Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Vienna: Part II

OK, here is the rest of what happened in Vienna! Its been crazy, so sorry this didnt come sooner. A few pics are posted below, but I'll add more!
So on our first full day in Vienna, we decided to go to the Freud museum. The psychoanalyst lived in Vienna, and his house has been transformed into a museum celebrating his contributions to our realizations of our neuroses. Finding the museum proved harder than we thought, not because we weren't looking, but because we kept getting distracted with all the incredible things there were to see. We stopped at an outdoor cafe near the university and ate cheap sandwiches while listening to students argue and debate in German. The cafe looked over a beautiful Gothic cathedral, which we visited after lunch. Then we passed by the city hall (hilariously pronounced rat-house) where we saw a huge international cuisine bazaar. The Rat House was holding a film festival, so we promised to come back once we'd actually buckled down long enough to find the bloody museum.
The Freud museum is next to Cafe Freud, where we did not stop. The museum is housed in his cozy, smallish apartment. Many of the rooms had been kept in tact, including his waiting room. His office where he saw patients was turned into a display of his collected objects, letters, and publications. He had an incredible collection of statuettes from all over the world. Calli, Rachel and I made sure to take pictures on the couch they had displayed, I'll post those later.
After the museum, we went back to the film festival, where we ate chicken burritos and watched Carmen. A very international evening!
The next day we went to Schobrunn, a Hapsburg castle. We saw rooms where Mozart had played and where Marie Antoinette grew up. We climbed to the top of the hill behind the palace, where there was an incredible view over the whole city. I chose to go to Vienna because I dont know that I'll ever be able to go back there. But after seeing the city spread at our feet like that, I know I'll have to go back one day. What a beautiful city!
We spent the next day in Budapest. The trip was wonderful, but the city is kind of a trashy Vienna. Our tour guide was nutty as a fruitcake, though. She did not speak English well and kept telling us to "Prepare your cam-eh-rahs, Ladies and Gentleman, for a special picture of Budapest" before pointing us at a totally random rock or hill or something.
For lunch, the tour offered a €14 lunch at a traditional Budapest restaurant. We decided to splurge, hoping our typical Budapest meal would be worth it. They took us to Best Western... And served us french fries... It was hilarious. I think I've had more Hungarian food in England.
All of that was on the Pest side of the city, which is divided by a river. We crossed the bridge and entered the historical and hilly Buda side, where we saw the castle and some of the oldest areas of the city. (see pictures!)
We had a few hours on the Pest side of the city to do what we wanted. Cal, Rach and I started walking on a bridge over the Danube where they had a little market of crafts and snacks. As Rach bought a bar of handmade soap, Cal and I started talking about how cool it would be to put our feet in the Danube. Before we knew it, our shoes were off and we were running down the stone steps along the bank to get to the river. We exchanged cameras to get pics of each other, and headed out over the perilous rocks lining the shore. As I sat down, I slashed my foot open on a sharp rock, causing me to yell so loudly that Calli stepped on a moss-covered rock, slipped, and fell INTO the Danube! WITH my camera! Luckily we are both OK, as is the camera, but, man, that was hilarious. We walked back up to the bridge (well, I limped and Cali sort of waddled) where we tried to tell Rachel what happened without cracking up. The weather was so nice, Cal dried off pretty quick. But she did smell pretty foul...

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