Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Donau Walzer: Wien

Actual date: April 3, 2014.

Our ship arrived in Vienna at 6 AM. The tour bus was to drive around the Ringstrasse. The first sight was the Saint Francis of Assisi Church. We came upon a giant pillar [two photos], behind which was the giant ferris wheel. When I was 10 years old, my family came here to visit my dad's mother. Vienna was my dad's birthplace. We rode on the giant wheel in 1967.

A man rides a vespa in the city. A Honda dealership does well here. A view down the Danube Canal. Looking the other direction at the canal.

There are several buildings that I do not remember the names of, but I photographed them, so they must be important! LOL!

The Vienna State Opera House is seen from two side views.

The Natural History Museum in three passing shots.

The Austrian Parliament Building was so long, I had to capture it in many shots. Some locals in the EU countries bemoaned the fact that their governments' decisions were made in other places because of the EU organization.

St. Stephens Cathedral is where my father was confirmed. Since it was bombed so badly in WWII, the stained glass windows were never restored back to their orignal condtion and the inside is only a shadow of its former glory. So, I took no photos of the interior.

In the afternoon, we took a cab to the farmers' market.  Here are some photos of the goods on sale there.
The Intercontinental Hotel is where we stayed in 1967. It was across the street from the Stadtpark, where the Danube Canal runs. Last time I was here, I asked my father if there was ever ice on the Danube. He replied that yes, there was and that once he saw a deer stranded on the ice, floating down the Danube. I asked my mom on this trip if she thought he was just making it up to amuse us children and she said she thought he was. But I don't know. I have seen deer swim the river back home, so I don't know how far fetched it would really be for a deer to be up on the ice in the river.

Anyhow, we walked to the Joann Strauss Monument in the park. A short walk away was the fancy restaurant that we ate at when we were there in 1967. Note the ad for the Strauss and Mozart Concert that we were to attend that evening.

After dinner, those who wished were taken to the Mozart and Strauss concert performed by the Vienna Residence Orchestra at the Palais Auersperg. Photographs were not allowed during the show. The eight piece orchestra was sometimes joined by two singers and for some pieces two dancers. The lead vionlinst played a Stradivarius violin and I, a neophyte in the world of music, was able to appreciate a significant difference in the sound of this violin. It sounded soulful and vulnerable to me. Its voice had a depth of quality and resonance that was fuller of body than the other violins, yet it could be winnowed to a fineness that was remarkable. It was really something to experience to hear it played. The Mozart part of the concert was extremely entertaining and I was sort of not looking forward to the Strauss, thinking it would be boring. But I was wrong. Not only did the dancers entertain, but I was moved because it struck me how much my father would have loved hearing these waltzes in his hometown, many of which he had ice skated to during his lifetime. It brought me to tears to think of this.

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