Giddy Up Europe

Germany, Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Greece, Italy, Vatican, Monaco, Spain...

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Wien, July 10 - 11

After Jon left for Stuttgart, Allison and I headed on a ten hour night train to Wien's (Vienna's) Westbahnhof in Austria. Wien lies on the Danube and has the highest proportion of middle-aged and older citizens than any other European city. The Inner Stadt of the city is encircled by Ringstrasse, which once used to be city walls, but is now a large boulevard. As a center for music, many great composers such as Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert, and Strauss flocked to Wien to present their craft. So naturally, we went to the Haus der Musik Museum, which had exhibits on each major composer as well as the world famous Wiener Philharmonika. However, most of the museum was dedicated to futuristic and synthetic forms of musical discovery and how the human ear receives and interprets sound. There were many interactive exhibits, but they would've been more entertaining for children. We also went to the Uhrenmuseum (Clock museum) and Stephansdom Cathedral, which were pretty cool, but a little dry once you've seen so many. What would've been awesome was if we could've witnessed the Spanische Reitschule (Spanish Riding School) and Lipizzaner Museum in action to see some well-trained horses perform, but they weren't in session. Wien was really nice and there's tons of museums to go to, but I think that with its' aged demographic, once is enough. Alas, it was out last German-speaking nation to travel through. Österreichische (Austrian) citizens pronounce W's as English speakers and not like a 'V' as in Germany. So hearing a bartender say 'zwei' was funky. Anyway, onto the show.

Here's a shot of the Hofburg, or Imperial Palace in Wien's Museumsquartier. There were some seriously large and intense arrested-motion sculptures gracing this face.

Here's the inside of the gothic Stephansdom Cathedral. We got there on a Sunday afternoon, so this is when everyone was clearing out after mass.

So there's a sign for a Wienerwald, which is a European restaurant chain similar to Olive Garden, I would say. This picture was taken for two reasons; the first being that it has the Haus der Musik direction in the background, and the second because it's a Wienerwald. Now, there was one in Stuttgart, but I had always assumed incorrectly, that it meant 'Wiener World.' This is not so, though. Wienerwald means Vienna Woods, where you can find wine villages and the like. Thus, the myth debunked, Wienerwald is not a sausage factory.

If I remember correctly, this is a picture of Beethoven that I took at the Haus der Musik. Pretty bad ass pose. But appropriate for a man who lived in something like 68 different residences in Wien, often paying rent of several different properties at the same time.

We headed over to the Danube and apparantly caught the final lap of a bike race (not the Tour de France, but I have no idea what this one was for) on Franz Josefs Kai. It was pretty sweet to see them roll by, but there was also the ambulance tailgating the last biker who was lagging behind. Good times.

After that, we shortly made it to the Danube and hung out at Strandbar Herrmann (Beach Bar Herrmann), which was quite literally on the river. Here's the view from the bar overlooking the Aspernbrücke and an observatory. Though it was a bit chilly as happy hour approached, it was a nice place to hang out and watch the locals.

I was just hanging out and trying to figure out where to go and what to do next. I had really no idea what was going on. Self-taken.

But I had more of an idea than Allison did. She sat down and was out for an hour until I woke her up. But not before taking this picture. Hollaz!

So after about a minute of me shaking Allison and saying, "Steh auf!" we walked by the Hunderwasserhaus (an apartment complex designed by Hundertwasser). It's a modern design with some crazy architecture, but the real reason for this picture was because it shows how to get to our next stop, Budapest.

But what you really want to know about is low cost eating in Stuttgart.

But first, here's a group shot from early on in the program before our tour of the Rathaus (City Hall). It's our 'enthusiastic' picture, which might also be on Stuttgart's homepage.

Here's Alex, Vincent, and Yong enjoying some of the free orange juice we got at the rathaus. At least, I think this is from the rathaus. In any event, "Prost!"

Here's a group shot at the mensa (cafeteria) at the Universität Stuttgart. Lunch starts generally at 1.70 euro, which is a pretty good deal in Stuttgart, besides say, Mulan or Spaghettisssimo restaurants. Everyone at the near table was part of Stuttgart 2005.

On the first day to the mensa, we got free stuff like juice concentrate, condoms, and candy bars. You know Nick, Katie, Erika, and Alex love that!

So here's Nick with his döner shirt that says, 'Döner macht schöner!' which I believe means, 'Döner makes prettier!' however you interpret that. Look out for the Döner Menu or a shop called Dönerstag in the States in about five years.

If you had forgotten, this is what they're worshipping. The meatstick.

Here's Josh, in possibly the best Döner advertisement pose ever. I mean, he's eating three döners in this sitting. Typically, döners run you about three euros, give or take. Or you can get a yufka (a döner wrap) for 50 cents more.

But for a taste of more typically German dining, head to the nearest biergarten for some wurst or schnitzel, brot or bretzel, and a 0,5 L of your favorite German brew. Carin, Vincent, Toby, and Joy know what I'm talking about.

Here's another shot of Toby, Joy, and Jeff having some good essen.

Randomly, I think this is a shot of the German IV class on an excursion? What? Since when are the German classes taking excursions?! Peaces, Matt.

And here's generally the situation on excursions. Well, maybe not all excursions, but I'd say Allison, Paige, and Brett have no idea what is going on. Yeah, I said it, what?

Finally, Here's some footage of one of the Stuttgart locals at the Palast der Republik, who was affectionately coined, the gypsie whore (6 MB). Simply because, well, I don't even know. Guten Morgen!


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