Monday, August 9, 2010

Arrived in Vienna

It is now Monday morning and we are posting from a Starbucks in the heart of the Hofburg (Imperial Palace) in Vienna. There are horses and carriages everywhere. After a ridiculously long final concert at Zell (we broke for an interval after a 2h 40min first half, starting at 8pm) we were kindly given a lift by a guitarist (and computational physicist!) at the Seminar who lives on the outskirts of Vienna. This saved us a train ride. We spent about half an hour at his place (next to corn and sunflower farms, very picturesque) as he told us what to do in Vienna and while we waited for his harpsichord, spinet and seven guitars to arrive back in the van which was coming from Zell. Once those arrived safely, he gave us a lift to the edge of the underground network, from which it was a short ride to our hotel (next to the historic part of town). It was urgent that we wash clothes so we rushed to one of the few laundromats we could find by Google (further hindered by it being Sunday and everything being closed). Green & Clean was very bright and efficient, and had extremely large dryers---photos to come---although the purely German signage was very frustrating to one American tourist we found pacing around waiting for his clothes to finish. In the mean time we had ice cream at a little Italian gelateria and 1 Euro pizza at a local turkish-kebab place; clearly we were not in the touristy part of town. By the time we got back to our hotel it was lateish and rainy, so we didn't set out again that night, although perhaps we didn't have enough to eat as I woke up at 6 am hungry. Nothing is open in Europe at 6am --- perhaps reasonably --- although after some searching I found a bakery, ate a croissant and a coffee, and went back to sleep for a bit. Now it is 10 am and sunny, so we will ascend the Stephansdom! We will be meeting Andy (the singing teacher) for lunch and to hear part of a rehearsal for a concert of his in an apparently antique and curious church with a very unusual organ. More news to come. Oh also while Kate was sleeping I looked up Australian politics and was pleased to see the shine come off Tony Abbott a few notches. Byee!

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