Wanted to fill you in on the rest of Mom's visit. We took the train from Prague to Vienna, tho any hopes of getting an eyeful of Czech countryside were dashed by the early departure time. For some reason, had it in my head that Vienna was not so big, similar in size to Prague. Was horribly mistaken, and the fact that we did almost no research before going became very evident as we wandered the streets, map and phrase book in hand, before giving up, getting in a taxi and going straight to the hotel. We were not off to a wonderful start, and for a while, it seemed like us and Vienna were not going to get along. We got tickets for a hop on, hop off bus tour, and jumped on the first one that came along... which then sat in traffic for 55 minutes, and did a 5 minute drive by of the summer palace. Errrr...
However, things significantly improved later that night. We got tickets to a performance of classical music, ballet, and the Viennese waltz. The musicians and dancers were fantastic, and it was a really nice night out. We couldn't take pictures during the performance, but I did snap some of the building.
As always, terribly unimpressive photography. Perhaps my new year's resolution will be take better pictures.
From there, we went to the Christmas markets and drank some hot wine and had a delicious (Italian...) dinner, before going home and taking advantage of the fabulous hotel room at Le Meridien.
I now MUST have a pink clawfoot tub, though I'm confused about why there's what appears to be a stripper pole in the bathroom (two, actually. There was another in the shower...). Anyway, very very nice hotel. Had to take advantage as will probably be the nicest place I stay for a long, long time. Le sigh.
The next day we did the different routes of the bus tours and got a very nice look at Vienna. It's massive, the buildings are massive, the prices are massive, and it was all very, very nice. I think that the middle of December is not the ideal time to see a lot of European cities, as things look very grey and bleak, but you can still imagine how gorgeous Vienna must be on a beautiful spring day when the sun's out, the skies are blue, and there are leaves on the trees lining the Ringstrasse.
We also did a tour of the Opera House. Our guide was fantastic - made it very interesting. The place is stunning, though it had to be redone after WWII when American bombers mistook it for a train station and fired on it, destroying a large chunk of it.
Ran into one of Peej's relatives while we were there, wink wink:
Then back to the Christmas markets for more hot wine and apple punch and bratwurst and other yummy yummy treats. Love the Viennese Christmas markets - absolutely gorgeous and so fun to hang around in.
I wish NYC had things like this at the holidays, because they're fabulous. Hot alcohol and sausages??
A weekend is much too short to fully explore Vienna, so hopefully I will get the chance to go back and check things out. When I have more time. And more money. Definitely more money.
Sadly, am still not motivated to write too much today, so am off to eat Christmas cookies and watch National Lampoon for the second time in 24 hours and maybe take a little nap and hopefully get in touch with everyone at home.
Merry Christmas everyone! Miss those of you at home so so so so so much!