Tuesday, February 28, 2012

343 steps of Stephansdom

I have spring break this week and as everyone has deserted me for far off lands I have decided to party it up here in Vienna. I went on a walking tour yesterday morning with a couple girls that aren't leaving until Thursday. I got some good pictures, but I decided that there's just way too many pictures from walking tours and they are of a slight boringness, so I might just load them in bulk on fb or I'll just put it off until I never do anything with them. After we all parted ways I went and climbed the 343 steps of St.Stephans cathedral (7X7X7=343) it was tiring, but the weather was great and the view was awesome. I love this city and I'm glad I'm staying so I can spend as much time here as I can and save some mula as well. It had windows along the way with no glass so the wind blew my hair everywhere.

I got bored climbing down so I got a picture of me totally wiping out...

Later, I went to an orchestra rehearsal where we played some Magic Flute and a Shubert symphony and I was waiting for the U-Bahn home when it just was not coming and I was waiting forever. Then a train came on the other track than the one I was waiting for and it was creeping really slow and it was going THE WRONG DIRECTION! I was confused if I should go over and get on it and so I walked up to a couple and asked them if they spoke english and then what the heck was going on and they had no idea. So the train just creeped me out and it just reminded me of the train to hell. Needless to say I decided to wait for the next one that would be coming on the right track and the couple I was talking with decided to go wait on the otherside to wait for the other train that would be on the same track as the train that was going in the wrong direction, but one that was going in the right direction. Sadly for them the train that were originally waiting for came a minute after they left and they didn't attempt to make it in time. I'm the only one in the group that has had this much trouble with Subways...pretty soon no one is going to ride them when I'm on it, because I'm such bad luck.

I also am now spider food and have a ton of bites including 13 on one arm! If anyone knows how to kill those suckers with limited resources that would be awesome.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Ballet and Carmen

So I got one picture up of the iceskating, but there's a gate in front of it. I wanted to get it with the cool colored lights that were lighting the trees, but exactly as I clicked it to take the picture the lights turned off, so sadly I didn't get it. It was immense fun and I might go back this week if I can work it in somewhere...this week is spring break for me and I happen to be the only one in Vienna for the whole time.

I went to the Karlskirche or Karls church with my class and I have a few pictures up of it. There was scaffolding up, because after they cleaned it like a year ago they just left it up so they could make money off of people who went up to see inside the dome. It was REALLY high and you took an elevator up to this platform and then you walked up a ton of stairs to get even higher and the stairs were all shaky and it was pretty scary. The ceiling was covered in cool frescos that you could see really close and there was one with Martin Luther that I got a picture of and also you could see in one how they morphed the frescos, because they wanted to make it look more curved from down below or when you look down below it looks more correct, because it is curved.

In one you can see St.Stephans cathedral on the left. There's also a picture that I got up the courage to take of the floor below.

On Tuesday it was faschings day I think it's called, but it was before lent and kids dressed up and you apparently have krapfen on this day so my orchestra gave out some and also our host family gave us some too. It was also Ash Wednesday on Wednesday which was the day we had dinner with our host's cousin who is also hosting BYU students. unfortunately Ash Wednesday you are supposed to eat poor peoples food so we just had fish and salad as an appetizer and then some vegetable soup that didn't really have taste to it. I just got a ton of free krapfen the day before though so it's all good.

We also went on a tour to the Wien museum and there was a legit upright piano and also a really cool stand for a quartet and another girl pointed out the middle should be for the snacks for rehearsal...best stand ever!

Also crazy enough it actually was sunny for the most part last week!! I was able to walk outside without a scarf which would have been my worst nightmare the week before. I also went to the Albertina museum with a giant horse statue in front of it. They had a Magritte exhibit which is where the first two paintings I have here are from and I also got a picture of anther painting that I liked.

Finally, on Thursday I went to the Ballet where they did three sections of ballets that were made in the 20th century. They were really good and the last one was with this one guy that was just amazing and the last scene had a window and jump thing in front of it and I was waiting the whole time for him to run up and threw it and finally he did and it was so awesome. Afterwards we got some gelato which did not reach my high expectations, so I think I'm going to have to try some in Italy when I'm there. On Friday, I also went and saw Carmen that was also at the staats opera and it was really good. The sets were really cool and the music was recognizeable and good. The actor for Carmen was pretty and was an amazing actor/singer. It had three intermissions though, which was kind of annoying, I just wanted to get through it, but it was nice to rest your feet after having waited in line for three hours, because it was a premier on a Friday and the opera itself was three hours.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Nameless Graves, Ice Skating and the Phil

So I don't have any pictures to go with any of these epic stories, sadly, but I know pictures were taken, so hopefully they get on Facebook or somehow in my possession.

