We arrived in Vienna today and had just the afternoon and evening to explore, but we’ll be back in a few days when our river boat cruise stops here. Vienna is a charming city, especially now as it gears up for the Christmas season.
Vienna is to classical music as Florence is to Renaissance art. We had limited time in the city today, so we decided to go to one museum, Das Haus der Musik. You don’t need to know German to figure out what this place is all about. It’s a lovely little gem of a museum with interactive exhibits that allow you to experiment with sound of all kinds. We had a great time there, especially on the third floor that’s devoted to the great classical composers. There was even a room where Paul got to conduct (virtually) the Vienna Philharmonic, and the orchestra followed him just as well as his high school band used to.
We had dinner in an outdoor restaurant (tents with heaters) on one of Vienna’s pedestrian boulevards, and then took the U-Bahn (Vienna’s metro system) to the Schönbrunn Palace for a concert. I truly appreciated the U-Bahn; it’s clean, well-lit, logical, and easy to navigate.
The Schönbrunn Palace was an imperial summer home and is now a venue for many musical and cultural events. The concert we attended was one they put on for tourists, and most of the audience came from the various river cruises that stop in Vienna. In fact, our Viking River Cruise offers this as an evening excursion, but we are attending the opera that night, so we decided to catch this concert on our own. It was exactly what we expected, a fun time but not a memorable musical experience.
Tomorrow we take our final train ride in Europe as we head for Budapest and the Viking River Cruise up the beautiful blue Danube (your earworm for today). I’m hoping to find some time, either on the train or on the boat, to upload more pictures of Zurich, Salzburg, and Vienna.