hello everyone! if you're the jealous type, don't read this blog post, because it will make you green with envy. today was a beautiful day! it was only -1º celsius today, so i was quite appreciative that mother nature was considerate of our plans this day entailed.
so, what did we do that was lovely enough to trigger such feeling of jealousy? well, let me tell you.
today i went to a palace! the palace in austria just an hour south of vienna in the quaint town of eisenstadt. we met at the school this morning around 8:30, hopped on our fancy charter bus and we were off!
as you can see, we had a lot of fun on the bus!
it was really fun to be able to drive around up on the streets because i would have missed out on the picturesque landscapes of austria. as much as i love living in the city, it was quite refreshing to have a taste of austria's countryside. we thought it would take a little longer to get there than it actually did, so when we arrived we had about a half an hour of down time so we stood in the courtyard before we froze and decided we needed to get inside asap.
luckily, i had little janie in all her snow gear glory to hold and keep me a little warmer! she is the cutest thing.
finally dr. hinckley suggested we go to a nearby art gallery to walk through it, but mostly to warm up! as soon as we heard the word "warm up" we were all on a dead run to be inside.
the gallery was amazing. it was entitled "faces" and i fell in love with all the art work!
(not to mention it was quite toasty and delightful in there!)
this was my favorite picture of the whole exhibit.
i really connected to it and felt like it "said so much by saying so little."
chewbacca women in nascar suits.
how many of us wake up in the morning and experience this same thing on a regular basis?
i know i sure do.
i loved this one! it reminded me of one of my best friends, josie. i don't know if you're reading this jos, but i miss you lots and can totally see you taking a picture just like this!
the courtyard of the palace
our tour began in the haydn house. to be honest, i was more interested in janie and taking silly pictures with her!
a cool projection of an orchestra
i'm a little obsessed with her! she's just so dang cute.
this one's probably my favorite!
this is my absolute FAVORITE piece of artwork i have seen in my life. as soon as i saw it, i wanted to go swimming in the ocean. it's called ophelia's box. this picture is completing misleading and doesn't show the art how it looks in real life to any extent. it's a double sided box with glass plates painted with oils. it basically is a painting about ophelia's dreadful death by drowning. it was SO beautiful.
alright, can we just talk about this wall paper for a minute?
i couldn't get enough of it! the excessive head wall paper as i like to call it. hahahah every time i saw it i couldn't help but giggle. personally i would never want this in my house, i'd feel like someone was always watching me.
finally we made it inside the palace! i really liked this room lined with dancers.
i want that.
the concert hall in the palace
greatly influenced by hungarian art
(thought of you cam!)
me trying to look like the girl in this portrait.
this is the temple built in the gardens of the palace! there used to be a really pretty waterfall that trickled down the rocks, but it was destroyed during the war.
most graphic "no dogs allowed" sign i've ever seen!
the back of the palace
after we had wondered around the gardens and taken a gajillion pictures, me, alex, andrea, and jarom decided to eat our lunch on the hill that overlooked the palace grounds. i thought i would take a picture of my sandwich to prove i actually ate it outside. it wasn't too cold until i decided to peel my orange and attempted to eat it.
i learned very quickly orange juice freezes quite nicely to the hands.
it was about time to meet up with the group again, but on our walk home we stumbled upon this charming lake covered in ducks. it was so beautiful here, and i loved seeing it covered in snow.
*one good thing about traveling in europe in the winter: you can go to all the touristy sites with the least amount of tourists actually being there. best feeling ever!*
we met up with the group and walked over to this unique looking church. it kind of reminded me of a cookie for some reason. maybe i was just hungry. this church seemed pretty normal from the outside, and the inside seemed like just another amazing chapel among many here in vienna.
we were sitting in the chapel, listening to the tour guide talking about the small chapel, watching the fog escape our mouths as we exhaled. as she finished talking i assumed the tour was over but there was more to see. she led us through a door and sent us walking downward. we started down a corridor made of stone and i was not expecting at all what came next. along the way was Christ's life depicted through wooden statues! it was amazing.
this church was a place of pilgrimage in the early days of this town. most of the people who came were illiterate, so they would tell the stories from this bible in this form. the statues were so lifelike, i felt like i was really there. my favorite statue was mary. the passion in her expression was touching. i felt the pain she was feeling, the heartbreak she was embracing. her face is so full of emotion i could hardly believe she was a mere statue.
ok, i thought, now the tour is over. not even close! we ascended back through the corridors and were lead into another chapel, much larger this time, in the back of the church. i couldn't believe there was still room for all of this in this small church!
me and my marshmallow coat.
oh and some cool paintings on the ceiling
this is our adorable tour guide!
(i love how everyone here speaks english with a british accent, by the way.)
she is talking about haydn's crypt. to make a long story short, two days after he was buried, some robbers hired by a doctor interested in the brain went to his grave and cut his head off for this doctor. so haydn was headless! they finally received what they thought was his skull again but it was a fake! when the real head was found, it was given to the vienna museum of music. there was a whole shabackle on who the rightful owner of this head was and eventually, after years and years of arguing, haydn's head was returned to him and he is now all in one piece!
after the tour, we had about an hour of free time so me and alexa decided to explore, really explore. we had seen a church on the way into the city and decided to find it. on the way we came across many hidden treasure and exquisite beauties.
this is the house me and alexa are going to live in when we move back here someday.
this is the church! our walk there was quite adventurous, and i'm pretty sure we took the longest route there! but it was well worth it. :) we had to walk through a small back path lined with ivy, old building, wooden doors, and archways. when i think of austria, this is exactly how i had pictured it. right when we reached the church, the bells rang their serendipitous chorus! it was absolute perfection.
we found this arch of ivy, and shortly thereafter became obsessed!
and then took another gajillion pictures.
we found a perfect little cafe on the walk back to the bus and guess what? i ordered hot chocolate in german!! huzzah! "zwei heisse schokolade, bitte?" look out austria, here i come.
since it's wednesday, we had institute and i had been looking forward to it all day! we watched a CES fireside about the spirit and it was a much needed instruction. we have a new senior couple now! they seem so kind. they've been in salzburg for the past year-ish, but they used to live in vienna a long time ago! they are sweet people with lovely testimonies of the gospel.
i don't know exactly this got here... but i thought it was a good end to this day. especially since i miss my dear nikki oh so much! i hope everyone back home is doing really well, and that this post didn't make you too jealous.
x's and o's