So Saturday, I went to a concert in the afternoon with the Vienna Philharmonic where they played Sibelius' Symphonies 7, 5, and 1. They were amazing...like you never heard anything as beautiful in your life and it is just a completely different experience. The concert was pretty lengthy, but it didn't feel like ten minutes passed and that's saying a lot since I bought a 5 euro ticket where I stood in the back with about a billion other people and it got pretty stuffy. I played Symphony 5 with the Philharmonic back in November, so I knew what the cellos were playing and what it should sound like and loved loved LOVED the symphony when I played it with the orchestra and now it's just set in stone as my favorite symphony. It's like candy for your ears, which makes no since, but totally what it feels like.

I also went ice skating at rathaus which is AWESOME! I pinned a picture of it a long time ago and was way excited to experience it, because it's right in front of the rathaus which is just a giant cool building and it has all these colored lights and it had cool music, which was just american music and this song...Ai se eu te Pego by: Michel TelO which they play ALL THE TIME! Whenever I'm in the grocery store too. It's the stupidest song ever, but I guess they have to have the variety of life and not just American music.

Anyways the ice skating was fun and I only completely wiped out once, which I have a major bruise on my knee from. I was pretty bad at it to start off, but near the end it was just a breeze and it was a lot of fun, because they have these ice pathways through this park and it was way cool with trees lighted and it was immense fun and even thought it cost almost three times what it was to see the philharmonic it was definitely worth it.

So today, Monday, I went to this shoe store and got the cutest heels and oxfords and spent under 25 Euro! Totally cute and awesome!

Also today, I went with this group of girls to go see these "Nameless Graves" and we took a bus to get there and when we got off we didn't know for sure where to go. So we walked a lot and it was along this canal and it was cool and didn't feel like Vienna, but like Huck was about to show up. We went by this abandoned house and it was pretty creepy and while these girls were up and looking in it we found this car just parked in the same area and there was creepy guys in it and no one else around it was pretty much the creepiest experience I ever had and when we finally managed to vacate the area we were talking with the girls and I asked them about these "nameless graves" thinking they were of like soldiers in a battle or something, but turns out they're dead bodies that show up floating downstream in the canal. CREEPY. So long story short we didn't ever find the graves, but we did find a foresty area that totally looked like Hamlet and we found a marked grave that was named with a giant headstone. It was an adventure.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

I'm blown away!

So I broke down and finally bought one of those deliciously looking cinnamon rolls from the Anker bakery that we always pass and it was delicious. I also went on one of the 6 out of 8 walking tours I still have to do. It wasn't as cold as the ones before, but as you can see it was very windy and we got lost a lot. We did manage to see a cool cellar that was once a church, but now is a cellar of some peasant costume store. It was really random, because it is a self led tour and the paper told us to just go in and ask to see their basement, it was rather odd.

We also saw the place that Beethoven died and I saw some chocolate that had some dried tomatoes and olives on it...gross! There was a cool stairway that we had to go up and then we saw the Vienna University which was pretty awesome and I'm way jealous. Plus there was an awesome statue of a guy punching a horse...they know how to make them here!

Finally, after walking into three different Aida bakery's with no success of finding Esterhaazy torte, which they apparently eat here on Valentines day, I found one! I had to pretend that I was eating it on Valentine's day, but that wasn't too difficult and it was pretty good, with some nuts and jam and frosting.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Some Jam and Whitney Houston

I'm guessing the Austrians care more about Whitney Houston than the Americans, because they had a big section about her on the morning radio and then they had her on the front page in the newspaper and then we also had a big discussion about her with the German teacher.

