Wien, Wien, Wien

Today we had the best weather we have had so far.  I may not have mentioned it much, because I have been so relieved that I haven’t been in 110 heat, but it’s been cool and rainy and humid. But in Vienna, it’s been sunny with a light breeze, perfect weather. It’s been wonderful.

Getting here was a bit interesting.  We were delayed by a broken plane, so our flight was delayed by a bit.  However, it wasn’t too long before we boarded.  I sat next to a very nice girl, who looked a lot like my sister in law.  We had a very pleasant chat about many things.  Her husband owns an ice cream shop and that is where she works.  They honeymooned in Tanzania, and had some lovely pictures to show me.  She considers herself Turkish, even though she was born in Germany.  She suggested a couple of places to go.  We also talked about my knitting and she was very patient with my very limited German knitting vocabulary. I encouraged her to take up knitting, so who knows maybe I converted her.

Ah Wien.  It’s a beautiful place. Stunning really. This is the view from our hotel.

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It doesn’t get much better than that.  One thing I have learned about Wien is you have to book things ahead of time.  One of the main things I wanted to see here is the Lipizzaners, a breed of horses that do what is now modern day dressage,  but has been around since 1830ish). However, their last performance was today and it was sold out. So I won’t get to see them dance this time.  Even worse, the tour of the riding hall and the stables was also sold out until Tuesday.  So I am going on Tuesday.   But If you go, make sure you book things a head of time.

We headed out to our first yarn shop.

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It was a pretty shop but nothing that they had screamed must be bought.  So neither sierra or I bought something. What’s worse the shop owner gave us bad information.  She told us that the wien card (that we had bought at the hotel, thinking that it gave unlimited travel for 3 days) didn’t do that and was only a discount card.  So we paid more money for another card.

Off we went to the big church, seen from the picture in the window. It was a beautiful church.  Very old and Gothic.  We went inside but we didn’t get to wander too much as Mass was going on.  But it was still lovely. I recorded some of the mass, but I don’t know if I can upload videos here.  The church also had these lace art things that hung from the ceiling, saying faith hope and love, which were very interesting.

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After a very mediocre lunch we went to another church. A wedding was happening inside! They had the most beautiful soprano singing. It was incredible!  I wish I could sing like that.  We wished the bride good luck as she walked by us, newly married.

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This church had the most incredible ceiling and was a very baroque style church.

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A short walk later brought us to the might of the Hapsberg empire. There must be 15 buildings that were build throughout the empire. It’s huge and amazing.  While walking I just wanted a dress from the 1700 hundreds and to slip back into time. You could just imagine the hundreds of people who ran the palace and the government buildings.

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I am sure the enimies of Austria were awed by the power and wealth displayed.  I know I was.

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We headed to the national library.  I’m a big fan of libraries and it was well worth the 4 euros I paid to see it!  Dad, being the very friendly man he is, when asked by the ticket girl where he was from, he said west Austria.  And that she didn’t know there was an ocean in west austria.  The girls just loved that.  She told me that I was lucky to have him as my father, I totally agree. 

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Riding into the clouds.

The library was incredible and overwhelming all at once.  I felt like Belle in my own library for the very first time and again I wanted to be in a dress. 

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It was amazing. What is even more amazing is all those books on the walls, anyone can come read them.  I made friends with a curator who told me that I can get a card and check out a book in the reading room.  I can read a book from 1500-1800!!!! With gloves!  I’m so excited, I think we are doing this Tuesday.  He also thought I was from Norway or Poland.  While I get the norway reference, I look nothing like polish girls.  I was flattered though and he was very surprised I was American and spoke German.
After that amazing experience, I hurt everywhere and we headed back to the hotel for a little rest.
After watching a movie, knitting, and recharging, we headed out to the best food yet, Vietnamese food.

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Oh man it was so good. We took an after dinner walk.  We saw ducks, blue heron, and a rat.  Sierra freaked out about the rat but I laughed at her since I owned 3 rats as a kid.

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Since Austria didn’t loose to Portugal, there were amazing fireworks.

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Lastly, a knitting update.  I am almost done with my lilac wish shawl! I made a big mistake on sheherazad shawl at the begining of a row and had to go all the way back to fix it, but now it is fixed and I’m making good progress towards the end.  I’m also so close on finishing the chart on the baby blanket. I’ll try to take pictures tomorrow but I’m very pleased on my progress!

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