So, Hallie arrived in the evening on Thursday and we started off with a bang by going to Cafe Sacher for a slice of Vienna’s famous Sacher torte. Apparently it’s her dad’s favorite kind of cake, so we took many pictures so as to make him jealous. Then Bobby, Billy, Andrea and I took Hallie on a short tour of the first district of Vienna. First we walked to Stephansplatz where we watched a street performer and then went inside the church for a bit. Then we walked through the Graben, a pedestrian street in Vienna, to the Hofburg where I showed Hallie the ancient Roman ruins beneath the city. Then we made our way to the Ringstraße, seeing the twin museums, parliament and the Rathaus. That night we had a sleepover in Billy and Joseph’s room. We pushed their beds together and watched The Sound of Music. Well, everyone else watched The Sound of Music. I fell asleep within ten minutes as usual.
The next morning Billy, Hallie and I woke up and met up with Sarah and Andrew at Schloss Schönbrunn, the summer palace of the old monarchs. We did the tour of the palace rooms, but it was nearly as impressive as I thought it would be. We also walked through the beautful grounds and gardens.
After our long tour of the palace Hallie and I got ready to go to the ballet. No trip to Vienna is complete without seeing a show at the opera house. So, Hallie and I ran to get a Käsekrainer, a sausage filled with cheese, and then met Sarah in the line to see Tschaikovsky’s Anna Karenina ballet. It was more modern and experimental than the last ballet I saw at the opera house, but it was beautiful! I think I like ballet more than opera, but I’ll have one more chance to test that. Our class is going to the opera together in two weeks. After the opera Andrew met up with us in the Museums Quartier and we all shared a bottle of wine until it starting raining and we went to Cafe Leopold to stay warm and dry.
The next morning I worked on homework while Hallie went to the Kunsthistoriches Museum. Andrea and I met up with her in the afternoon and took her on another small tour of the 1st district, which included a stop at Hoher Markt for some ice cream shaped like spaghetti.
In the evening Sarah came over to my dorm and she, Andrea and I made a traditional Austrian meal for Hallie. I prepared Leberkäse, a meatloaf kind of thing, with Semmel or rolls, and Käsespäztle, cheese on egg noodles. Sarah made Sommersalat again. It was so delicious! Then we all hopped on the Straßenbahn and headed to Baden to spend our evening at the Roman baths. It was so relaxing. My favorite part was the steam rooms. They each had different scents such as Eucalyptus. We were so relaxed until the kicked us out. We ended the evening with a girly sleepover and we watched Beauty and the Beast. I love that movie.
On Sunday morning we had plans to head out of the city to Wachau valley, but we opted to stay in Vienna so that Hallie could get the full experience. How could she leave without seeing artwork by Klimt and Schiele?! So, we headed straight for the Leopold Museum, which is now officially my favorite museum in Vienna. It is dedicated to art around the turn of the century, which I love. We saw so many works by Schiele and he is also now one of my favorite artists. My favorite drawing was titled Mother and Daughter. After the Leopold we enjoyed a meal at a cafe in the Museums Quartier. We soaked up some sun and listened to good song after good song played by the DJ for “Sounds of Summer in the MQ”. Our favorite song was by Sister Nancy. After lunch we went to the Belvedere so Hallie could see Gustav Klimt’s Kiss before she left Vienna. For dinner we went to our favorite restaurant, Centimeter, for some a very Austrian meal.
This morning Hallie packed up her stuff and I took her to the train station. It was so nice having a friend come and visit. I feel so loved. Thanks Hallie. Now I have to try and get as much homework done as possible before my friend from Northern Ireland, Andrew, arrives in Vienna and I get to be tour guide all over again!