Friday, May 29, 2009

Wandering through Wein

On our second day in Vienna, we had breakfast in our hostel and then headed out into the city to visit the Hofburg palace. As the seat of the hapsburg dynasty, the hofburg is expectedly lavish. We first went to the imperial apartments and viewed the tableware/ kitchen stuff. It took an hour. No, I'm not exaggerating. they owned so many dishes that it took an hour to view them all. There were gold plates, silver plates, glass plates, porcelain with religious scenes, with botanical scenes, with pastoral scenes... Perhaps its a strange thing to wonder, but I kept wondering how they decided what dishes to eat on every night. And for that matter, how they remembered what dishes they owned. There were also entire sets of different shaped bundt pans, bathroom sets, pastry sets, tea sets, drinkware... It was ridiculous but very interesting to look at. 
After that, we went into the exhibit dedicated to Empress Elisabeth. Everyone around us was using those little audio tour things and we soon found out why- the exhibit itself had little to no actual information in it. It was also bizarly new age looking. It annoys me when museums are badly curated, especially when they're so badly done that the visitor can't get the point without an audio tour. All I got out of the museum was that empress Elizabeth hated being empress and was assasinated. I'm still not sure why there were so many movies made about her, etc. However, the imperal apartments were overall pretty cool.
Moving on from this exhibit,we headed to the market to check that out. It was a really interesting place, full of rich smells, spices, and funky looking fish. Around the market, we grabbed some lunch (more kasekreiner :) ) and decided to walk around and see some of the important buildings in vienna: the rauthaus (town hall), opera, parliament, burg theater, and votive church. the Rauthaus was absolutely gigantic. I didn't quite expect it to be so huge. It opened onto a big pedestrain circle, so we were able to really spend some time looking at it from every angle. By the time we made it to votive church, we  were pretty much exhausted. We took a break on a park bench by beautiful votive church (under construction but still gorgeous to look at) then made the hour long walk back to our hostel. At the hostel we took a short nap, and then headed out for dinner. The restaurant we wanted to go to either didn't exist or was somewhere completely different than we thought it was. So, really hungry, we ate at the first place we found, which was not too great. Still, unphased and decided upon getting spectacular dessert later, we jumped on the metro to head to the Haus der Musik, the music museum. Snafu number two, we got lost on the way there and missed the last entry by 2 minutes. 2 minutes :( Ok,well, we were still determined to get the most we could out of our night, so we walked over to a little place we had heard of. It was down a steep flight of stairs into a dark cellar decorated with heavy wooden tables and thick red candles-- very atmospheric. We ordered a chocolatey cake and apple
 struedel with vanilla sauce. Oh, my goodess. So good. To go with them, we had beer mixed with lemonade, which was an interesting and yummy new expereince, in big glass tankards. So, though the museum and dinner didn't work out so well, we still had a great night drinking and eating dessert, then headed back towards the hostel to buy our train tickets for the next day and head to bed.

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