When you think of Vienna what do you think of? For me its 3 things:
I crossed all 3 off my list today. And this was after swearing off eating all meat for the rest of my trip. This is how my day played out.
After doing a bit of work (I know – work doesn’t belong on vacation), we spent the afternoon on the grounds of the Schonbrunn Palace (see the above photo), we toured a tiny corner of the zoo, where we saw exotic chickens, and a rhinoceros. I am not really a believer of zoos- but the animals were visible from our walk, so we just peeked over the fence. This is what the chickens look like:
Popping into the cafe at the Palace, I warmed up with some Irish coffee (Ireland has been a bit of a weird theme on this trip – a bit of a story, that I will share on another day). But after the coffee, I was invited to have a taste of schnapps, on the house. And while I kind of choked it down, it was delicious. Thank you gentlemen for giving me my first taste of schnapps (of the non-peppermint variety).
Post schnapps, we went to the opera, where we saw Donizetti’s Maria Stuarda at the Theatre an der Wien. I am sad to say, that we left at intermission. While I am familiar of the story of Elizabeth I and Mary Stuart, having the opera sung in italian with german subtitles proved slightly difficult for me. I managed to follow along for the most part- but struggled with what the chorus was doing on stage. To me, it felt like they lacked stage direction, they were just standing around – looking at the leads like they were fuzzy russian chickens in a zoo. They didn’t look like they had any idea of what they were doing – and not only was it distracting, but it was infuriating to watch. Paired with, what I interpreted to be a gang rape of Mary Stuart, I couldn’t escape fast enough. Its too bad though, because the leads were fantastic, and the orchestra sounded really tight.
Although the opera was a bust, like all opera goers of Vienna, we treated ourselves to an aprés opera sausage. It is the weirdest tradition. But I like weird – and so this was dinner.