Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Vienna, Part 2: Good Morning, Vienna!

By Monday, I had managed to get sufficient sleep, and was ready to take on the beautiful city of Vienna. Summer, sadly, had a rough night of it, and sat Monday out to take care of getting some rest.

We did, however, eat a couple meals together, starting with our hotel's complimentary breakfast--a lovely spread.

After breakfast, I set out on the Ubahn, again to Stephansplatz, where I took more pictures of the cathedral, walked around the perimeter taking pictures of the surrounding buildings, and then, decided to pay a visit inside.

But first, a selfie!

Sunlight through cathedral windows makes for a great picture.

A place for prayers and other messages.

I lit a votive for Mom. It made me a bit teary, especially
knowing I wouldn't be able to share my trip with her on my
return. I miss her every day, at home or in Vienna.

At the cathedral gift shop, I bought some post cards and a small fold-up shopping bag with music notes. This would become my shopping bag for the rest of the week, as I accumulated souvenirs.

After the cathedral, I set off in Vienna's lovely streets to the Albertina, taking a different route than the day before so I could get a bit lost and find my way out. Everywhere you turn in the historic part of Vienna, there is some sort of statue or architectural treasure to enjoy.

St. Peter's, hidden in a little corner between other buildings.

A monument denouncing war.

Cafe Mozart and the Sacher Hotel building, from across the street.
I was early to the Albertina, so I wandered the immediate area. You have to go up to get into the museum, and turns out there's a lot of stunning views.

Home to the Albertina, a wonderful art museum with tons of my favorites.

Monet, Picasso, and Warhol, OH MY!! 

Cafe Mozart/Hotel Sacher again. 

I can't say that I like the modern extension to such a beautiful old building.

Below, the war monument again.

My first glimpse of the Hofburg.

I think this is the Opera House. 

Historic Vienna, lovely old church spire...Burger King sign.

Opera House

Oh, I will, but that's for later!

The Albertina was something Summer wasn't particularly desperate to see, but I was in hog heaven. I love the Impressionists, I love Picasso, I teach Pop Art to my 6th graders, so seeing Warhol and even some Lichtenstein was marvelous. I discovered a couple of new artists to love, as well.

I'm that person who gets as close as security will allow to a painting, and smile goofily at it while inspecting brush strokes and marveling at the use of color. Then I step back for the full effect.

The Albertina was like a playground for me.

The building itself is gorgeous inside.

Yes, please!

New to me: Paul Signac. I adored the paintings I saw by him. Look at the
colors! It's sort of a cross between Impressionism and Pointillism. 

I have loved Degas since I first "met" him twenty years ago in London
Semester. (Twenty years, good grief!!) This one earned a lot of foolish

There was a field trip going on, and they were very well-behaved.

Matisse, and a lovely one at that.

I was delighted to see a decent representation of female artists, like Gabrielle

Very striking

This is pretty much a portrait of me.

I can't say that I am a fan of Kadinsky. I don't love or understand this type
of art, but I do appreciate its place in art history, and the conversations it
has created. I just wouldn't buy a copy for my living room.

Paul Klee--another I wouldn't buy for my living room, but fascinating

Marie-Louise Von Motesiczky

Ahh, Picasso.

Cubism is an odd one for me. On the one hand, I love it. On the other, I'm utterly baffled by it. The Albertina has a fair collection of Picasso paintings, and I do admit I loved taking them in.

This one, I love. Bright colors, easy to discern what he's showing us--a
Mediterranean scene.

His portraits are where he often loses me, though I do appreciate the humor
in them. 

I was happy to see one of his guitar still life paintings.

After that floor, I wandered to the floor that contains some Reubens paintings. As a rather "Reubenesque" woman, myself, I appreciate them.

Finally, I wandered down the stairs--and even the stairs are beautiful--to the most modern art in the place.

Xenia Hausner paints a lot of performer-types, and I love this one. 

Roy Lichtenstein

The painting below this took my breath away. What a promising artist Ghisetti
is. I took a close-up of the woman's hair to show the incredible colors.

After wandering the Albertina, it was time to meet Summer for lunch. We decided to dine at Cafe Sacher.

While I waited for Summer

Inside Cafe Sacher

A Marie-Therese coffee--it had orange liqueur in it and
yummmmm. I only drink coffee in Europe. 

I had ravioli, and yes, it was every bit as delicious as it looks.

Summer had quiche.

For dessert, the famous Sacher Torte. It's a chocolate
cake with a bit of apricot jam in it. It is a must-have
when you visit Vienna. 

After lunch, I set off to look around the Hofburg. It is home to many great museums and a lovely park area. I wandered for a while before visiting Weltmuseum Wien, which features a whole floor of historic musical instruments. Music Nerd Heaven, indeed. 

Cali Swimmy's only appearance on this trip.

Mozart Monument

Selfie with my friend Wolfie.

Soon, the treble clef will be planted with flowers.
The one drawback to visiting in winter is the winter-ness
of the parks and gardens.

I stood there for several minutes trying to get a picture of the flag waving in
the wind, but the wind did not cooperate.

If you're sensing a theme, it is likely that the theme is "Building exteriors: beautiful. Building interiors: also beautiful."

Before the instruments, there's a huge collection of armor and weaponry.

Apologies for the pictures of instruments--the lighting is low in the rooms to preserve these treasures, and no flash is allowed. I did my best.

Crumhorns! They sound like farts when played. Fantastic.


One of the early clarinets...before they added a ton of other
keys to the thing. I am most definitely biased, but the
clarinet is one of the most challenging and satisfying
instruments to play.

A few more armor pics, then it was time to leave...

I found my way through some arched walkways to the main Hofburg palace, home to the Hapsburgs.

I hadn't intended to visit the Silver Museum, but ended up in there kind of by accident. I didn't stay long; I was more interested in the apartments.

The apartments (I did not take pictures) were home to Empress Elizabeth (Sissi) and her husband, Emporer Franz Joseph. There's a lot of history there, but much was lost on me because I got stuck behind a tour group that kept blocking entire walkways to listen to their guide.

The apartments were lovely (though I do say if you've seen one royal bedroom, you've seen them all), but the outside is even more so. I found myself in Michaelerplatz as the sun hit it *just so*.

It was getting late enough in the day to consider dinner, so I started wandering again. I wasn't in a hurry; there's a lot to see, and then I walked by a shop with a ton of ducks in the window, and well, the natural course of things was observed.

Lederhosen Swimmy caught my eye...

Alpenhorn Swimmy made me giggle...

And then I found the Musicians.

Wiggie (pronounced "viggie," the proper German way)
von Swimmy went home with Summer, while Wolfie
Swimmy came home with me.

A teddy bear museum.

I'm sad this came out blurry (I was walking), but I loved seeing the massive
potato delivery.

I ended my day at a lovely little restaurant, where a plate of lentils and bread dumplings awaited me, along with a lovely glass of Austrain white (don't ask me what variety, my German is terrible).

I walked back to Stephansplatz to catch the Ubahn back "home." The plaza in front of St. Stephan's was still crowded with people. I never felt unsafe at all.

 Tuesday would bring more adventures, but Monday was a wrap.