Well the swing back west has begun as I made my way to Austria again. I'm hopeful that there will be no more driving tickets like last time (mainly because I don't have a car), so hopefully, this visit will be much more pleasant. As I said on my last post, Day 27 was a scheduled day of rest. I hadn't really had one since Paris, so I took the time to get to Vienna and then to catch up on some blogging and administrative stuff regarding the trip.
It's really amazing how much time is spent on this trip setting up hostels, trains, activities, etc. Good thing I'm not really anal or nit picky about stuff or it could take a really long time.
Well anyway, it was hard taking the day off, because I hated wasting the time, but truthfully I needed a break to recharge the batteries. So Day 28, I was ready to go full steam. I had a full day of activities planned and I'm glad to say I hit all of them. Here's the rundown...
So before I could get started, I had this desire to look at table settings (my passion in life as you all know).
Unfortunately, Crate and Barrel is not big over here so I had to pay 10 euro to go find something suitable to my very refined tastes.
This is at the Hofburg Palace which was the home to the Hapsburg Rulers that we discussed in the Budapest posts. Vienna was the main seat of their empire and they ruled this area for centuries.
This was all of the silver and plating for the palace. In all seriousness, even I enjoyed looking at it.
Here's how much of a snob I've become on this trip. I took a tour of the rooms where the royalty lived. I saw this and thought, "That's it? This is what these people are bringing to the table? They wouldn't let the serfs live in this place at Versailles."
It is a bit more plain, however, they made up for it in a different part of the palace. So nobody panic. Royalty still spends an inordinate amount of the lands they rule's money making sure their 4th personal toilet has a fresco painted on it or something similarly important.
This area of the Palace housed the museums of the very similar antique instruments, armory, and Ancient Ephesus artwork. As you may know, Vienna is the mecca of classical music. Even before Mozart, Strauss, and Beethoven, traveling minstrels in the Middle Ages would frequent and be patronized by the folks of Vienna. The music vibe in Vienna was my favorite part of this city (I went to two concerts while I was here). This is a shot of the composition of instrument of a later Viennese orchestra.
You can see from the shot here that torturing horses was a favorite past time in the Middle Ages.
Apparently in the Middle Ages, instead of buying your kid football gear or a fireman outfit, you had a custom suit of armor made for them. So if you're looking to one up that Mom at preschool who just won't zip it about how awesome her little Johnny is, buy your munchkin one of these. That'll shut her up for at least 20 minutes, maybe even 30.
What I want to know is who let this guy out of the house looking like this. He must have had no friends (which honestly, is anyone surprised) because if he did, they would have beat the crap out of him the second he walked into the room.
This was the look on everybody's face when the knight from above showed up (uninvited of course) to their house party ("Ladies. . Hot tub? Hot Tub. . Ladies?")
Mozart Statue Alert!! While born in Salzburt Mozart did a lot of his best stuff here in Vienna. This is also where he died. Like I said, they love their musicians here and they know the tourists know it too. You have to be careful when picking a concert here, because if you don't pay attention, you'll be watching some freshman music major and a couple of his buds in perfumed wigs playing a fifth hand version of the Marriage of Figaro for the low low price of 30 euros.
So that night, I splurged a little and went to a classical concert at the Hofburg Palace performed by the Wiener Hofburg Orchester (Wien is how you say Vienna in German). It wasn't my favorite classical music, mainly a lot of waltzes and polkas by Strauss and Mozart, but this is what Vienna is famous for. I had a great time and really enjoyed the whole show.
Here's the Hofburg Palace at night. Quite a sight.