Thursday, November 6, 2008

Day 15: a tiny mix-up

Early that morning I went to reception to change keys. Since we were staying at the hostel for another night, we ended up having to change rooms. We moved our luggage from an 8 person to a 4 person room and then headed down for breakfast.

The morning was quite relaxed. We gathered more pamphlets at the tourist information, walked along the Rhine (Vienna's beach), and watched as Vienna’s famous musical clock struck 12… for ten minutes. My mom was on a “musical clock” kick during the entire trip. In every Germanic country we had to search out the city’s famous chiming clock. In the Black Forest it was the cuckoo clock, Bern’s clock only chimed as a mechanical figure hit a bell, Prague (although not Germanic) had a clock that appeared to be a sundial and a picture of the sun would move across the clock as music played. In Vienna however, it was a big production.
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Two minutes worth was more than sufficient for me, but the music and the figures kept on going, and going, and going. Needless to say, by the end of the clock’s daily 10 minute production, I was exhausted… and famished. So, we went back to my already favorite (from 2 days before) bratwurst stand to eat the best brat.After lunch we took the metro over to the Hofburg’s (royal family) summer palace. It was quite stunning, with acres of absolutely beautiful gardens. Local residents can buy annual garden passes, many of which we saw jogging as we strolled the garden’s paths. Not only did we see joggers, but we saw horse drawn carriage rides. My mom wanted to go around the gardens on the carriage, so while she rode I took the opportunity to watch a demonstration to make apple strudel… yum.
Once we were back into town we went to the Sacher Hotel for “herbal tea time” to eat Austria’s famous sacher torte. I thought I would have fallen in love with a famous chocolate cake, but the hint of apricot - which apparently is its signature flavor, just didn’t win over my tongue. Oh well, like the saying goes, you win some and you lose some.
Later that evening we arrived, extremely underdressed, to another palace in the city to watch a Mozart/Strauss concert. The concert was wonderful, we absolutely loved it! All the musicians were having so much fun you couldn’t help but have a great time.
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When we finally arrived back to the hostel, we arrived in our room to find the beds we had chosen occupied. In fact, all four beds in the room were taken and our luggage was no where in sight. We quickly found ourselves at the reception desk, where we were told they had made a mistake, and changed us to a 2 person room. We grabbed our luggage from behind the desk, and free bottles of water and went to our room. At 1:30 in the morning, obviously surprised by hearing me say “hello?” in the darkness, someone opened and quickly shut the door to our room. It may be a wild guess, but I’m betting that the hostel made yet another mix-up. I just wonder where that person ended up sleeping...

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