|Restaurant/Cafe - established in 1829.|
Here is the inside of the opera house. For only a few Euro, you can watch these world class opera performances. The catch? You have to stand at the very top of the opera house. "Stehplatz." It was a marathon each time, but absolutely worth it. Lohengrin was the most grueling clocking in at about a 4 1/2 hour performance, but it featured some of the most incredible music I have ever heard in my life.
The cast of die Zauberfloete.
Oberlaa confections that we couldn't resist trying.
Here I am again with Emily, and our Italian/Austrian friend, Michele. Michele could speak very little English so communicating with him was very frustrating at times (at least for me - Emily already spoke perfect Italian, so they had no trouble talking.) But, it was good to have him there - to show us the city and as encouragement to improve my German skills so I could communicate with/understand him better.
Some subway graffiti I saw on my way home each day.
Hanging out in the center for LDS young single adults.
|The Danau (Danube) River|
This is just one of many fancy corpses of Saints that I saw on display in a Catholic church. Creepy . . .
Stained glass inside that simple and beautiful church.
Is this too quaint or what?!
The end of our bike trip - Duernstein.
How quick our three month stay in Vienna felt! Well, if I'm truly honest with the you the first month of culture shock was mostly lonely and terrifying. Month 2, I became friends with Emily and started to find my place, and by month 3, I felt like I'd be happy to live in Vienna forever.
It is an incredible city.
The home where I stayed for three months. Edith and Helmut were my host parents. I loved them.
#1: Because of Vienna's location, there truly is no other place like it in the world. It is the cultural capital of all the countries in Europe because it is so centrally located. As I said in this post, you can walk down a crowded street and experience snippets of fifty different languages/cultures within minutes.
#2: The people in Vienna are bitingly honest. They don't sugar coat, or lie to you, or pretend to be interested in you if they are not. This can be misinterpreted as a coldness. I, however, discovered by the end of my trip that it was not coldness, but honesty. On the flip side, when an Austrian decides to welcome you in to their home, or asks you how you are doing, or invites you to lunch, they do it because they genuinely care for you, and they really do want to know how you are doing. And if you say you will be there, you better be there. No wishy-washiness about these folk. That IS different, and refreshing if you asked me!
It's hard to believe that 5 years ago this month I was just starting the beginning of study abroad. Time flies so fast. And so much has happened since that experience. But, I am grateful that I have these memories tucked away. They have shaped so much of who I have become, and continue to shape who I want to be, and our family traditions.
Someday, I will visit you again, Vienna. Someday . . . Until then I will just have to do an Austrian culture night or two, and find a place in Tucson that sells Pistachio Gelato. Yum. :) *Sigh.*