Read the previous post first but these videos show the New Years atmosphere much better than the pictures. There are no organized fireworks shows in Vienna, with fire trucks and policemen standing at the ready. The basic rule seems to be if you have two hands you can launch fireworks. Fireworks on the street, fireworks out of windows, fireworks hidden in trash cans, fireworks launched out of champagne bottles, and my worst fear sparklers. I get so nervous at weddings when they have sparklers. Sparklers + ring bearers= trouble. But I digress, It was nuts, but so much fun to be a part of. Although I admit to jumping out of my skin a few times.
Earlier in the evening we hung out in front of Rathaus before it got too crowded to move. This was the Broadway show-tunes/Austrian folk-song stage. If you turn up your speakers you can hear a very large man singing "Get Me to The Church on Time"from My Fair Lady in German. And no before you ask, there weren't any Sound of Music songs. There were definite age zones with the different stages and this was kind of the mid 40s crowd. So we decided we should be cool and go down to where the party was a little younger....
...on Kartnerstrasse and Stephansplatz. You can't tell but there were thousands of people surrounding the square but no one could walk through because a bunch of teenagers were launching fireworks into Stephansplatz. This is when Ben and I began to feel old. Although I will say it was comforting to be in a country where we knew no one in the crowd was packing heat. Just fireworks:) Ben and I were just cracking up because it was so different from the Vienna we knew. So to clarify, it's rude to talk above a whisper on the tram, but cool to shoot fireworks at the cathedral where Mozart got married? Got it. Everyone needs a night off once in awhile.
So we hightailed it back to the comparatively calm Rathaus and got to enjoy the final countdown surrounded by people speaking every language imaginable. It was so much fun and everyone was so friendly. And then the fireworks REALLY started. It doesn't seem like much in the video but you have to imagine the same thing going on in pretty much every street in Vienna. We saw fireworks all along our way walking back to the Ubahn and even out by our hostel. We had such a great time and I have to say that it beat watching Ryan Seacrest and like the Jonas Brothers while sitting on my couch.