I'm home now! With Faraday, my nail clippers, fruit smoothies, and regular-sized shampoo. It's the little things.
April 5, 2011
For the conclusion of this day, I bought a week pass for the metro and took the U-Bahn down to the beautiful old Vienna city center. I met Chris and Hannah at Stephansdom (Stephan's Cathedral). This lovely couple are friends of Meg, live in Massachusetts, and were in town for a different conference. We ate at Figlmüller's Weinhaus:
It was wonderful! We had their house red wine, a delicious pumpkin-seed-oil potato salad, and grilled chicken. Loverly.
After, we walked around a bit and found this beautiful face:
I also got my first view of the Wiener Staatsoper (Vienna State Opera house):
Finally, while waiting for the tram back to my hotel, we admired Astronaut Barbie:
April 6, 2011
On Wednesday, after a full day at the workshop, I decided to eat on my own (forgoing the expensive restaurant the group chose) and try to find the Belvedere before it closed. On the way to the U-Bahn stop, there was a small döner kebap shop. I. Love. Döner. Deliciousness. I arrived at the Karlsplatz stop and stepped out to see the amazing Karlskirche:
The Belvedere is not far from the church building, but I couldn't find it. I walked around in circles and ended up in cute shopping areas. I found gelato. It was yummy.
Finally, I returned to Karlsplatz, after the museum would've closed. Sigh. I was about to get back on the train, when I saw the opera house in the distance! So I walked up there.
They were broadcasting Das Rheingold, live from inside, on a huge screen!
At least fifty people were bundled up and sitting on plastic chairs to enjoy free, high-quality Wagner:
I took my dear D-tram back up to the Hotel Alexander. On the way, however, we smelled smoke and stopped suddenly. Several firetrucks were blocking the road, fighting a fire in a beautiful building in front of us. We got out and watched the flames rise from the top and smoke billow around us. When our eyes began stinging and we started coughing, we shut ourselves in the tram. About ten minutes later, the trucks moved and let us by. I hope everyone inside was okay. :( For the rest of the night, my chest was a little tight, but it was fine in the morning. Surreal.