First of all - foreign languages are fascinating. Second of all - I feel stupid that I can only speak one.
We had a long drive from Italy, & we stayed in the little village of Modling, half an hour outside of Vienna, which is so quaint & tiny & everything closes at 6pm at there are kids and dogs and large Austrian men drinking large Austrian beers and I just loved it. We had a lovely dinner with the whole choir, everyone was scared of the food except for me :) Why does German & Austrian food have such a bad reputation? I really realllly really like it. Except the pork knuckle, I think I can live without having tried that...
The name of our hotel was Babenbergerhof. On Babenbegergasse st. SAY THAT 5 TIMES FAST - GO.
The next morning we were scheduled to sing for morning prayer at St. Stephens Cathedral in Vienna, then we visited the graves of famous composers like Mozart. And Beethoven. And Strauss & Schubert & Brahms & Schonberg. For me, this was completely monumental, and I can't really explain the sense of wonder I felt? We sang a Mozart piece around his plot. I touched Beethoven's grave stone... these men were so entirely influential to the music I want to spend my life singing, that I was crying & then smiling & then taking pictures & talking to my friends & my face was red & and I was sniffly and just so very appreciative to the men in the ground around me. I know I'm not meant to be a classical singer, but I can appreciate their work whole heartedly. We also sang in the cathedral at the center of the cemetery, which I've heard from former choir members, has INCREDIBLE acoustics. And they were NOT lying. After our first note of 'Sanctus', all of our jaws dropped - the echo lasted for 5 full seconds. I've got video, you'll see :) Its pretty much astonishing. Once again, if you're not a singer I can't really explain how a room like this can make you feel, but my heart always starts pounding and I nearly giggle through the words as everyone around me gets excited too, & then we all start crying! haha it happens every time. Its like hearing your voice sound completely flawless while singing in the shower - times a million :) :) :)
We spent the afternoon in downtown Vienna exploring & going to the 3 H&Ms, & drove back to Modling for dinner that night. And I bought a curling iron! Hoorahhhh.
The next morning we headed to Salzburg, (SOUND OF MUSIC HEAVEN AHHHH) where we had a city tour & sang in the Salzburg Dom. We saw the fountain where Julie Andrews sang part of 'I Have Confidence', the garden where the VonTrapps sang 'Do Re Mi' and I jumped on the steps & ran through the ivy tunnel and I was wearing my new sun hat and it was just WONDERFUL :) Of course we saw plenty of other things but The Sound Of Music stuff was my favorite. We sang all the songs like i'm sure most of the annoying tourists do.
That afternoon/night we had plenty of free time, so some of us headed to the bike rental place down town. 10 of us got one (Me, Amanda, Cameron, TJ, Timbre, Tetra, Elizabeth, Nicole, Kyle & Carlie) & as we were about to start riding, a huge rain cloud showed up... but we didn't care! We went & got plastic bags & covered all our stuff in the baskets & took off. I got the smallest bike they had, which was a dumb idea. After only 5 minutes, my chain fell off. Then once we fixed that (an Austrian tried to help but Timbre saved me), five minutes later, my seat fell down to the lowest peg & I was basically sitting on the wheel with my knees bent & i could hardly pedal. Everyone else was flying past me cause they had the good bikes & just as I was getting really annoyed, the rain came! Timbre & I fought with my bike for 10 minutes at least before we finally fixed everything, but once we did, it was POURING. And we were alone cause the rest of the group was so fast & it was just so pathetic we started cracking up. So we hopped on & rode as fast as we could, (through a school parking lot where we got yelled at and we just laughed hysterically, not so polite...) & we finally found the rest of the group. Everyone was soaked but very giggly so we set off not knowing where in the world we were. Aaaaaand we rode for 3.5 hours :) We sang and laughed and directed entire pieces & Carlie's bike basket fell off & we hit a detour that took us through the woods up a mud hill that we ALL slid down & i kept getting sand in my mouth from the spray of other bikes & my white shirt is probably ruined and I tore a hole in my leggings & we were surrounded by THE ALPS & the mountains were in view the whole ride and our code word for 'stop' was 'SPARGLE' which is German for white asparagus... don't ask... it was just completely blissful. I didn't feel any pain, my legs didn't get tired, nothing. We were all so happy and dirty & wet & it was seriously the best 3 hours of the whole trip for me. My butt hurts still but that only came after. I keep getting butt injuries on this trip, what is going on!?! ;) Dad - we biked almost 12 miles total... not bad for one afternoon eh?
Then a hot shower, dinner with the biker gang, & BED. I LOVED Salzburg. Austria is beautiful.