Saturday, January 26, 2013

Wonderful Vienna awaits!

Hello from Vienna, Austria!

Early departure was a challenge for the  Augustana Choir today – I hope this is not a harbinger of days to come.   When we departed at 7:20 a.m. instead of 6:45 a.m. only two words were shared:  “Air Port.”   Ok, maybe one word, but if said in two words, it helped to illustrate the fact that if we mess around our 5:00 AM departure for home next week, there may be a few members finding themselves alone in a foreign land.   (Don’t I sound tough?)  J   

Sadly, our late departure, snow, and need to stop twice for “comfort stops” in a 180 mile journey caused us to be more than an hour late to our concert at Brno, in the Czech Republic.  As we had an audience awaiting in yet another very cold Cathedral,
Dr. Nesheim threw caution, warm-ups, and robing, to the wind and began what turned out to be a wonderful 60-minute concert to a very appreciative crowd.

Brno is the second largest city in the Czech Republic but only has about 100,000 residents.  At the top of the tallest hill in this city rises this gothic cathedral of
St’s Peter and Paul, another structure with 13th century roots.  Beautiful indfeed, and luckily for us, surrounded by restaurants for a hungry crowd of Americans. 

Following the chance to eat, we departed once again, this time bound for Vienna – our home for the next three days.  We are now in the Grand Mercure Biedermeier Hotel, a lovely place, full of character and “old world charm.”  (Not sure how else to describe it, but a “Biedermeir” structure is a type of architecture where you find a narrow front and back of the building but a nearly two-block long double corridor of housing between the two.  It’s really interesting but creates long, long hallways!

The group walked to a restaurant near the City Park, not far from here, and enjoyed a feast of the biggest slabs of wienerschnitzel (chicken this time) many of us had ever seen.  We are in Wien – so “go big or go home” I guess! 

Tomorrow, a concert at the most famous cathedral in Austria, St. Stephen’s, right in the heart of this beautiful city.  Then, off to see the area and a real Palace…see you later!

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