"I'll be back."

Trip Start Jan 27, 2010
Trip End Dec 09, 2010

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Flag of Austria  , Vienna,
Friday, August 27, 2010

We couldn't agree more Arnie - Vienna is superb.

We left the Czech Republic (not all that reluctantly) and headed for Vienna. On the way, we had another border crossing moment - and entering the Austrian countryside we just knew we were going to love our time in Vienna.

Free group walking tours have become our thing, but unfortunately Vienna didn't have any. In addition, the tours that were on offer were on the expensive side - "€18 each for an hour long bus tour... tell him he's dreaming.". It was leaving the tourism office, resigned to the fact that we just couldn't afford to do anything ultra 'touristy' in Vienna, when Kristine spotted it. Mozart's Requiem. Performed in a beautiful church and accompanieed by a baroque orchestra. Not cheap..... but what the hell.

Vienna is beautiful to look at, however amazing architecture aside, it is busy - but not in a bad way (hmmm....Prague). There are heaps of things to do and see, but the feeling that you can do them at your own pace. It's hard to describe, but it felt really nice. So we strolled nonchalantly to a local sandwich store, had a picnic lunch in the Schonbrunn Palace gardens.... and waited 3 hours to go into the palace labyrinth, only to be told to wait another 2 (don't ask)...

But that cruisy feeling was still there and determined not to let a failed attempt to 'get our labyrinth on' spoil it, we grabbed a beer and a topfenstrudel in the museum quartier and in a change of fortune, sat down next to Billy. Billy (from Melbourne) was studying the Viola in Berlin and was only in Vienna overnight. We got chatting and met him and three of his mates (also studying) later on that night at the Vienna film and international food festival for a bit of Hansel and Gretel open air opera.

For the rest of our time in Vienna, Mozart was on our mind. We visited his grave, took a tour of his house while he lived in vienna and very quickly turned off our audio guides when Lacrimosa started to play - we were saving ourselves for the real thing. We also took the time to go back to the Palace Labyrinth and we were glad that we did. The oldfashioned entertainment value was going strong, and we spent quite a while laughing at the lost groups within the hedges from the viewing platform in the centre. In the centre of the labyrinth there were also two Harmony Stones (activated by two feng shui experts), intended to strengthen one's inner harmony. So we had a crack and you know what, we felt pretty good afterwards.

We spent our last night in Vienna at the Mozart performance, preceeded by a little more food and film festival action (including the first Mexican food we have had in 7 months - arriba!). The church (St Charles) was beautiful and the choir was goosebump inducing. As we sang Lacrimosa in our school choir (in a choir of pretty much identical size to the one we saw), the night was even more special for both of us. We will remember it for the rest of our lives. We said goodbye to Vienna in beach chairs at a nice little bar outside the church (it seems anythings goes here), watching a local rascal rowing an inflatable boat around the fountain to the delight of his adoring entourage (see video). Crazy Austrian's.

Next blog - Croatia!
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