Belvedere, Augustinerkirche, Reise, Reise…

So… I have a bassoon lesson tomorrow, and another midterm exam.  Maybe I should study, or go to bed, but instead, I am going to quickly say what I did in the past couple days.  The weekend before last, I went to Belvedere Palace on Friday and Saturday.  Friday I went to the lower Belvedere and saw a special exhibition on Futurism and Cubism in Vienna, as well as a Schiele Portrait exhibit.  Because I purchased the ticket for a two-day visit to the entire Belvedere, I of course had to pay my visit to the upper Belvedere, which I did on Saturday.  I saw a lot of Klimt and some Fin de Slècle Vienna painting, which I really enjoyed.  I went a little late and did not have enough time to explore the entire museum.  I also usually take a long time to go through paintings at an exhibit, and I was taking notes and doing some sketches at the same time.  At any rate, it was already almost closing time when I finished the first floor, so I only had a chance to very quickly walk through the Baroque wing downstairs.  I did walk though the large garden though, and it was very pleasant.  I felt like after seeing Futurist, Vienna Secession, and other twentieth century works, going down to the ground floor to Baroque just seems a little too restrained or contained… for some reason the earlier art does not seem as exciting to me anymore.  This is saying a lot because I am usually the one who loves early music, early art, Baroque, eighteenth-century art and music, and so on…  The walk home from the palace was nice too.  I was surprised how close Belvedere is to my apartment – I had known that it is in my district, but this is the first time I actually visited.  I will definitely want to go back, and I think my Austrian Art and Architecture class is going there at some point too.

Saturday morning I went to a solo concert at IES first.  This is an optional solo concert for the music workshop students.  I did not choose to play, but some other talented music students did.  We had a few violin solos, a double bass, trumpet, euphonium, viola, some vocalists, and so forth.  Afterward we had some champagne at the post-concert reception, then a few of my roommates and I walked to the Naschmarkt from our apartment – it probably took us about forty minutes, I don’ really know.  I have always loved Saturday markets, they are probably one of my favorite things in the world.  We had some falafels and hummus there (four pieces for 1 Euro!).  The weather was amazing.  Sunday S and I went to Augustinerkircher and attended a high mass with the renown full Augustiner orchestra and choir.  It was beautiful.  It was only my second mass in Vienna, and actually second mass ever, and they were both entirely in German, so I am still trying to get a grasp on the whole ceremony.  But I really liked the music.  They played some later mass pieces by Felix Mendelssohn, Camille Saint-Saëns, and so on, and I decided I really liked these sacred music by nineteenth-century composers.

Tuesday I was stressed about the papers, music, and exams for midterm.  I had too much to do and I really did not know how to handle them.  So instead of picking one thing to begin work, I cooked crêpes and onion and spinach for lunch.  This idea was inspired by a restaurant we went to earlier.

Thursday my Austrian language buddy, Elisabeth, and I decided to go on a semi-long walk in the nineteenth district despite the rain.  It was a beautiful place, with lots of Heurigern, or traditional wine taverns, cute houses, and vineyards.

It was St. Patrick’s Day on Thursday.  Many IES students went to some big party, but we prefer not to hang out with IES American study abroad students all the time.  So S and I went to a small Irish pub close to the Uni Wien campus.  It was very crowded, smoky, lots of green beer, and lots of fun.  I was hoping for maybe some good music, but didn’t seem to have much luck.  About that, I am planning my trip to go to Ireland in April and I am very very looking forward to it, so I didn’t mind not having enough Irish music that much, because I hope to experience lots of that in Ireland!  However, we did have some delightful conversations with the locals, mostly one Austrian person.  After talking to him that night, I learned a lot more about what a young, regular Viennese native think of Vienna, as well as many other issues.

I am super excited for my trip to Passau on Wednesday after my midterm exams.  And I think I am going to Prague with S and K for the weekend!

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