|So we arrived in Vienna in the afternoon on Sunday from Salzburg. We took a walk around the gardens of the summer residence of the Hofsburgs which are really beautiful. The gardens are very well kept, and many of the flowers are in bloom, unlike in many other gardens we've seen over here! They even have a hedge maze there that of course we had to try (see pix!). We also took a tram ride around the circle of the main part of the city, where we were able to see many of the famous beautiful buildings. We also saw one of the many garden plots in the city this summer, to commemorate the summer of 1945 when food scarcity after the war forced city dwellers to grow their own food in parks. Around sunset the clouds began to clear as a cellist played in an entryway to a gorgeous part of the palace and we decided we like this city a lot!
Yesterday we went for a morning run (together!) in the gardens and then headed to a very interesting gallery with works by Hundertwasser. Very modern, very funky, and very interesting. And he had participated in designing the house for the gallery which had uneven floors! Apparently, he thought uneven floors force you to connect with your inner balance. In the States they would connect you with a lawsuit, but not over here! We also went to the Haus der Musik museum (at this point we're over visiting the main museums in a city and we're off seeing the obscure ones!). This museum had all kinds of exhibits- one about the famous composers of Vienna, one about how sound is perceived by your ear, and even one where you could make music by moving your body in front of sensors! Kate even got to "conduct" the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra with a special DVD and baton, but one of the cellists got up and yelled in German so perhaps that's not her future career. Last night we went to a classical music concert in the Natural History Museum. The acoustics were fabulous and the 12 piece orchestra was very good, they played pieces by many of Vienna's famous composers. But the whole thing turned out to be quite touristy and hokey, with images of Vienna flashing on a TV screen during some pieces and "ballet dancers" who had about 3 square feet to dance twirling around. But it was worth it, we had a good time. Raime wouldn't have had nearly as much fun if there weren't lots of things to make fun of!
Today we went to the Albertina museum where we saw a couple of interesting exhibits, one about the history of portrait photography in Austria and Germany, as well as some royal apartments. Very fancy. This afternoon we're off to hang out at the pool in the gardens we've been frequenting. Hopefully Kate won't be drowned by any crazy Europeans today, but you never know with the folks over here!
Tomorrow we're off to check out Olomouc in the Czec Republic for 2 nights and then headed to Prague.