25 October 2010

Playing Vienna

22 October 2010: Day three in Vienna. It's everything you read about in the guidebooks - fantastic gothic and baroque architecture, wiener schnitzel, chocolate, Mozart and music.

But I haven't immediately warmed and connected to Vienna as I have to other cities and places I've visited. And I think I've worked out why. Vienna is a huge concert stage. Everyone is playing a role and I've had to learn my part!

It was the Vienna Boys' Choir that did it for me. Seeing and hearing these fantastic young voices in the gloriously historic Musikverein reminded me that my role in Vienna is as a cultural tourist, and I should just simply play that part. Determinedly.

It should have been obvious from the dozens of beautiful young men dressed in period costume who hawk concert tickets outside the main tourist attractions. Mum and I spent a good 10 minutes or more talking to a lovely young man outside Stephansdom.

A real smooth operator, who was ready to give Mum her ticket for free and accompany her personally from our hotel to the show! I think the catch is I would have probably had to pay twice!

The next clue should have been the Vienna State Opera, where I saw Richard Strauss's Salome. If this isn't the most dramatic, eat-your-heart out stage performance, hard to know what would be! (Think dance of the seven veils and the head of John the Baptist on a platter!)

I just had to stop and look around. The traditional coffee houses with serving women (usually) in period or authentic costume, the horses and carriages (fiakers) - and I'm pretty sure most of the people we bumped into in the main city centre were "players" in the grand piece of theatre that is Vienna.

Having made this connection, I really began to enjoy Vienna.

1 comment:

  1. Just letting you know I'm following your adventures both on your blog and facebook.
    Sounds like you and Irene are having a wonderful time....could have taken the beautiful young man up on his offer though. Nothing like a bit of self indulgence once in a while.