Friday, April 2, 2010

Vienna: Round up

Sort of unremarkable. I have the feeling that I’m going to forget I ever visited. There’s not a feeling associated with the city, rather it feels like any other large European city without much to stand out.

We spent three days here.

I’d say the two highlights were the walk-in standing Opera, which cost four Euros each. The most fun part was standing in line and waiting for the show to start, visiting with other tourists. They have this scheme where you can go to any show really and stand in the back, packed liked sardines in a boiling furnace of people. Which I think would be endurable if it were a good show, however we went to a four hour Wagner Opera. We lasted a little over an hour and were not the first people to leave. Still it was a very interesting experience.

The second thing of note was the Leopold Museum, which housed mostly modern Austrian artists. Four levels of stunning paintings enclosed in a modern building. Carrie and I were introduced to Egon Schiele, a man talented and productive for his short life; he died in 1918 from the Spanish flu along with his six month pregnant wife. And many works by Gustav Klimt, who has so much more to offer than just “The Kiss.” At the end, we had a delightful time in the gift shop, picking out a few items. However, while I paid, I said “ I have my own bag” pulling an Envirosax out of my purse. The woman behind the counter accused me of stealing the bag from their store. After multiple questions, she left me alone. I later produced my receipt for the bag. But it left a tainted taste in my mouth.

Other sites we visited included the expensive and unremarkable Schloss Schoenbrunn, the Cathedral downtown and the HundertWasser House.

An accidental eatery deserves mention, Tresniewski Buffet off Dortheergaffe, which is a small side street off the main pedestrian area centrally. Carrie and I saw a bunch of locals entering through a small door, and so peeked in ourselves to find cute little old ladies with white caps on serving small toasts with egg salad, tomato salad, lox, mushrooms for one Euro each. We ordered four and two 1/8L beers, for which we were given tokens. We traded them for the cutest beers ever and sat down with a little Austrian man who spoke to us in German. Very sweet.

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