Wednesday, May 14, 2003

14 May 2003 Vienna

Vienna is full of Mozarts. They lurk near the railway stattions and hang out in front of the Opera House waiting for tourists to appear where upon they pounce!

'Where are you from?'
'Would you like to go to a Mozart concert'
'Opera House..... no no no you don't want to do that!'

And so on. Well having ascertained that a 3 and a half hour modern german opera in the german language was playing a the Opera Hosue I ditched any thoughts of Opera for me. In a weak moment a Mozart loamed in front waving his colour flyer and before you know it I had signed up for a Mozart recital somewhere in the Hofburg palace.

I recieved a dodgy student ticket and some very vague directions and that was it! At 7.30pm that night I left the hostel and set forth into the wet, wet, wet (tho not quiet as wet as Sydney I understand) night.

My first stroke of brilliance was to imagine that I could make my way from the station to the palace without getting lost. My second mistake was failing to consult the map (I didn't want it to get wet you see). Finally some locals took compassion on a redheaded drowned rat and I found the palace.

Not only did I find the palace but I found a little door with a sign advertising my concert outside it. I entered the door, and after wandering empty stairwells and corridors for a time (not a Mozart in sight at this point in time let me add) I exited the building with no better idea of where I was, or even where the concert was.

Suddenly out of the rain filled night I saw a frock coat disappearing around a corner.... a MOZART! I took quick persuit. Having tackled the Mozart and forced him to submission he directed me around a corner, thru and archway and the first right into the library. He didn't tell me the German for library but by then I had discovered other people who looked as tho they were also Mozart victims!

Inside all was white with gold relief, instead of barque art large modern gashes of red and orange hung the walls. The room seemed filled with seniors - perhaps they find it harder to run when a Mozart approaches!

The concert was good - although when the famale opera singer came out to do an extract from an Opera (no idea which) I must confess to having been much distracted by both the outfit (strapless green and black diamond pattern bodice, paisley skirt and a big bow) and the engineering involved that allowed her to take her bows (very cautiously let me add) without anything falling out!

I have met Amanda and spent the day catching up on gossip and wandering the streets of Vienna. We visited the Kunsthistoriches Museum - though, like the police, we were too late for Cellini's salt cellar.

We spent an hour wandering through rooms of Ruebens, Rembrant, Durer, Canaletto and more. We saw interpretations of Christ suffering on the Cross, saints suffering for Christ, and mortals simply suffering.

Fat babies and large blondes also seemed to be the artistic order of the day.

We considered a horse carriage ride around town but a 90 Euro for a tour of Vienna we decided that it we pranced a bit and tossed our heads.... then we'd probably get much the same effect for free!

Today is wet and cold. I have abandoned plans to hire a bike and ride along the Danube and instead will head to some castles and museums where I can explore in a warm and dry environment.

Tomorrow and Scotland!


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