May 7th - May 20th. It is true, Vienna is a "Ye Olde" city filled with grand architecture, world-class music, ornate horse drawn carriages and decadent chocolate cake, but we found a Vienna that was modern and vibrant as well. For example...
|Katarina Wurst, the winner of Eurovision 2014 is Austrian|
|Since there were no football matches to attend Michael had to add some variety to his sporting experiences|
|A city filled with statues and buildings to rival Rome|
|A delightful courtyard that led to Hayden's home|
The venue was a short walk from home so we packed a picnic and headed out. it started to rain just as we arrived - but a clever sponsor was passing out free ponchos so we joined hundreds of others that became a sea of advertising for the local bank. We made friends with a couple of delightful landscape architecture students who had commandeered a park bench. If you are willing to share a picnic, you can always get people to 'scootch' over.
|An impressive building of many colors!|
|Our new friends with great seats.|
I did however score my Mother's Day gift. For years I have collected Steiff animals and several vendors had boxes filled with them. Not the pristine collectors items that cost hundreds of dollars, but the kind of furry friends that have enjoyed some rough play and tea parties over their lifetime. It was like being at the animal shelter and wanting to take all the kittens home, but alas I could only choose one. The winner was a Wiener as a tribute to Lola who spent almost ten years of her life at Tip Top.
|I wanted them all!|
It was pouring rain when we came out so we sprinted for home for a nice day of resting, reading, planning, and watching Amadeus for the third time to get us in the Viennese spirit.
During our wanderings we kept seeing promotional materials for an event called Lange Nacht Der Kirchen. After seeing it so prominently advertised we had to find out what it was. We discovered it was a one night event translated to Long Night of Churches that took place all over Vienna and surrounding cities on May 23rd. The basic premise was any church could open its door that evening and offer cultural events. Anything from musical performances, to plays, to crypt tours, poetry readings, political discussions and beyond. Sort of an Open House situation where anyone interested can visit as many churches as they like and enjoy a free evening out.
|One of many churches promoting The Long Night of Churches|
Other highlights; a Mozart concert performed in period costume at the majestic opera house (wigs firmly in place this time), Michael's tour of the United Nations Campus, my day at the Albertina museum, a delicious a Wienersnitchel dinner, reading in the palace rose garden and an enjoyable afternoon scouting out the extensive outdoor food market.
|Sitting in the same hall where Mozart performed was a thrill|
|Michael took a tour of the United Nations campus in Vienna|
|My Vienna experience appears to have had an animal theme|
|This gloomy sign summed up the city's atmosphere|
|An ancient tram running through the center|
|Who doesn't love a guy crawling out of a manhole? One of the best public art pieces I've seen anywhere.|
We left Vienna after almost two weeks of immersion in Austro-Hungarian history, modern culture and excellent food! We are heading Paris to be with Mary for the arrival of baby number three. We will be there for 17 days and we can't wait!
See you there.
Michael and Debbie
p.s. This post is a little out of order. See the previous post for details on baby Jacques bumpy ride into this world!