Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Europe, Part 3 (Vienna)

Tuesday, July 1 (continued)

When we arrived in Vienna, we went on a walking tour right away. I was very tired and got lots of blisters, but I enjoyed the tour.

We saw and photographed lots of old buildings on the tour. I don't remember the names of most of them.

Building in Vienna

A building in Vienna


Closeup of the horses on that building

The Austrian National Library:

As we were walking around on the tour, we saw a bit of a crowd gathering. Some members of our group yelled, "Hey look! Streakers!" Sure enough, there was a group of people taking their clothes off as a part of some protest.


In this photo, you can see the streakers before they took off their clothes. Photobucket wouldn't let me post any of my more close-up photos that showed the streakers completely naked. ;)

As we were walking through Vienna, we saw a famous composer! Some orchestra members posed for a photo with him. We also saw St. Stephens Cathedral, and got to go inside it. It's one of the most impressive churches I've ever seen.


It's Mozart!


A statue in Vienna

Same Statue

The same statue, photographed from a different angle to show an awesome sunlight effect.


St. Stephen's Cathedral. I don't know what the round building on the left is.


The organ inside the cathedral. My friend Jordan took this picture.


In the cathedral


The Mozarthaus in Vienna.

For supper that day, we went to a cafe called Einstein Cafe. It had many pictures of Einstein inside it. One of our orchestra members had a birthday that day, so she got a cake with a sparkler on it.


Some smart people outside the Einstein Cafe.


In the caf


Happy birthday!

After supper, some people went downtown, but I stayed at the hotel because I was exhausted and had sore feet. I bought some potato chips at the hotel. For some weird reason, they were kept in a fridge. I shared the cold potato chips with some friends.

Wednesday, July 2

I woke up later than I was supposed to. We had a good breakfast in our rooms in the hotel. Our breakfast was hung in bags on our doorknobs in the morning! We got several things for breakfast, including croissants and kaiser rolls!

We rode our bus to Schoenbrunn Palace. I was excited to go there! I'd learned about that place in an art history class, and never dreamed I'd get to go there!


Me in front of Schoenbrunn Palace.


A Schoenbrunn Palace eagle.

We had a tour of Schoenbrunn palace, and saw lots of beautiful old rooms, paintings, and furniture. After the tour was over, I bought a hat at the gift shop. Then we played a concert outside in the back of the Palace. We played pieces like Radetzky March, and I think we played Wagner's Meistersinger prelude too, and some other pieces. During (and even after!) our concert, we were filmed and photographed by random tourists!

Schoenbrunn Palace backyard

Outside, in back of Schoenbrunn Palace.


Setting up for our Palace concert.

Orchestra guys

Orchestra guys in back of the palace.

All of us, on the Schoenbrunn Palace stairs.


We went downtown to buy lunch wherever we wanted. Some of us bought food from a roadside stand. I bought a slice of cheese pizza there. It was amazing pizza! It was some of the best pizza I'd ever had! I'd go back to Vienna just for the pizza.

Unfortunately, my camera broke after lunch. I bought and used disposable cameras for the rest of the trip.

After lunch we went to the House of Music, which is a music museum. They had all sorts of interactive displays, games, and activities. Many of us tried out the game where you held a baton and conducted an orchestra! I also found a display where you could make music pieces out of everyday sounds. I made a music piece entirely out of farting noises. I bought postcards of Mahler, Schoenberg, Webern, and Shostakovich in the gift shop.

We had supper at a sort of buffet/cafeteria place. I didn't get a chance to try the wiener schnitzel, but those who tried it said it was good.

That night after supper, we went to a concert by the Vienna Mozart orchestra. It was in a famous concert hall that I forget the name of (Musikverein maybe?) It was a well-played concert, but it was mostly Mozart's best-known pieces, which I'm a little tired of.

When we got back to the hotel, I was really excited. The night before, an orchestra member had said he'd gone swimming in the Danube river! So this night, he was going to take a bunch of us down to the place he'd gone the previous night, so we could go swimming. It was so much fun!! It was definitely one of the highlights of the trip, and something I'll always remember.


One of my orchestra friends said I looked like a mermaid. :)

In the next entry, we go for rides on slides, I find an A&P store in a little German mountain village, we experience a bit of Steve Reich, and we pretend to be in a musical.

Europe, Part 2 (More of Prague, Arrival in Vienna)

Monday, June 30

The "Dancing House" in Prague, seen on the way to the Mozart museum.

On June 30 we went to the Bertramka villa, which is a Mozart museum in Prague.

