What do you do on a rainy Monday when you have visiting relatives and it is "P-day" or the day for cultural events and other relaxing activities? Click on this video for a hint.
Yes, you step back in time, go up the Blue Danube to the former capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in nearby Vienna (35 miles away) to catch a Vienna Mozart Concert in the world famous "Muzikverein" or "music club." (The "Blue Danube Waltz" was composed by Strauss not Mozart, but it made a great encore for the concert.) Does this look like any club house you had when you were young?
I wonder what the club dues were to pay for all this gold leaf? How about the paintings on the ceiling--and these are just the cheap balcony seats!
The acoustics were magnificent. This was the view from where we sat in the balcony above the orchestra.
If we looked the other way, we looked right into the organ pipes.
Since we are stepping back to the 1700s, the orchestra is dressed appropriately with powdered wigs and ponytails. Even the women members of the orchestra dressed like this so it looks like there are only men playing. This is part of the finale from Mozart's Symphony No. 35 in D-Dur (D major). We had great seats so we could watch the conductor and see how much everyone was enjoying performing.
We recorded part of Mozart's Concert for Flute No.2 in D-Dur (D major) just for Debbie. David, are you watching how the cellists in the bottom left side are having a great time? You might want to click on the full screen button on the bottom right corner of the picture for a closer look.
Of course, a magical Monday in Vienna wouldn't be complete without a visit to the Spanish Riding School. The Internet website said that the horses would be doing morning exercises, but they weren't.
But we found some horses nearby. Click on the picture to see the joy on Mom's face.
She knew she would be seeing horses some time, so she brought along slices of apples to feed them. (When she was cutting them up at home, she said they were to keep the men-folk healthy--a likely story!)
You can't step back in time and not take a carriage ride. Here Robyn and Caroly are testing out a carriage for us.
They had nice warm blankets for us and Robyn and Ron used their umbrellas to keep off the rain as they sat behind the driver.
We figured this was a much nicer way to see the sights than walking in the cold rain. The sights are not very compact in Vienna. Here's the Austrian parliament...
and Vienna's city hall.
Can you imagine what these narrow streets were like when they were filled with carriages?
Down this narrow street you can see the dome of part of the Hofburg, or the city residence and headquarters of the ruling Habsburgs for several centuries. In the left wing is the Spanish Riding School, in the right one a branch of the palace.
Here is the inside of the dome with one of the entrances to the palace.
We took a picture of the Karls Kirche (Charles Church) so we'd remember how to find the narrow street with the parking garage where we left the car.
Of course, you can't come to Vienna without visiting the summer residence of the Habsburgs--Schönbrunn Palace. Our guide said that when empress Maria Teresa would come to spend some time, she'd bring more than 1,000 servants and attendants. This is the ruler that the super rich Hungarian Esterhazy tried to impress with his similar palace about 18 miles on the other side of Sopron.
Kids, do you remember seeing when we Eurailed Europe after living in Hungary these fake Roman ruins that Maria Teresa built for her 16 kids? Mom thought you would.
Here you can see the way they cut a straight line down the edge of the trees.
This is what they climb on to do it. It was raining so hard that they weren't cutting today.
We're trying out the tunnel they cut through the overhang.
Does it look like the Kannas's are singing in the rain?
It's raining so hard that the locals are slipping and sliding everywhere.
Another thing you have to do when you come to Vienna is eat some of their delicious cakes in a sidewalk cafe. Here are some choices.
It was raining so hard we opted to eat inside the Gloriette on the hill behind Schönbrunn Palace. Do Ron and Robyn look like they enjoyed the treat?
Of course, you have to try out the Viennese cooking. (I vetoed Ron's suggestion of McDonalds.) I had the goulash with a fried egg. Mom the Wiener Schnitzel, Robyn the pork steaks with potato croquettes and Ron the plain goulash with sliced dumplings. The place was packed when we passed by so I knew the food would be good. I was right. The waiters all wore tuxedos so you know we paid for the atmosphere--but what do you expect on a magical Monday.
Our music club is just a block away, so join with us to close out our magical Monday listening to some of Mozart's Magic Flute. Be sure to take note of how much the Hungarian conductor is enjoying his job. Again, click on the full screen button on the bottom right of the picture for a closer look.
Part 2: Week 15--Winter Wonderland
3 days ago