Monday, April 1, 2013

Operas and Bunny Rabbits

On Easter Sunday, our train conductor was the Easter Bunny!

Actually, he was the conductor for a train to Russia or something, but still. Easter bunny conductor!

When we made it to Vienna, we relaxed at the hostel for the rest of the day, because our relaxing train ride was not nearly enough. The next day we headed to Schonbrunn Palace, and promptly got separated. Katie and I lost Rachel and Emily in the Easter market, and since neither of our phones were working in Austria, we figured we would just meet up with them at the hostel later, which worked out pretty well. 

Katie and I wandered the grounds, walked by the zoo, and fed lots of ducks. It was fun. Also, Tiergarten is the word for zoo. Every time I see it I think it says "tiger garden". Which is the best word for zoo ever. 

After wandering around the grounds for a couple of hours, we looked for something to eat, and realised that everything was closed. Apparently, Austria takes their Easter Sundays very seriously. We eventually stumbled upon the Vienna Royal Opera House, and discovered that we could go to the Ballet for only four euros! So we stopped for dinner at an awesome hot dog stand with a rabbit, and then headed to the ballet. 

Side note: european hot dog buns are better than American hot dog buns. They use french bread baguettes, and hollow out the middle. So all the ketchup and mustard and such doesn't spill out. 

In the opera house, those in standing room are allowed to go in before the show and reserve their areas with scarves. All the random scarves on poles look a little ridiculous with the fancy opera house backdrop, but it is actually all very official. 

Though not as cold as Berlin, Vienna was still very cold. This time, we put the cold to good use, and made ourselves a makeshift refrigerator out of the windowsill of our hostel. 

Don't let the lack of snow fool you... it was blanketing everything when we woke up the next morning. 

The next day we went to Naschmarkt, and explored there for a while before heading to the Austrian National Library. 

The library was pretty incredible, and I want a room with floor to ceiling bookshelves someday. And a rolling ladder. Definitely a rolling ladder. 

I also need a statue of this guy. 

That night, Rachel, Katie, Emily, and I went to the Opera (those great four euro tickets)! We saw and opera called Wozzek, about a man who goes crazy, kills his cheating girlfriend, and then drowns. Thank goodness for English subtitles, or we would have been really lost. 

We might have been a tad bit underdressed. I have never seen so many fur coats in my life. 

While in Vienna, we also got to see some incredibly ornate churches, and a crypt! I am pretty sure if I attended any of these churches, I would be soooo distracted. 

Marcus and Kelly, our friends from Berlin, took us out to a karaoke bar, which was...eye opening. People in Vienna do their karaoke a little differently than in the states. Think individuals, no groups, and lots of sad, emotional songs that people get really into. When we were leaving the bar, there were two guys singing "You Raise Me Up". Also, karaoke bars in malls are great, because this can happen in the wee hours of the morning:

Our final day in Vienna, we split up in to two groups (intentionally this time). Katie and I went to see the Belvedere Palace, and man was it cold. And windy. It was beautiful, but at that point we were about done being out in the cold. We took shelter in a McDonald's because it was about the only place we could find. We were supposed to meet Rachel and Emily outside the museum in the palace, but unfortunately, some wires got crossed, and this meeting was unsuccessful. Katie and I headed back to the hostel and got some much needed downtime before we headed off to Budapest!


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