Tuesday, January 24, 2012

{day six}

i slept like a rock last night after yesterday's festivities! today was a bit more relaxing, so let me tell you all about it. i had school again. german was first and it was really fun! i'm learning a lot, i really like my teacher's teaching method. she's teaching us useful things that we'll use while we're here instead of wasting time on things like lamp, table, and chair. we're already learning conjugations and verbs out the ying-yang! we can have a full on conversation now, and it's awesome! it's coming, slowly but surely. i woke up late this morning and had a banana for breakfast, but after german class i was STARVING so me and alexa headed over to a little cafe next to school to get some breakfast. 

the apricot pastry, again.
and the best blueberry
yogurt on the planet!

after breakfast, we raced over to the opera building where we met our art teacher for the first museum tour! it was sprinkling a little bit, so we waited for everyone else down in the u-bahn station, next to the singing opera bathroom.

i don't care if it's 70€ cents to use it, i'm
 going to at least once while i'm here.

after everyone showed up, we went over to karlsplatz square and our teacher told us that while building the square, they found roman tomb stones underground so it is believed it was once a roman cemetery. after a bit of site explaining, we walked over to the wien museum! it was kind of ugly on the outside... which surprised me, because nothing is ugly in vienna!

once we were inside, however; it definitely made up for the outside! it had white marbled floors, and was quite welcoming! we started at the very very beginning of vienna, back in the primeval ages. our teacher raised the question, "what makes human different from all other animals?" [in regards to art] it was suggested that humans can create. at first, i didn't agree with this statement. animals create: a bird with her nest, or a lamb with its wool. as we discussed more, i came to realize that the reason human creativity is more advanced than that of animals is because art has been a record of our history. ever since the beginning humans have tried to make things they own more beautiful, whether it be their homes, their dishes, or even themselves! it was an interesting thought to consider and take a different perspective on that form of creation.

now, these aren't what they look like. when i first saw them i was thinking to myself, dang. those must have been hard to wear and dodge swords to the face! then our teacher informed us they were the coat of arms for royal or noble families. they would carry the helmets on a tall rod while holding the shield in front of themselves in processions to important events so people would know their families were there.

this was a cool arrangement i thought. it's mary holding the baby jesus, with the three kings. mary is on the left holding baby jesus, with the three kings on the right. these were created back in the gothic era of art, and they follow the traditional shape of the "s" curve. you can see how their torso's graciously curve out and up, which looks very uncomfortable if you ask me. but that is known as the "s" curve.

so, have you ever heard of stained glass? well, this is kind of the same thing. some churches didn't have the endless walls of ginormous windows, so instead of stained glass they would paint these frescos which are created by painting directly onto the wet plaster of a wall, so when it dries the painting becomes a part of the wall. isn't that incredible? they have now come up with a method of transferring the old fresco's onto canvas in order to preserve them, so that's how we got to see one in this museum!

another fresco. sorry the quality 
is so bad, we couldn't use flashes.

now we get to the actual stained glass! if i understood correctly, these are original windows from the st. stephen's cathedral. *something interesting i learned about cathedrals today, it is only ever considered a cathedral when the seat of the bishop is there. i never knew that! i learned that for the windows at the very top of a church aren't usually the kind that tell the biblical stories, but they are architectural artwork so that they blend in better with the architecture. 

stained glass is made by melting the glass down and then crushing semi-precious stones and minerals, and putting them into the glass. then the glass is cut into the desired pieces and sealed together with lead. they use lead because it's flexible and gives a little, so when there were blizzards, rainstorms, and winds the glass was able to withstand it.  

this is a stained glass conveying the biblical story of stephen, where st. stephen's cathedral derived its name. in the middle pane, it shows stephen being stoned. the left pane depicts saul, who was one of the main persecutors of christianity before his conversion to christianity and renamed as paul.

this is a gargoyle! (yes, the hunchback of notre dame!) gargoyle are guardians of churches. this gargoyle has been slightly weathered so it's kind of cute, but usually gargoyles are REALLY ugly so when evil spirits come to try and get in the church they see this ugly gargoyle, and they get scared so they leave! 

they also served a more sensible purpose of a drainpipe during bad rainstorms.

this is rudolph the IV. rudolph married the daughter of the ruler in prague. he was an ambitious young man, and followed in the footsteps of his father in law by doing the same things in vienna as he did in prague, such as establishing a university. he made all the difference in making vienna what it is today.

alright, now this guy (who's name escapes me at the moment) was known as "______ the lame" because he couldn't walk very well. people assumed he had MS, but with modern technology they have dug up his bones and done multiple tests and found he actually had terrible cases of arthritis and rheumatism. funny story about this guy: he once ate something that gave him food poisoning. the doctors couldn't figure out what was wrong with him, so the best solution they could come up with was hang him upside down by his ankles until everything inside him that was making him sick came out. unfortunately, they left him hanging upside down for too long and he went blind in one eye! 

i love this building near the naschmarkt.
this is where i would live if i was a native viennese
ich liebe die blumens!

i think i fit right in with the viennese!

the best sandwich in the world! the best panini-ish break ever. it had chicken, lettuce, tomato, and chili pepper on it! there was also "sour cream" on there too... but i still think it was yogurt. it tasted just like it!
oh see that grocery bag? that's full of dried fruit. mmhmm. they have the BEST dried fruit here. so much variety! today i got dried pineapple, banana, strawberry, and coconut! it is all so good, i could probably eat it in one sitting! but i won't, don't worry mom. :) but once you try all this good stuff, you'll understand!
*the dried coconut is surprisingly sooooo good. it's like a little piece of candy! i love it!

zee sandwisch. 

in closing, i would like to dedicate this blog post to my dear friend stacey tuckett. i've seen this picture multiple times and thought of you every time!! you don't know what i had to go through to get this.
guten nacht!


  1. Hi Grace! We found you...it looks like you are having quite the adventure. The girls keep asking about you and we are convinced that that Susanna is saying Grace "ace". Awesome blog!

    love ya,
    Oberg Girls

    1. Shari! It is so good to hear from you. I miss you guys a lot! My host family has the same cups as you guys so I always think of your family when I see them. Tell the girls I love them so much and miss them like crazy!! Lots of love from Vienna:)