Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Europe 2005 - Austria

It's nice to be back to using the Euro in a way because it means we don't have to plan our expenses out so tight so as to not leave the county with a bunch of un-usable money, but it will mean that everything goes back to being more expensive.

I have dragged L. around to enough art museums so for our day in Vienna she got to schedule the day for everything music, including our hotel. During the summer the cheapest place to stay that is in the city center is at the Music Academy. The empty dorms are used as a hotel. There are still students here and it is interesting to hear guitar playing as we walk down the hall and opera singers as we got dressed for the morning.
The first thing that we set out to do was to buy tickets for a concert that night. The guide book says to not buy tickets from all the people dressed like Mozart since they are overpriced. We found out that the tickets cost the same from the tourist office and from the Mozart's walking around so we ended up buying them anyway.
Music Museum- this is a very modern museum that studies how sound is produced and interpreted by the brain. There are a lot of computers where you can find the threshold of your hearing (L. can hear 100 hz higher then me, I guess I went to to many concerts.) and how the brain can decipher volume, sound delay, and location of the sound source. For the next level you are given a handset that will play different things in different parts of the room and in different rooms for each of the composers that worked in Vienna (Mozart, Beethoven, Strauss family, Mahler, Schubert, and Hyden)
Main cemetery- all the composers above are buried next to each other with the exception of Mozart who has a monument there. This cemetery is huge. There are 3 separate stops on the trolly to different areas plus there is a separate bus line that only takes people around to different areas. It is about a mile long. Of course we got off at the wrong exit but we got to see all the marble statues along the way.
Sigmund Freud museum- To stay with the theme I guess we went here to see why Leslie liked music so much. The museum is set up in his old office complete with the reclining couch. Since my minor in school was psychology I know enough about it that to know that every theory of his has been disproved but Freud is still important historically for being the first to use empirical evidence to categorize the original "desperate housewives" of Vienna. It just ticks me off when people still quote Freud like fact. I found it amusing that they displayed the cocaine- the new medicine that he experimented with and in ALL of his pictures he was shown with his phallic cigar.
Mozart concert- Since there are enough tourists that come through Vienna that want to hear music they have large concerts in any of the 4 music halls in the city. The one we went to was all Mozart music in the KonzertHaus. The summer rain was back and we got to listen to opera singers practicing in the rain at the Academy before leaving. The entire symphony was dressed in the full coats, stockings, and wigs of the time period. Since they were playing for tourists they played the most famous pieces. Our seats were great and it was 2 hours that sounded great and was relaxing.

Classical music- I did not used like Classical music, but L. has taken enough music classes where going to a concert in the park or symphony was either extra credit or an assignment. Seeing in person the actions of the players in time with the music and the distinct sounds from each instrument coming from all around you gave me an appreciation for it.

Tourism- it is defiantly lower then it should be. We should not have been able to get a room where we did without reservations. We keep finding empty museums and short lines. Trust me I am not complaining since some places have gone to charging low season prices.

Reading-we found another book store here that had an English book section and we bought a copy of "the diary of Anne Frank" as the next book to read to each other in preparation of visiting Amsterdam where the hiding place is.

1 comment:

teej said...

just so you know, when y'all called about crossing into berlin, it was 4am thursday, not 10pm tuesday. so what's up?