While in Vienna, I participated in a walking tour starting at a morning flea market and ending at St. Stephen's Cathedral (The Tie Die Church). I learned that the only place where graffiti is actually allowed in the city is on the doors of the flea market booths- that's one way to control crime I suppose. I must confess that the Tie Die Church was probably my favorite attraction. Upon entering, your eyes see nothing but color- everywhere. The walls, floor, ceiling- it's all covered in a rainbow of colors. This is made possible by the many stained class windows; however, I will say that in all the churches I visited in Europe (which was A Lot), I never saw anything quite as amazing.
Later that evening, I joined my tour group in a night at the opera
. I now wish that I would have gone to the Grand Opera House and saw Les Miserables (which was playing that night) instead. While the opera I saw that night was perfectly pleasant, the seating was less than desirable. Our group was placed in the VERY back of the beautiful, chandelier covered room. I thought my seating choice was adequate when I first sat down seeing as how I had chose to sit behind a shorter elderly woman. Boy was I wrong. As soon as the show started, she perked right up and magically gained 3 inches. I couldn't see anything in front of me- at all. What's one to do when something like this occurs? Well I had thought sitting up straighter and peeking through the gap between her and her neighbor would have been sufficient. Wrong again. With every movement across the stage by the Opera singer, this woman was in sync. She moved her entire body from left to right along with the singer. Any hopes I had of seeing the opera were shattered instantaneously. I then decided that perhaps filming the show with my camera would suffice BUT when you have someone in front of you bobbing in and out of the frame every 2 seconds, that's not a very enjoyable show either. I would have lifted my camera up and over her head but that would have been rude to the 1 entire row of individuals behind me. I felt very bad for them because they were all dressed in their Saturday evening's finest and were in the back of the theater. Surely they should have been farther up in the rows judging by how they were dressed (unlike my fellow tour group who wandered in in shambles). I felt as though I was the only one who had tried to dress appropriately for the evening's festivities: civility.
I think it's safe to say that the most enjoyable part of the evening was the free glass of champagne at Intermission. It was good champagne. It almost made up for the evenings flaws.
To top off the evening, the coat check process
. I mean the retrieval of your coat. (I've added a picture to help explain what I mean). First off, it was like leaving a movie at a Midnight premier- everyone knows what coming. They all know that they should leave early so as to get out of the parking lot before it becomes gridlocked. It was the same thing here. Those in the back- some of them- were smart enough to leave early to head towards the coat check. I waited politely for the show to end and then dashed (politely) down the stairs like Cinderella rushing home before the clock struck 12. Apparently everyone else had the same idea though. It reminded me of my time at the Space nightclub in Florence. It was a disaster. There were multiple lines (which I didn't figure out until I had already infiltrated a line sneakily) depending in the color of your card. With some juvenile trickery and rudeness I would say, I retrieved my coat and was headed out into the chilly Viennese air.
Overall, Vienna was lovely and covered in fancy and luxurious decorations around every turn.
I would also like to mention that my hostel was right next door to a strip club- the kind with X-rated photographs outside so that you knew what you were getting into upon entrance. I thought that was an interesting little factoid that shouldn't be forgotten.
Vienna is a beautiful city. I was fortunate enough to visit during Christmas time; therefore, all of the streets were lined with luxurious decorations and twinkling lights. There were also Christmas Markets filled with handcrafted goodies.