So on Saturday my hands were freezing like they always are here and I went to the outdoor marketplace and saw these awesome leather gloves, then I went to H&M and couldn't find anything so I went all the way back and bought these leather gloves that were nice and warm. Then Monday rolls around and I'm sitting on the U-Bahn and took my gloves off and my stop comes and I get up to leave and as I'm walking outside I realize my hands are pretty cold and I look down to see no leather gloves. I totally was an idiot and had them on my lap and they just fell down as I got up. There was also a guy sitting next to me who I'm sure saw the whole thing and didn't mention it...totally an Austrian thing to do and SO annoying! So I have to wait and then call the U-Bahn place up later and see if they showed up in lost and found which I would highly guess they haven't. It's actually okay though, because the weather has lightened up a lot and it's not as bitter cold as it was before.

On Monday and Tuesday I went to a rehearsal of the Vienna Philharmonic, because I took a lesson from a member of them and he emailed me their rehearsal schedule. They were SOOO great, like words couldn't even describe. The sound that emanated from that room was literally flawless and heavenly.

A month ago I bought tickets to go see Awolnation which I was WAY excited for and I found out the morning of the concert (Tuesday) that they canceled their concert until June, which is not very helpful to me. I can get my money back though so that's nice. Hopefully I can see them sometime in the states.

Also on Tuesday I went to the Upper Belvedere and saw The Kiss which is a famous Klimt painting and it is really awesome and my favorite painting now. I also went to the Kunsthistorches museum AGAIN to see the klimt exhibit that just opened. Klimt did a wall painting for them, but it is way up high in the museum, so they made some scaffolding
like platform and you got to go on it and see his paintings up close. It just opened so I ended up having to wait for 15 minutes, but it was cool seeing them.

I also went to the Natural history museum to see the rest of it and Faux was there!! I also got a picture of what the museum looks like on the outside and the Kunsthistorches looks exactly like it pretty much too. The rest of the natural history museum was a little disturbing with a ton of bottles of dead lizards and snakes and frogs and they had a TON of stuffed birds and lets just say my dream that night was not a pleasant one.

Yesterday I went to the institute and had dinner and they had this soup that you put noodles in and some pancake like things that were cut up and you put applesauce on and zucchini bread with apricot jam, I think, and chocolate on top. That was DELICIOUS! They put apricot jam on everything. I think they are bit obsessed with Jam. Gerda, my hostess, doesn't know a whole tone of English, but she was able to describe to me that american Marmalade is just orange flavored and everything else is jam and then in Austria, all the flavors are called Marmalade. I took a picture of all their jams and I guess if their is some sort of catastrophe that would make us eat food storage, we won't go hungry...

Also I made the best meal ever! It consisted of some pre-made schnitzel and tomato sauce on top of it and noodles on top of that...I miss the canon center! I also made some delicious crepes, but I don't know if I can really take credit for that, because anything completely lathered in nutella is automatically delicious.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Mcmuffins, Giant Snails and Faust

So I went back to the Kunsthistorches museum and I saw some Vermeer paintings and an albrecht durer painting, I
think, which was pretty cool since I just learned about them last semester in Music 201. I also finally made it to Mcy D's and finally got an egg mcmuffin, but it sadly was not as good as in the U.S. the ham was like in french fry form and the cheese was far from melted.

I made it to the natural history museum which I found out I get into for free along with a ton of other museums, because I'm under 19...never thought I would be happy to say I'm still 18! There was Sid from Ice Age there and also Kevin from Up, but Kevin was missing some vital organs there...

There was some Jurassic Park inspiring bugs in amber and a ton of giant snails. The snails started going extinct during the rise of France...barf, jk. There was also a dinosaur bone that made it's way all the way from Utah.

The last picture is of the house that we went to on Saturday night with Gerda(our hostess) It was a house concert and had a ton of old people. The performers were a violinist and pianist and they were actually pretty good.

On Friday, I went to the opera Faust, which was AMAZING! There was a violin solo that changed me forever...it was just fantastic. It's crazy, because none of it is put with a microphones and you can hear everything perfectly even though it is in a huge room and everything just sounds better. Gerda had an extra ticket, so we sat in a box, three people in, so it took partially obscured to a new level. You could only see the singer about half the time, but it was still really nice sitting down and I switched with Aly halfway through and was able to see everything. On the way to our box we rode an elevator that had a person that was the button pusher, so that was pretty cool until we tried to get six people into this tiny elevator and he was far from being needed. On our way home we were really glad Gerda was there, because the U-4 broke down AGAIN, so we took a bus partway and then were able to get a taxi for the rest.