Saturday, 24 May 2014

Amy's Adventurous Adventures in Vienna

Europe Arts Tour: Days 7 to 8

Ahh, Vienna… You inspired me to become a better musician… for about two hours until I realised it would require dedication and hard work towards my instruments.

The Blue(ish) Danube
Seriously, though, think about it. Mozart – born in Vienna – performed for the Empress at the age of five – FIVE – and soon began composing his own masterpieces. All it took was a little (a LOT) of practice and dedication to his instrument, and here I am blogging when I could be practicing piano like a madwoman for my exam (which is on Friday the 13th… I doubt it’s a coincidence) in order to become a musical genius who is appreciated for her talent worldwide.

But that would require me to get up… and… practice piano… *shivers*

Anyway, Vienna was truly inspiring and stunning. Not unlike Prague, it has the perfect mixture of modern and ancient architecture and culture – making it a truly disorientating yet fascinating city to observe. Of course, this was where the real “musical” part of our trip began, and we were lucky enough to attend the Philharmonic Orchestra Concert at Schonbrunn Palace. It was phenomenal (obviously).

Original score for 'Der Zauberflote' ('The Magic
Flute') by W. A. Mozart (*cue internal screaming*)
 in Haus der Musik (The Museum of Music)
But that’s not all. To my absolute and utter delight, we visited the Museum of Music (Haus der Musik) the following day. I was in awe. Six floors, filled to the brim with historical artifacts belonging to the great German and Austrian composers, as well as fun activities where you could conduct a virtual orchestra or “compose” your own melody with the throw of a die. Oh, and there was this dark room where you could sit and listen to remixes of classical compositions – where I stayed for about half an hour because it was so incredible.

You think classical music from composers like Mozart and Beethoven is lame? Well, here’s some dub step thrown in with their compositions, a bit of synthesized harmonies and a dance beat to spice it up for you. IT IS EPIC. I then spent a great deal of money on the ‘Beethoven Reloaded’ CD – featuring all of the remixed Beethoven tracks – in the gift shop… Yeah, telling my parents what I spent my ‘gift money’ on earned me the best “YOU-DID-WHAT-NOW?” look from my father and a bit of a lecture on why we should rather buy Taylor Swift CDs off of iTunes – but it was totally worth it.

The shame… Oh, the shame...
Apart from the epic-ness from the musical side of Vienna, I also had an afternoon of free time to spend shopping with my friends, in which we went all-out “Common White Girl” and bought vanilla frappuccinos from Starbucks. And then took pictures of our names on the cups. BUT WAIT – it gets worse: we also went shopping at Forever 21… and Zara… and H&M. I am ashamed. *hangs head and sobs loudly*

I know. I am a failure at life.

I paid for my sins on the train ride to Venice though… Have you ever slept in a train? It’s almost as bad as an airplane, except dirtier and with only slightly more legroom (if you aren’t sharing a cabin-thing with five other teenage girls, which means that you’re sharing a two-meter-by-three-meter space with five teenage girls AND their 35kg bags… Not fun). Oh, and a piece of advice: always, ALWAYS, use the toilet before you get on the train, and then don’t eat, don’t drink, don’t do anything, so that you don’t have to go NEAR that bathroom. It’s disgusting. Thank goodness I took hand sanitizer – although it was almost finished by the time I got off that train. Gross.

Next stop: Venice

(Okay, so just note that this is the point in my travels where I was evidently running on auto-pilot because of lack of sleep, and had gotten extremely lazy in terms of writing in my travel journal. From here on out, my entries consist of sentences like, "We went shopping. I bought this. It was fun," so let's just appreciate that my memory has not faded yet, and I still have countless photographs of meaningless buildings to kind of decipher what I did in each city. So bear with me… things may not be too accurate or detailed depending on whether my past self was conscious enough to be writing actual sentences, or whether she was half asleep and trying not to throw the travel journal out the window at the head of an innocent tourist.)

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