...and I completely forgot to blog about New Years Eve which was kind of a big part of our experience. I was going to try and explain each thing more but honestly most people who didn't go to Vienna will not be interested in this post anyway:)
First of all anyone who ever went on Vienna Studies would probably not think of Vienna as party central. The people are usually quiet and the city has a pretty sedate atmosphere most of the time. Which is why a big group of loud, obnoxious college students usually garnered some stares. It was kind of nice to slip under the radar this time.
Anyways, Vienna goes absolutely INSANE on New Years. Ben and I could not believe it. We're talking dancing in the streets, shooting fireworks at 500 year old buildings etc. There were so many people and it was really fun.
The big thing for New Years in Vienna is Viel Gluck or Good Luck and so they have lucky symbols on everything. These symbols include four leaf clovers, mushrooms, chimney sweeps, ladybugs, elephants and....
...pigs apparently, lots and lots of pigs. We tried to find out exactly what about pigs is lucky but the explanation was pretty hazy.
Vienna's New Year festivities are spread out over a New Years "trail" through the pedestrian areas of central Vienna. The trail started at the Rathaus and spread out towards Stephansdom.
The trail was marked by these orange a-frame huts that sold food and drink and souvenirs. Everywhere the street opened into a square there was a small stage playing different genres of music. This was the "country" stage right next to Schottenkirche. Hearing Dolly Parton sing 9 to 5 while walking through the streets of Vienna was a surreal experience.
This was the "pop" stage. They had a bunch of dancers that were soooo cheesy. It was hilarious. Did I mention it was crowded? And cold? For those of you who remember this the square in front of Brezl Gwolb.
The most famous bakery in Vienna is Demel. I had eaten there before but Ben never had, unfortunately it was too crowded the whole time we were there to get in. We were so excited that Demel along with several other restaurants, pubs etc. had set up a booth in front of their building. We get sacher torte fresh out of the oven for a lot cheaper than eating indoors.
Kohlmarkt looking towards Graben
The biggest crowds were at Rathaus where the Christmas Market was turned into a New Years Market. They even have special New Years Mugs. Did I mention it was crowded? and cold?
This is looking back at Burgtheater from Rathaus. It was packed solid.
Right before the clock struck midnight and the crazy fireworks started. I have some videos I want to post next that well better highlight the evening.