Wednesday, February 1, 2012

{day fourteen}

well, it's 5 degrees here today. no big deal. so, since i can't go outside without coming home as a popsicle, i thought it might be a good time to catch up on my blog. well, today was a really cool day! we got to tour the vienna opera house. it was a lot of fun and i learned a lot of cool facts!

this is the chandelier, obviously. it weighs 3 tons and its too heavy to lower down when there is need for repairs or cleaning. so you see that middle part? it comes down a little, and people climb up there and clean/repair the chandelier from there!
coolest job ever yeah?

that room is the empresses intermission room. back in the good ol' days, people would really only come to the opera to see the empress. they would come into the lobby the night of the show to check if the light was on because that meant she was there and they just might catch a glimpse of her if they were lucky. if it was they'd buy a ticket, if it wasn't they would just go home and ticket sales would be down the tube! finally, the opera crew caught on and would turn the light on whether she was there or not!

intermission room.

cool wood floors throughout the opera house!

another intermission room!
this is called the tapestry room because the walls are covered in handmade tapestries representing one of the most famous operas performed there.
every year, there is an opera ball in the opera house. people come from all over the world to attend! just to get in, it is 350€. then, there is an opening ceremony and to get standing seats is nearly impossible. the box seats are usually available, but to get ahold of those you have to buy the whole box. any guesses of the cost? 5,000€? 10,000€? higher. 18,000€! can you believe it? i asked our tour guide if people actually pay that much and guess what? they do. 
i wish i had that kind of money.

the tour was really cool and i got to see parts of the opera house i'd never be able to see otherwise! we decided to brave the freezing cold and complete another one of our walking tours. i don't think we could have known what to expect out of the weather, because i've NEVER in my life experienced that kind of cold. luckily we were only out there about an hour, but we took every opportunity we had to duck into a church, building, or cafe to warm up a little bit!

we came across this beautiful church. i'm always saying this, but the pictures does no justice! it was incredible in person.

ahhhhh soooo beautiful!!

during the tour, it lead us to this little unknown museum full of old fresco's from about 600 years ago. they said this used to be an old ballroom oh so long ago and was preserved due to an extra layer of plaster.

we were then taken to this holocaust memorial in the middle of juedenplatz, or "jew square". this is where all the jews lived at the time of hitler regime. it was a very solemn place, and the feeling there was full of respect. this memorial is lined with books facing with the pages outward. this symbolizes the people whose lives were taken during the holocaust and how each live is an unread book.

maria am gestade
(maria on the bank)
this church used to be on the banks of the river. it was very beautiful with striking features such as the tower. 

alright, check out this piece of work. this statue depicts the life of a physician who, in order to acquire clients, would hire thugs to beat people up and then offer his services to them for outrageous prices!
can you believe this guy?!

well as you can probably tell by paige's face, aka my favorite picture ever, we were frozen at this point. so we had no other choice than to get some hot chocolate from the nearest starbucks! boy, was it delicious! warmed us right up. then me and paige came pack to my place and did homework. (homework in vienna...right.) at 7 we had institute so we went and had a really great lesson along with some strange tasting spaghetti! and a most delicious salad :) mmm vegetables seem so refreshing after a week of nothing but bread. institute is so much fun! i love the people who attend. we have so much fun together! they make fun of me for being american, and it's great. i also try to practice my german, but that usually gives them more reasons to make fun of me so i keep that to a minimum! 

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