We didn't get into Vienna until around 8 p.m., so we decided to walk into the city center and soak in as much culture as we could in one night. I was actually a bit disappointed. I had high hopes for Vienna, but the parts we saw were SO high-money and elaborate and the scenery really wasn't even that pretty. We were able to veer away from the center a bit to see one of Mozart's houses, and it seems as though the side streets have the same layout or have been reconstructed to represent the layouts of the 18th century. It was a nice touch. We also walked by the gigantic opera house, which was beautiful! Afterwards, we were hungry, so we went looking for a place to eat. The only place that was open was this Mexican restaurant. We were hooked when we heard a live band performing Spanish music inside. The singer was a woman with a very operatic voice, but hearing that music felt a little bit like home (I'm used to Mexicans everywhere and Europe is obviously lacking). Bert and I each had this rare corn fungus called huitlacoche, and it was tasty. We ended up talking to the woman who had been singing (she also seemed to be running the restaurant) and it turns out that she was actually from Bratislava, Slovakia. So the food wasn't really authentic, but apparently her husband is Mexican so she has a little bit of an idea of the cuisine.
In the morning, we got up early and headed out to the Arnold Schoenberg center. I am a huge fan of 20th century music and especially the second Viennese school, so this excited me. It was tiny and we were literally the only people there, but it was a terrific exhibit. There was a library in which you could look through many copies of Schoenberg's works, listen to them, Xerox them - basically like a regular library with nothing else but Schoenberg. There was also a reconstruction of his Los Angeles work studio, including some of his original items. Among these were some things that he built/invented himself... shelves, tape dispensers (Did you guys know that Schoenberg INVENTED the tape dispenser?), etc. The main exhibit had mostly videos of Schoenberg's interviews, speeches, and the like, but also some of his music and artifacts. My favorite part was at the end of the hall where they posted some of his paintings, including about 5 of his self-portraits.
After Schoenberg, we found Mozart's grave. It was pretty but much less elaborate than I expected. Dvorak's was WAY more of a big deal. You would think that with Mozart being so famous, he'd have a gigantic memorial, but it was quite simple.
Then, we hopped the train to Linz, Austria for the evening. We are going to see Shostakowich's Lady MacBeth!!!