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I’m afraid I’ve been a little burned out these days.  My adventuring lasted off and on for over a month and now I’m back with just about six weeks to finish writing my dissertation.  It seems like a long time… until I break it down into all the little pieces and then I realize that it’s nothing at all.  In short, I’ve been panicking lately.

And that means I haven’t posted pictures that I meant to post ages ago.  So here goes the first round of ‘better late than never’ posts: Vienna!

I had only gotten back from Skye the day before and was wondering at my own sanity in agreeing to meet Meghan (she of the epic London adventures) in Vienna that day.  But that’s how it worked out, so bravely forth I went, boarded the plane, and was whisked across the channel to Europe once more.

Well, the first place to start with any good town is its cathedral.  In Vienna, that’s St Stephen’s.

The colors were strange, but the effect was pretty. 

I was extremely freaked out when I saw a bunch of kilt-wearing folk walk by and then heard bagpipes… they were stalking me.  But then I heard them speaking in German and realized they weren’t real Royal Mile tourist attractions, so it was okay (sorry, not all bagpipers are tourist attractions, but since there are at least three within range of my flat right now all vying for tourist coin, I’m a little inclined to be snippy about them).

Our next stop was the Albertina museum, in which great works of art awaited us.

But also (I admit my favorite bit) the impressively gorgeous official chamber type rooms (no don’t ask me what they were technically called because it was ages ago and I don’t remember things like this – which is why I normally type up the blogs much sooner… alas)

Meghan does not understand why I love the lamp post so much…

Our next stop was one that I was extremely excited about.  Unfortunately pictures were only allowed in a couple of spots and none of the horses, so… yes, I said horses.  We saw the Spanish Riding School where the Lipizzaners live!  They were beautiful and clearly wanted me to take at least a couple of them home, but the Riding School minions had the eyes of hawks.  Maybe next time…

Here’s the performance arena.  A performance would cost at minimum about 50E and over 100E for a good seat.  Our tour cost about 13E a person and we got to get much closer to the horses and see the pretty arena.  Just not at the same time.We emerged from the Spanish Riding School to find that the sky was beginning to clear, just a bit.  Just in time for us to enter a beautiful park.

The roses were incredible!  There was so much color.  Meghan rested and I frolicked with my camera among the roses.  Yes, frolicked.

I heard marching and brass instruments and sneaked around the corner to watch a bit of a parade going by.  I have no idea what it was for.  I did see people in lederhosen, though.  They exist!

And now here we are at the Kunsthistoriches Museum.  Say that three times fast.  Or just say it once.  I still don’t know if I’m pronouncing it correctly.  Or spelling it correctly.  I think that’s the name of it… oh well.  Go look it up.

Beautiful interior, of course.  There was lots of beautiful art to enjoy, as usual.

We had an event to attend at the opera, but needed to hurry back to our apartment to change into something slightly nicer than jeans and run back out again.

The ballet we were seeing was based on Don Quixote.  I had no idea what to expect, but it turned out to be very entertaining.  The dancing was beautiful with a Spanish theme, the sets and costumes were lovely, and the story… well… I still don’t get it, but I saw Don Quixote and a windmill at one point, so I know I was at the right ballet!

During the intermission, I wandered around and took a few pictures, since it was allowed then (as far as I could tell).  Such a pretty building!

This is from our seats, right before the second act began.  Not bad, right?

A good test for any city is to see how pretty its buildings look at night.  Vienna passed the test.  This is the exterior of the opera house all lit up and pretty after the ballet.

Back to the apartment and to bed.  In the morning, I would be on a train to Prague.