Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Hills Are Alive With The Sound of Music.

We woke up at 9 because we had to fit all of Vienna and its wonder and splendor into 1 day. We also had to bring our stuff back to the other hostel on the complete opposite side of town. I would say that we enjoyed our "included" breakfast at the Golden Squirrel but I am pretty sure that would be a lie. The musli and banana combo was a nice crunch for my mouth in the morning but the coffee was bitter and they served liver pate. I think that is enough said. And to top it off it was not included. Only two of our "included" breakfasts, were considered included because they let us sleep three people in a 2 person room. Hence two people were allowed to eat breakfast. We thought they wouldn't notice and we really couldn't play survivor island and choose who would get the boot, but who were we foolin. They caught us and we coughed up 6 euros for the not-so-good-unincluded -included breakfast. We made it back to the hostel only to find out that we couldn't check into our actual room until 2pm, so we had to put our stuff in storage. Carolyn and I decided that the Gorilla should be named "Map Queen" because on our way over the Nachmarket the Gorilla sensed with her Gorilla sensors that we were going the wrong way and indeed we were. Smoke-a-face led us in the right direction and in no time at all we were tasting free samples at the Nachmarket. We loved the wasabee covered peanuts so much that after 10 samplings we bought a 5 euro bag filled of them. Carolyn joined our eating disorder club and realized how easy it was to a. get hungry when surrounded by the worlds most delicious food b. to spend too much money when surrounded by the world's most delicious food. Stand after stand after stand of Austrian, Chinese, and German food. There were surprisingly a good number of Sushi stands and after nearly 5 months of deprivation, we ordered sushi. With a quarter of our day almost gone, we realized we better put our petal to the metal and we were off the Belvedere Palace to see the Belvedere Palace of course, but also to see the grand Gustav Klimt collection. The palace was for sure used in Atonement (or at least it looked just like it) Spitting sculptures, grand entrances lined with flowers and leaves. We were able to see Klimt's Kiss and his Judith as well as a few Van Gogh's and one Monet. It was spectacular. We couldn't leave without a few posters and post cards. After the museum we headed to the train station in order to buy our tickets back to Florence for tomorrow. 104 euro's later we rushed back to our hostel to change in to our nicest apparel. Jeans with a blacks shirt, and scarf, just had to do because tonight we decided to go to the opera for a Friday night spectacle. We waited in line after find the "back side of the building corner in the middle" (those were the directions we were given) For only 2 euro's we bought standing tickets for stage left of the opera. Now I am not sure how the next part of our opera adventure began but we decided that we were going to grab a drink at the super market across the street from the concert hall before the show. Because we bought standing tickets, we got there nearly an hour before the concert. On our way down the stairs we asked a guard if we could exit out this back door and we asked him how long we had until the concert began. SImple questions, I tell you. Within in a matter of seconds drinks were no longer a questions, and touring became our main objective. The guard proceeded to show us a hidden patio on the top of the concert hall that over looked the entire city. We could not have asked for a better evening: a blue sky, a few white puffy clouds and a shining sun. The guard then proceeded to show us the other patio on the other side of the opera house. Then minutes later, Frank (whom he later revealed) turned into our personal "behind the scenes" tour guide of Wiener Staatsoper, opera house. For some reason Frank really liked us and felt the need to show us the ends and outs of the entire building. He proceeded to take us behind the stage and show the upstairs, birds eye view (where the lights stand) of the stage. With the English he knew, he told us the dimensions of the stage and history of opera house. As if were not impressed by this, he then led us to the back alley to show us the elevator that was located inside the huge crystal chandelier. We were able to stand inside the actual chandelier. The elevator is only used to clean the crystals. It was incredible. I am still shocked as I am writing this. He also showed us the control where the director does all of the lighting for the productions and the ballet room where they practice before big shows.

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