In the Mozart museum, we saw some old instruments from Mozart's time, including an old violin, viola, clarinet, basset horn, harp, harpsichord, and clavichord. We saw scores written by Mozart, and even a piece of his hair.

Mozart museum

Bertramka gates


a basset horn in the museum

After the museum tour, we walked around outside in the museum grounds. There was a fountain and a statue of Mozart.


Mozart statue People at the fountain

After the museum, we had a walking tour of the Old Jewish Quarter. We saw synagogues and a rabbi souvenir stand!

Then we had lunch in various restarurants in downtown Prague, and met at the clock tower after lunch.

lunch in prague

Sampling a local beverage at lunch.

clock tower

The clock tower, closeup.

After lunch we rode our bus to a church where we played a concert. The audience really liked our concert! Our Czech guide especially liked it.


Our orchestra in the Prague church (photo by a friend)

We went back to the hotel for supper. After supper, a bunch of us tooik the subway to downtown Prague. The downtown area is beautiful at night.


Prague at night

We went to a little bar/cafe thing. Our Czech guide was always saying we should try some of the local beer, so I did.


Unfortunately, I didn't sleep at all that night. I was really tired the next day.

Tuesday, July 1

I saw some great tits before breakfast! (That's a kind of bird, by the way!)

This was the day that we went from Prague to Vienna. We went there in our bus. We started out later than we should have, because before we went, our conductor walked into a glass door and cut his nose.

Since it was Canada Day, I wore my Canada socks with maple leaves on them. Some people wore Canada-themed shirts.


Czech countryside

We drove through the Czech republic for several hours. I had some fun in the bus. My friends introduced me to a funny game. But then I got tired and hot.

For lunch, we stopped off at a really weird place near the Czech/Austrian border. It was a bunch of restaurants. One looked like an airplane. This place looks weird by itself, but even weirder when you're near delirious from exhaustion and heat.

Where we went for lunch.

A bunch of us ended up going to the Kentucky Fried Chicken in a nearby mall. Unlike the KFCs at home, this one sold beer and Red Bull too. I had a Red Bull. It didn't work. :P

We soon arrived in Vienna.

In Vienna. That's our bus.

In the next entry, we encounter some naked people, conduct an orchestra, and discover the Danube in a memorable way.

Europe, Part 1 (Arrival, Prague)

(This is copied from another diary that I have.)

Photos in these entries are my own unless I state otherwise.

Saturday, June 28 - Sunday, June 29

June 28 and 29 seemed like one long day for me. One long and tiring day.

We left Montreal on Saturday evening. Then we had an overseas flight overnight. This was a bad idea because many of us didn't sleep at all. I know I didn't.

Paris airport

Paris airport

We arrived at the Paris airport on Sunday the 29th. We hung around in the airport for a few hours. Then we got on a plane to Prague. There was really scary turbulence.

When we landed in Prague, I was still feeling a bit nauseous. Luckily, I soon forgot about this, because my friend Jessica had brought her tin whistles. The two of us played tin whistles while we waited around in the airport.

Tin whistles

Playing whistles in Prague airport. Photo by a friend.

Eventually, we went outside the airport. We got on a coach bus. This bus was the one we'd ride on for our entire tour of Europe. All sorts of good times were to be had in this bus.

The bus!

The bus

We then had a tour of the beautiful Prague Castle. Then we went on a bridge over the Moldau river. There were swans on the Moldau. And some guy washing his clothes in the river.

Prague castle

Prague castle

Prague castle

Prague castle

Prague Castle grounds

View from the Prague Castle grounds. Many buildings in Prague have red roofs.

Freaky guy

The oldest medieveal tavern in Prague. That guy kind of freaked us out.


The Moldau, or Vltava as it's called in Czech. There's some sort of balloon thing.

I enjoyed the tour, but I was extremely tired and I had no access to water.

After the tour, we went to our hotel, which was called Hotel Duo. I saw some jays and jackdaws. We had supper there. Then I went off to bed.

Hotel Duo

Our hotel.

Some photos of inside the hotel:

Parrots in the hotel!

Hotel lounge


This painting was in my hotel room. Apparently I was lucky -- I asked around, and nobody else had a painting of a naked lady in their room.

This concludes Part 1 of my trip diary.

In Part 2, the Orchestra sees Mozart's hair and plays in a concert.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Europe trip report -- coming soon

I think I'll post about my Europe trip soon. I went on a trip to Europe with my youth orchestra last summer. The following entries will be about the trip.