Anyway, what we did! I apologize in advance for all the music history details. I know most people don't care, but they're details about what we saw I don't want to forget! We got there friday night about 6 and headed off to dinner. We knew we had to try wiener schnitzel, since it comes from Vienna. Our hotel directed us to a great restaurant that felt very authentic (everyone else was speaking German), and we had a great time. It wasn't exactly the healthiest meal I've ever had, but it tasted pretty good!
|Cam with his winer schnitzel.|
Saturday morning we headed out to see all the major sights in the city centre. Our hotel was in the Museum Quarter, so we passed all the museums there, passed the Hofburg Palace, and made our way to see St. Stephens, the famous cathedral there. Downtown Vienna is absolutely beautiful. It might be the prettiest city centre I've been in. Even Cameron said he didn't mind wandering around the shops because the area was so pretty-stunning architecture, fountains, etc. We loved St. Stephen's. When we went inside, there was a rehearsal going on for a concert that evening, so we got to hear parts of Haydn's Requiem. It was gorgeous. After that, we went to the Mozart House (where he lived from 1784-1787), and really enjoyed it. We were lucky--they temporarily have Mozart's piano there! Other than that, they don't have much many of his things, but it was cool to be in the place where he wrote some important works. (The Marriage of Figaro, a few piano concertos, etc.) After that, Cam took Andy back for a nap while I headed to the Schoenberg Center. I got there, and it was closed. Only open Monday-Friday. What kind of museum closes on Saturday? I was bummed. Once Andy woke up, we headed out to Central Cemetery on the outskirts of Vienna where so many famous composers are buried. What an incredible experience. I guess we looked lost when we got there (it's a HUGE cemetery and we weren't sure where we'd find the graves we were looking for), because a sweet german man came up and asked if we needed help finding something. He became our tour guide and took us all over showing us some famous graves. It was cool, because he showed us some we never would have found otherwise. That night, I headed to the opera. I got a standing room ticket for 3 euros (!!!) and saw, "The Barber of Seville." Comic opera isn't exactly my thing (some day I will see "Tristan and Isolde"), but I still loved the overall experience. It's one of the most important opera houses in the world and is beautiful. I ended up with a pretty good "seat" considering how late I got there, so that was lucky. Cam caught up on "Revenge" episodes while I was gone, so the evening wasn't a total loss for him.
|St. Stephens Cathedral|
|St. Stephens from the front.|
|A memorial to Mozart: he's likely buried in an unmarked grave, not too far away.|
|A church in the cemetery. I'm walking with our "tour guide."|
|Schoenberg's Grave. It has 12 points! (google "12 tone row" if you're confused.)|
|Czerny. One we wouldn't have found without our tour guide.|
|Our nice tour guide.|
|At the Staatsoper opera house.|
Sunday morning we headed to Schoenbrunn Palace. We almost didn't go; we're so glad we did. It was beautiful. Especially the gardens. If it wouldn't have been so cold, we would have loved wandering in them longer. Mozart has a great history at Schoenbrunn. In 1762, Mozart passed through Vienna during his first concert tour at age 6 and performed for the Empress Maria Theresa in the Hall of Mirrors. Later, Schoenbrunn was where he and Saliera (his big rival) had their big music contest in the Orangery. After that, we made our way to the Haydn House, where Haydn lived for the last 12 years of his life (he died there!) after semi-retiring from being the Kapellmeister for the Esterhazy family in Eisenstadt. It was definitely my favorite composer house we visited. It had so many of his things. He wrote "The Creation" and "The Seasons" while living there. He also wrote his last nine string quartets there. The house has his pianoforte and his clavichord, which he kept in his bedroom. Haydn had a lot of important visitors while he lived there, like Mozart and Haydn. Andy behaved very well (complete sarcasm) and even managed to pull the plastic cover off Haydn's clavichord and play it. The museum employee laughed instead of yelling at us, so that was a nice change. At least we know the clavichord still works, right? The house had a Brahms room, which I really enjoyed. Haydn was one of Brahms' heroes, so it was fitting. (There are no existing Brahms apartments still around in Vienna. Sad, because he's one of my favorites.) During Andy's nap, I headed out to a Beethoven apartment. There are three you can see in Vienna, but I ended up choosing the Pasqualati House. Beethoven lived in Vienna for 35 years, eight of which were spent in this apartment, off and on. His 4th, 5th, 7th, and 8th symphonies were composed while living there. They had Beethoven's piano, which was amazing. Other than that, there wasn't much there, but I still loved it. I was the only one there, so that was pretty special for me. After Andy's nap, we headed to the airport for our flight home. We didn't spend much time in Vienna, less than 48 hours, but I loved every second of it. Especially since Cam took Andy duty most of the time. Thank you, Cameron!
|Prettiest gardens ever.|
|In front of Haydn House.|
|Haydn's Clavichord in his bedroom. (The one Andy ensured is still working.) Those are a bunch of canons he refused to publish that hung on the walls of his bedroom.|
|Haydn's Piano. He used to sit and improvise at this piano in the mornings until he came up with something he liked, then he'd score it out in the afternoon.|
|Beethoven's Pasqualati House. He lived on the top floor.|
|Beethoven's Piano. Look at all the pedals!|
|Andy sporting his new shoes we bought in Vienna. We caved and made an impulse buy because we were sick of him tearing his velcro shoes off all the time. Best purchase ever.|
|Walking the airport terminal, waiting for our flight. Best airport ever. They have a security line just for young families and wheelchairs!|