Monday, February 24, 2014

More from Vienna

Finally back with the rest of the Vienna pictures.

These first two were taken in the platz in front of the entrance to the Spanish Riding School (platz is still fun to say, platz-platz-PLAAAATZ).

I like the verdigris on the statues and architectural elements.

This is St. Stephansdom, meaning St. Stephen's Cathedral, which was just a couple blocks away from the Riding School.

You know what I'm going to miss when we go back to America?  The opportunity to see buildings like this one that are centuries-old.  America has identical McDonald's and Starbucks on every street corner; Europe has 14th-century cathedrals (and castles, castles are pretty cool).  Anyway, we did peek inside St. Stephen's in the evening, but there was a church service going on and we didn't want to be rude taking pictures.  Probably couldn't have anyway; sometimes you're not allowed and even if it was permitted, it was dark enough in there that I doubt we would have gotten any good photos.  So it's all moo.  (I know it's mooT, I'm thinking of Joey on Friends:  "It's like what a cow thinks.  It doesn't matter, it's moo!")

The left side of this building is a greenhouse which houses a butterfly garden.  We did go in there and took a few pictures, though it took more than 10 minutes for the condensation to clear off our camera lenses.  I don't think we got any spec-fabulous pictures in there though.  The right side is a restaurant I think.

Another picture of the Hofburg.  If we go back to Vienna, then maybe we'll go visit Schonbrunn Palace.

I think this is the Parliament building?

Artsy shot by Lee of a fence on the border of the Hofburg grounds.  I think I like it.

Proof we were there.

Such beautiful architecture.

So anyway, we walked around the city for quite a while and then took the metro back to our hotel and ended up having dinner in the hotel restaurant.  Then it was back to the train station to catch the night train to Krakow.

And here's our compartment on the train.  Behind Lee, there was a tiny alcove just big enough to put your suitcase in, and a couple of hangers for coats.  There was a tiny washbasin in the corner, and then bunk beds.  I took the top bunk just because I'd never slept on a top bunk before.  I think Lee had it better on the bottom bunk though, at least to start with--the heater was right at his feet so he was toasty in no time and it took me *hours* to warm up (we'd been waiting in the not-climate-controlled train station for a very long time before we boarded the train), though later on Lee woke up feeling like he'd gone supernova.  And there was a mattress along the wall that could fold out to make a third bunk, so basically the wall next to Lee was padded (I woke up once because my arm was going to sleep--my elbow was pressed to the wall).  If you did put down that third mattress it would be a really tight fit--I wonder if you'd even have room to roll over on those two bottom bunks.

So the accommodations on the night train weren't really bad I don't's not the Ritz Carlton on wheels, but perfectly serviceable.  The problem I had with the night train is that it made probably at least a half-dozen stops on the way to Krakow, and every time it slowed down the brakes would squeal loudly, and then the train would jerk to a halt.  Not exactly conducive to a good night's sleep.  Happily for us, once we got to our Krakow hotel, they let us check in immediately and I promptly conked out until after noon.  I only got up then because I was hongry ; )

Anyway, it might take me a while to post the Krakow pictures since I haven't even gone through them yet.  And I found out at the beginning of our trip to Austria that the stupid university decided to fail me on two parts of the comprehensive exam I took in January, so I have decided that that university has been a waste of my time and money.  It would be one thing if I had blown off studying for the exam, but I studied my buns off with the mostly-useless study guide I was given.  Thus, I have a very negative opinion of this institution for not providing me the tools to succeed even though I've paid them quite a lot of money.  So now I have to take those two parts of the test again in late March and then, no matter what, I am DONE with this university.  And don't expect me to get a doctorate, either.



CCsMom said...

I LOVE the roof on St. Stephens!!! How cool is that? Well, there will be lots to see here in the good old USA -- just not as ancient as what you are used to. I am thinking Dad and I need to do a better job of getting around the US because we haven't near done that justice yet. We'll soon find out more about Alabama, though! Looking forward to it. (And I see where Lee is wearing his Baylor fleece in the photo on the train. Coolness!)

Vicki Burns said...

Once again, your photos have prompted me to add a travel destination to my Bucket List. Actually, Vienna was already on it, so I guess I'll add a little asterisk next to it instead. :)

I certainly don't need the Ritz, but I'm not sure I could stand being in that train compartment. I am sooooo claustrophobic!

Love Lee's artsy shot, btw.

Oh, how was the food?

Vicki Burns said...

Oh, and when you come to Boston, you'll see lots of old stuff! Ok, maybe not European old, but United States old.