Thursday, October 15, 2009
Vienna is cold. Very, very cold. I was talking to my friend who lives here and he was explaining that it feels even colder because of how the city is built, in rings. So the wind tends to pick up in the streets and swirl through the city. Yesterday when I was at the Schonbrunn Palace I took my gloves off for maybe 3 minutes and by the time I put them back on I thought my fingers were going to fall off and they dryer than dry. I have had to invest in some strong hand cream for fear that my skin will peel off.
Today it is snowing. I have a feeling that my shoes are not going to do so well in the snow and that my few layers of clothing will not keep me very warm. I'm just going to have to walk fast and hope that the body heat will do the trick. Fortunately I shouldn't be outside too much today. I am planning to go to two big museums as well as tour a synagogue, so hopefully the only outside time I will have will be walking between places and back to my hostel.
The last few days in Vienna have been full of mixed feelings. Tuesday was not the best day. I felt like there were a series of things that happened that just caused extreme frustration. First it was extremely cold which I had not anticipated. I ended up buying a scarf from the euro store. I was also a little disappointed with the St. Stephen's Church. I climbed the tower (and paid 3.50 Euro) only to discover a souvenir shop at the top with a few small windows to look out. No 360 view for me there. I was a bit upset. On the way down the tower my sunglasses broke (they had been in my bag) which was also frustrating. I was just very cold and tired and a bit cranky. Not a good day.
Yesterday was a bit better, but I had to will myself out of bed. I went to the Schonbrunn Palace, which was about a 35 minute walk the other direction from town. I liked the palace. It was very beautiful and the audio guide that was included with the price of admission was informative. The gardens were also very beautiful - the only negative thing was that it was so cold and windy! I was glad to get back to my hostel for a quick stop. I changed my clothes and put on make-up (a big deal for me on this trip) and went to meet a family friend for a little while. We caught up some and had a good chat, which was real nice, and then he walked me to the Opera House where I stood in line for standing room tickets for two hours. Then stood for another two and a half hours to watch the opera. There was a nice French man standing next to me who I chatted with for a bit. He was kind enough to explain a few details of the opera before it started so I would have an overview of what was happening. I arrived back at the hostel in the evening around 11, made myself a quick late night dinner and was in bed by 12:30.
I am glad that tomorrow is a slow day. All I plan to do is sleep in a little, mail a package home, and go get drinks with the family friend and a few of his friends in the evening. Should be a good restful day to get ready for the whirlwind of a month that is about to start.
Well I am off to town now. I am sure I will write more later this evening when I return. I hope I don't get too cold out in the snow!