Whew! It's been a long weekend. I'm sitting on my bed right now at my host home, wondering if I should update or go to bed. I think if I wait any longer though, it just won't happen. There are so many things I haven't explained yet...I doubt I'll ever get to all of it.
I think I should start by just summing up last week. Beginning on Monday, we had our first classes at the Institute. I am taking "Viennese Musical Traditions" with Professor Wolfgang Reisinger, who is the overseer of church music in Vienna. In other words, he's the best organist in the music capital of the world. Whoa. Talk about being musically intimidating! He's pretty sweet though--he has an interesting personality, sometimes funny and sometimes just genius. I'll put up a picture of him the next time I take one. Anyways, on Mondays and Fridays, our music class meets from 9:30am-12:00pm. On Tuesdays-Thursdays, we meet from 2:30pm-5pm, but everyone else from the program still has class in the morning. Kind of a downside to the music class, but oh well. Only 10 more days....yikes!
Here is a picture of Dr. Reisinger playing the organ for our class.
So on Monday we had class at the Institute for the first time, like I was saying. I didn't realize quite how small the Institute was until I spent some time up there...it only has about 6 rooms and an office. Not bad though, just the right amount of space for us. When class was over, a group went to a nearby deli for lunch, and we learned first hand how difficult the English/German language barrier can be. Luckily, next time I will know how to order so that won't happen again. We spent most of Monday afternoon after lunch wandering around town, and ended up finding a great bar called Kolar later in the night where we had strawberry wine. It was great, and the atmosphere was exactly what we were looking for.
On Tuesday, our music class took a trip to go see Mozart's apartment downtown Vienna. We walked through the museum as a class instead of meeting at the Institute. I enjoyed listening to the audio guides and seeing some of Mozart's original manuscripts, but I also felt as though a lot of the museum didn't have to do with Mozart but with the history at the time. Nevertheless, good field trip.
The outside of Mozart's apartment in Vienna.
Wednesday didn't hold much excitement besides a wonderful afternoon with Michael. We realized that we hadn't spent much time together, so we decided to get dinner just the two of us. We went to an Italian restaurant on the Kartnerstrasse (main shopping street), and then headed down to Julius Meinl for coffee. It was absolutely wonderful--Michael was in heaven. :) We had a lot of fun together, and enjoyed finding a spot for later drink dates.
Thursday was a very interesting day. Earlier in the week, a sign had gone up on our group bulletin board about a makeover session that was going to be held at the Institute. The stylist did not put down their name, but said that haircuts would be free and given by a professional. So at 4pm, most of our group showed up in room 5 for the makeovers, only to find the music professor, Dr. Reisinger, standing there with a mirror already set up. Surprise! Dr. Reisinger, professional organist and overseer of church music, is also a professional hair stylist! We all got a few laughs out of that! For the next couple hours, Reisinger gave haircuts and consultations. It was a ton of fun to watch and to see what girls looked like before and after. Lamade was one of the people that cut her hair, so that was especially exciting.
In the middle of Lamade's haircut!
Later in the night, about half of our group went to go see "The Sound of Music" at the Volksoper. Sadly, Michael and I didn't get tickets in time, so we were on our own again. Just as we were about to leave the Institute, a group of girls asked us if we wanted to join them for dinner. We decided to go with them so that we could spend time getting to know some other people on the trip. The six of us headed out to the 19th district, and we took a bus up to the highest point of the city. It was beautiful! When we had finished taking pictures, we headed back down to a wine cafe for dinner. I ordered a gold-medal winner Riesling, which was very tasty. We had a great time talking over good food and wine--it was definitely one of the better nights.
And of course...Friday, we drove to Salzburg. I have soooo much to say about Salzburg. It was amazing. I think I'm going to get some sleep now though, and write more about that tomorrow. I will also put my pictures on my computer so that you can see what I'm talking about in this post. Salzburg info coming soon!