Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Vienna (Part 2 of 2)

On Saturday we visited Haus der Musik, a highly interactive museum on - what else? - sound and music.  Amanda had also selected this place from her research and I admit to having my doubts, simply because it is a modern, private museum and I'm all about the historic.  But she made an excellent choice!  We spent about 5 hours there!  Go to this page: http://www.hausdermusik.at/en/sound-museum/16.htm and click on "video 20sec eng." for a nice quick overview.  We had great fun composing music, conducting, and running sound experiments.  Below, Amanda is conducting the Vienna Philharmonic - the neat thing is that her baton does indeed control the pace at which the video plays the music.  At the end, the conductor comes on and provides some feedback!


We then made our way to Schonbrunn Palace (http://www.schoenbrunn.at/en.html) and one of the Christmas markets.



The holiday markets consist of lots of small wooden huts selling handcrafts, commercial kitsch, food, and hot wine punch.  I was just a little embarrassed to order "kinderpunsch" for myself to avoid the alcohol.  Amanda tried the wine punch and enjoyed it very much.  Not only are these markets for admiring and purchasing items for the holiday season, they are clearly places that locals go to socialize over the hot punch.  But it is VERY cold there!  The temperature was below 0 Celsius the entire time we were in Vienna and when the wind blew, it was bitter - especially for this North Carolina acclimated person!  Definitely a fun experience, however, and helped us be in holiday mood.

Sunday, our last full day, was spent trying to fit in things we still wanted to do!  Despite the cold weather, that included a visit to Prater park and the Giant Ferris Wheel (http://www.wien.info/en/sightseeing/prater/giant-ferris-wheel).  The Ferris wheel was built in 1896/97 and was rebuilt after WWII.  It is the kind with large enclosed cars that hold 20 people or so.  Not the most beautiful day for panoramas, but still fun...






Then it was on to the Technical Museum - as a category this is Amanda's favorite kind of museum.  On the way, we saw this fellow...


In the city of Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, and many others, can it ever be too cold to play for the masses?

Remember that it gets dark at about 4 pm, but even so we were late enough to the museum that we had a very hurried visit here (http://www.technischesmuseum.at/).  Too bad, because, again, the museum was nicely done and we easily could have spent several hours in there.

We made our way from this part of town to another part where we went to the Stadthalle to attend a live performance of Die Schone und das Biest (Beauty and the Beast, for those of you who need help).  Of course it was all in German, but it was the Disney version, which we have seen several times, and so we didn't have any trouble following it at all.  The "Be our guest" number was especially well staged and choreographed - quite elaborate!  An excellent ending to our interlude in Vienna.

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