare his lonliness to a dolphin. 

This is just the beginning my friends.

Estoy en el tercer dia en Vienna, Austria y siento mucho mejor que cuando llegue con la grippe, la voz casi quitada, y el cuerpo cansadisima. Despues de algunos dias de descansar en la tarde y dormir mucho en la noche, tengo mucho mas fuerza.  La ciudad es bella, fria, vieja, y mucho mas (no tengo las palabras). 

Lo que me gusto mejor:  El museo de Leopold que visite el primer dia aqui era impresionante.  Alli, vi las cuadras de pintores talentosos como Schiele y Gerstl quienes tambien tuvieron las muertes peores.  Schiele murio de la grippe y Gerstl tomo su propia vida, similar de uno de los pintores que admiro mucho, Van Gogh.  Hoy tuve dos experiencias gustosas.  Primer, tome dos tasos de un cafe tradicional de Austria que se llama Melange, durante cuando lei mi libro. Segundo era que visite el Hofburg, el palacio de los reyes de Austria, los Hapsburgs.  Aprendi dos hechos ridiculos y interesantes:  los reyes tuvieron comidas con 30, si trenta, platos y cada ano habia una ceremonia para lavar los pies durante la semana santa para recordar el Cristo donde el rey y la reya eligieron 12 personas pobres, pidieron que se banaron, les dieron comida que no les dejaron comer, y la rey y la reya pusieron agua en las pies de estas personas.  Que similar era al Cristo.

Problemas:  Casi perdi la voz el primer dia que estuve aqui.  Trantando de utilizar el aleman (ie dos palabras) que se, vi una pareja que parecio amable y trate de decir disculpa en aleman (suena como enchooldigong) para pedir direcciones de ellos.  Cuando lo dije solamente sueno como "Enchooldihahah" y despues del tercer vez ellos reconocieron que iba tratando de pedir su attencion. Mas tarde en la manana, me di cuenta que no tenia pilas para la camera.  Entonces, pregunte a un dueno de una tienda que parecio como un padre amable.  Tenia mas o menos 52 anos, era de Grecia, gordo, y caldo.  Pense que me iba a ayudar.  Me dijo que sabia donde buscar pilas y pense que estaba tomandome al lugar.  En vez de eso, me trayo a su restauarante de Grecia cerca y me dio un taso de te (muy amable!) y despues me dijo:  "Cuantos anos tienes 20"  dije "24." El respondio "Ah, 24, es la edad perfecta para divertirse. Tu vengas aqui, comemos un pescado, y nos divertimos."  Dije, "Creo que mi novio no me agredescava su tuviera una comida con otro hombre."  A esto el comento, "Novio, Novia, cada person tiene alguien pero todos necesitamos diverternos." Tome el taso de te lo mas pronto que sea posible para un humano y escape.  La proxima vez voy a tratar, en lugar del novio mentira, la lesbiana mentria, aunque tal vez esto seria un peor provocacion.  Cuando por fin llegue al museo donde iba, el guardia de seguro converso acerca del poeto americano, Charles Bukowski, (alguien ha escuchado de el?) por veinte minutos.  Aprendi henchos interesantes como Charles Bukowski tenia muchos baros cuando era joven, escribio casi cada dia, y queria comparar su soledad con un pez. 

Esto es solamente la comenza mis amigos
kelwa says:
Hey Claire,

Long time! I am glad to see that you are enjoying your travels. Half of the places you mentioned have not crossed my mind when it comes to my immediate travel destinations. The people you meet sound interesting.

You have insipired me to make more of an effort to take time off 'the madness' and see Africa (in my case:-). Only managed to squiz in one country last year. So hopefully this year I will improve on that.

I see you are writting pages & pages in Spanish now! Impressive!

Gotta work.

Have tons of fun! & send us pics / post them here. - Bukelwa
Posted on: Mar 17, 2008
mzzlizz says:
Hola Clara!

Glad to know you are having fun and already attracting unwanted attention from weird men... I have heard of Charles Bukowski, though never read any of his stuff. Apparently he was known as the Poet Laureate of Skid Row. Hmm

Have you had a Linzer torte or other yummy Viennese pastries?

Have fun. I look forward to hearing about your other adventures.-liz
Posted on: Mar 15, 2008
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