Our first day in Vienna we did many things we had not done for several days: washed our clothes, made food, took showers. We made guacamole, defrosted some pizzas, and countered the blasphemy that is barbecue flavored tortilla chips, the only tortilla chips available in all of Vienna. We furthered Maria's film education with White Chicks. For the second movie in three days, she managed to remain conscious for the entire film.
The next day we hit the town in earnest. We dropped Maria off at the library (the old Hofburg palace) and saw two museums, a museum about Esperanto and other planned languages, and a museum about the history of globe construction. We checked in with Maria, got suckered into buying some concert tickets, and dashed home for dinner. After dinner we picked up Maria - at the time engaged in conversation with a nice Russian girl - and walked over to the concert hall.
The concert was held in the Auersperg Palace and was quite entertaining. They performed pieces from Mozart and Strauss, two musicians closely linked with Vienna. The instrumentalists performed flawlessly. They added a twist to the concert with a few operatic pieces and ballet numbers. It was definitely a tourist trap, but it was a lot of fun.
On Sunday morning we finally attended church. Micah researched possible options and settled on St. Nicholas Cathedral, a Russian Orthodox Church south of the city center. The service was lovely, if a bit lost in translation. The cathedral was spectacular, dripping with gold and icons. As we waited for Micah to purchase an icon, a young man approached us, leading with the line, "I heard you speak English." He introduced himself as an American studying abroad in Vienna. He gave us some recommendations for ways to spend our time touring the city, and joined us for a brief moment in watching a choral performance in the Cathedral.
We enjoyed some schnitzel and visited St. Stephen's and St. Michael's churches. At St. Michael's we were surprised to find the same choral group from earlier offering a repeat performance. Afterwards, we searched for the best chocolate cake in all of Vienna. Once we had consumed the entire sugar content of Austria's capital, we went home for a pre-Super Bowl nap.
Unfortunately, our plans to view the Super Bowl were derailed by the absolute failure of the NFL's international football distribution system. Micah fought valiantly to make the Super Bowl happen, but the NFL fought harder to maintain its flawless incompetence, and the multi million dollar corporation would not deliver even when paid.
As we write this, we are enjoying some rays of sunshine through blowing snow on the train from Vienna to Ostrava. Maria found the sunlight particularly special this morning, and insisted we include this information.