Thursday, April 9, 2009

Live from Vienna, Austria - HGM, Reumannplatz, and Alisha and Brian's Office

Christy's dad and I went to the Museum of Military History yesterday as sort of a guys' activity. Me in a museum is like a kid in a candy shop--even if most of the exhibits are noted in another language! We really had a good time and I took LOOOOOTS of are a few:

Here's the car Archduke Franz Ferdinand was shot in that basically started WWI:

The upper turret and one of the rudders from a B-24 Liberator shot down during WWII:

The first production Albatros BI reconnaissance aircraft:

The funeral arrangements for Prince Eugene of Savoy:

The museum is housed in the center of what once was the arsenal of the Austrian army as seen in the two photos below:

The halls of the building contain beautiful frescoes commemorating Austria's imperial history under the Hapsburgs, some of which I tried to take photos of. These do not do justice to just how amazing they look in person!

It also contains many statues, many of which are of various figures in the empire and can be found in the entrance hall:

The museum contained many artifacts that are multiple centuries old, which simply blows my mind. How many times to you get to see 400 year old flags?

Okay, enough gushing about the museum. Time to move on and cover the rest of the day!

We met up with Christy and Alisha and took the U-bahn over to Reumannplatz to go to Tichy (Tee-kee) Eis Salon, one of the better ice cream joints in town (there are lots, by the way!). While we were eating our ice cream in the park nearby, I got up to take a couple pictures:

I last snapped a shot of the memorial to the victims of Fascism 1933-1945

Once we got back to Alisha and Brian's place, we decided later to head out to the mission office. While we were walking along, I decided to play with the low-light settings on the camera. Most of the shots turned out bad and were trashed, but some I kept:

After a short walk, we arrived at the newly painted office and had a look around.

We got to ride on the S-bahn (Strassenbahn) back to the U-bahn station. On the walk back to the apartment, we found that a group of snails had decided to have a race. Man, this city has everything!

One parting shot for tonight...the valiant Sharkdog (the coolest Beagle I've ever met):

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Live from Vienna, Austria - Leopoldsberg and Centimeter (or, How to Eat Your Meal On a Sword!)

Busy days abound!

Today, we went up to Leopoldsberg to have a look at the city from a different perspective. Unfortunately, it was a little hazier than we'd hoped, but I was still able to get some decent pictures. I was just bowled over by how beautiful the area is around Vienna. I was just as impressed by how densely packed people are here. Houses, apartments, shops, and cafés--all of them are just stuck wherever there's space; the streets are quite narrow as a result. However, folks always seem to be either moving about or sharing a conversation at a
café everywhere you look. It's a very different lifestyle from what I'm used to at home. Anyway, here are a couple pictures from Leopoldsberg:

After we came back down, we met up with Brian and went over to Centimeter V where we enjoyed Das Schwert, a meal of Weiner Schnitzel and porkchops on a sword over French Fries, Chicken Wings, and Chile Con Carne. It was quite a meal!

Stuffed, we decided to head for home. Unfortunately, there was a problem with one of the U-bahn trains that caused a delay. What that meant was that the train was so full that the last person barely fit in the door (and no, this photo doesn't really do that notion justice):

We ended up hopping a different train and barely even fit on that one!

(that's Christy's dad 2nd from the left behind the post next to the next door on the train)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Live from Vienna, Austria - Stephansplatz to Mariahilfer Strasse

This week, Christy and I are in Vienna with her parents to visit her sister Alisha. This is is my first ever trip to Europe (in fact, it's the first time I've ever officially left the country!). Despite the fact that we could be accused of not doing much, today was a long day full of activity. Our day started by taking the U-Bahn (subway) to Stephansplatz where we were greeted by the wonderful St. Stephen's Cathedral:

I'd never seen anything like this back home! Needless to say, I went a little crazy taking photos! Not all of them turned out well, but here are a few highlights:

Before we headed off to the Hofburg Imperial Palace, we were briefly entertained by one of the "living statues" who perform in the plaza:

On our way down the Graben, we passed the Pestsäule, a memorial to those who died during the Plauge:

The Hofburg itself is really pretty impressive. It's so massive as a facility that you almost forget that it really was someone's house (though I guess that's a pretty simplistic way to look at it)!

From there, we passed the Austrian Parliament Building, with its beautiful statue of Athena:

Next was the Rathaus, which sits across from the Hopsburgtheater:

We ended the day with a walk up Mariahilfer Strasse. This district is a perfect example of what makes this city so interesting. There are so many different people and something going on everywhere you look. For a boy from Perry Township, Ohio, it's a bit overwhelming!

Here are some articles on the places we saw today:

St. Stephen's Cathedral
Austrian Parliament
Mariahilf (the district in which Mariahilfer Strasse can be found)

More updates tomorrow!