Tuesday, October 23, 2007

vienna

Well, we're back, and we had a fantastic time. I'll need to download as many pictures as we can and put them on a web album, but in the meantime, here is a picture of the Imperial Palace. It is where the Habsburgs ruled in Europe for more than six centuries until the end of WWI. Pretty much every ruler has lived and ruled there. It is the second largest residential palace in the world. And let me tell you, there is no other way to describe it other than HUGE!

Kevin and I really did not make any plans for what we were going to do in Vienna. We knew of a few things and looked up a bunch of things, mainly maps and how to get around, but we wanted to be free to do whatever. Our train tickets were also valid for free public in Vienna, which is of course awesome. We learned our way on public pretty quickly as it was SO COLD there. It couldn't decide if it wanted to rain or snow on Sunday, often switching back and forth but very light nonetheless.

So here is a list of a few things we did:
1. Went to a concert and heard selections from Mozart and Strauss (a little opera and ballet thrown in there as well!).

2. Heard the Vienna Boys Choir at Sunday mass in the Imperial Palace.
We had read that you could do that, so we got up super early Sunday morning so that we could hear them. Incredible! You have to pay to have a seat at that mass, but we got in free because we were in line early enough for standing room only. Again, they were just amazing!

3. Visited Freud's apartment.
I thought we should visit his apartment where he lived and met with people, being that I was a psychology major and all. I am by no means a follower of Freud. The guy creeps me out, but it was still very interesting to see it all and read some more of his life. Very twisted...

4. Saw Holocaust memorial for the Jews who died during that time.
It looks like a huge box with doors, supposed to symbolize books and the Jewish love of learning. Around the base of the monument are engraved the names of the places in which Austrian Jews were put to death during the Nazi era.

5. Visited Ephesus Museum.
The architecture of buildings in Ephesus is so intricate and indescribable. I wanted to be an architect my whole life, and so I absolutely loved looking through all that the Viennese have excavated. I get goose bumps thinking that Paul was there!

6. Toured parts of the Imperial Palace open to the public.
Again, this is the second largest palace in the world, so we only saw a tiny fraction of the whole thing. I learned a lot of Austrian history and even some of Hungary here.

7. Went to Starbucks!
I believe that Starbucks continues to venture to the East. It hasn't made it to Budapest yet, but Vienna has a lot of Starbucks around, nine to be exact. It was a good taste of home! Although for the prices of things, I know that we couldn't afford to stop by there often. It was just under 20 Euro for two drinks and two cookies. That's about $28!

8. Sat in numerous cafés.
Part of the European lifestyle is to sit at a café, sip coffee, and read. They will let you sit there for as long as you want. I do enjoy that over here. They never hand off your bill until you ask for it, and you can sit as long as you like. It doesn't even matter how busy it is. Quite the opposite of the US.

9. Discovered the city of Vienna.
I would love to go back in the spring or summer when it's warmer. Plus, we didn't get to do everything we wanted. We needed more time. Good things it's only three hours away! We had fun seeing the sights and figuring things out on our own. It was just an enjoyable time for the two of us!

3 comments:

Boo Boo's Mom said...

I can't believe you saw Freud's apartment!!!! Obviously, I agree he is whacked...but being a psy major I have to agree that would be cool to see. Sounds exciting!

Kristin said...

Wow, how amazing to be able to get on a train and travel through Europe! I am glad that you and Keving were able to do that and that you had a great time. It sounds so fun! (except for the cost of Starbucks)

Aimee said...

I'm SO down with coming to visit you and taking a "Sound of Music" Austrian tour!! :) How are you feeling this week? Is Baby Yaiko kicking quite a bit? Hope you & Kevin are having a good week so far. It's always rough getting back into the normal routine when you've had a few days away :) Love you!