Day 5: More Vienna

We woke up Wednesday to another scorcher of a day. We packed our frozen water bottles into back-packs, but by 11:00am we were refilling them at a public water fountain.  

Our plan was to go to Prater, a theme park in Vienna, before the day got too hot, but when we arrived there around 10:30am we realized most of the rides and restaurants didn’t open until noon.  So we decided to go to a museum first, and then come back to the park.  

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Eli with the remains of breakfast’s tasty doughnut around his lips.

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In London the underground trains are always hot, but in Vienna they were a cool and refreshing break from the heat outside.

The first museum we went to was The Mozart Haus, which was one of many of residences Mozart occupied in Vienna. (He was a restless fellow and moved quite regularly.)  It was interesting and there were audio guides which kept the kids mostly entertained, except Mim, who has since rebelled against the audio guide. 

On our way back to Prater we ate lunch in a subway cafe, we had baguette sandwiches and schnitzel and things of that sort.  It wasn’t particularly remarkable, but it was quick, cheap and out of the heat. 

At Prater admission is free, so we chose a few rides and then of course I had to go on the 117 meter (384 feet) swings! There was really nothing scary about it, but my kids were all terrified on my behalf. 

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I was wearing flip-flops so I had to sit on them.

We went on one ride together as a family, hoping to get wet, but we were disappointed, and it really scared Miriam, which made her really angry with Richard and me for awhile.  

On our way to the next museum we stopped at a candy-making shop and watched a demo of how they made ribbon candy.  I remember hating ribbon candy as a kid, my mom would put it in our Christmas advent and no one ever wanted it.  But it looked so appetizing after watching how it was made.  And sure enough, it was delicious.  The kids opted for lollies though. 

The last museum we went to was the Haus der Musik, which had some great exhibits about Viennese musicians, a lot of interactive exhibits for kids, but also some exhibits that didn’t interest me at all.  
I think the highlight for all of us was this set-up they had where you could direct a virtual symphony, that would actually follow your tempo, and you had to keep it somewhat consistent and appropriate or the musicians would throw up their arms in frustration and laugh at you.  It was hilarious.  Eli did it best, which didn’t really surprise us. 
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Piano keys on the staircase…

Mim and I had tickets to a marionette show that evening back at Schonbrunn Palace, so we split up from the boys and they went to dinner and headed back to the flat.  Mim and I didn’t have time for dinner so we grabbed a snack at the theatre cafe and then went into the show. 

The show was The Magic Flute, by Mozart, and it was all in German.  But before hand I had read over the story with Mim several times so she would have a general idea of what was happening.  She was mesmerized, and so was I.  She sat so still, she didn’t even suck her thumb, completely enchanted with the life-like puppets.  She kept saying to me how they looked “so real”, and “how do they do that?”  It was really amazing.  It was one of my favorite things about our entire holiday.  The theatre was quite small, probably less than 50 people, and after the show they took us back stage to show how they maneuver the marionettes.  During the musical, the puppets look so big, but afterward when we saw them up close they seemed so much smaller.   It was delightful. My only regret was that I didn’t bring Eli too, I think he would have really loved it.  (Good lesson for me in not gender-stereotyping my children’s activities.)  

After the show we took the train to the station near our flat, ate ice cream for a really late dinner, and then went home to bed.  

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Mim outside the theatre at Schonbrunn Palace.

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