Votivkirche was right near the Rathausplatz and it was a great little gothic church. A little like St. Stephen's in appearance, Votivkirche has two towers, both very narrow and symmetrical. But overall its much, much smaller.
|christmas trees for sale|
We then wandered through the Rathaus Market once again...the fourth time, I think...bought some gifts and then hopped on the U-Bahn towards Karlsplatz and Karlskirche. This was one of the churches that Anne talked about when we were in Florence together, but to be honest I didn't retain much of the infomation. There were lots of churches in Vienna to keep track of. So I didn't remember what about Karlskirche she liked but did know she kept talking about going up scaffolding. There was a fee to go in Karlskirche so Anne opted for waiting outside while I went inside to explore.
|you can kinda see the tippy top|
Up in the scaffolding I thought it was really cool how close you got to be to the paintings and looking at all the detail in them. And I was only on the elevator level. Once I started the ascension of the stairs to the top, where only a few people max were recommended to be on, it got even better. The frescoes became life-like and there were so many elements to look at. Women, men, Jesus, babies, clouds...all were soaring around me. I took a ton of pictures, but here are just a sample of the ceiling.
The last task of the day was to meet up with Lauren and get sacher-torte. Both Anne and Lauren had delayed this experience because they knew if they had it early in the semester they'd want it too much later on and that would be bad. It wasn't an overpriced dessert but I can say it wouldn't have been the healthiest of eating choices. But the semester for them was almost over and so sacher-torte it was. The cafe was busy and crowded and disgusting only because were were surrounded by smokers. Blech. The sacher-torte was quite good, its chocolate shell being very dark and rich, but the truffel-torte we also got was much more my style. It was much lighter and tasted like a decidant chocolate mousse. MMMMM. After fillimg up on dessert, Anne and Lauren had class to attend so I went back to the dorm to warm up and dry off. The rain had picked up again by that point so a nice relaxing afternoon and evening was exactly what I needed. I was exhausted.
For dinner we made chicken noodle soup in the dorm kitchen and I chopped the onions, carrots and chicken getting no criticism from Anne!! A great finish to a terrific trip. My trip to the airport the next morning was mostly smooth. The traim from the dorm to the train station wasn't handicapped so I had to lift my small suitcase and Anne's large one I was bringing home onto a crowded tram. I had a lot of trouble and NO ONE helped me out. They just stared. Finally, I guess I was taking too long or looked like I was in over my head because someone finally lent a hand. And when I got off, they all just rushed around me...tram people early in the morning aren't very nice.
|me and my bags|
|three weeks later|
Boarding was an hour before departure, not 30 minutes, and I got a great window seat. The flight to Paris was short, and delayed, so when I got to Paris I prayed my next flight was in the same terminal. it wasn't and not only was it in a different terminal, but I had to take a bus all the way around the airport, go through security again and then run to my gate. I felt like I was the family in Home Alone when they're running to catch their flight. There was no one at the gate when I got there so I thought I was really late, and to top it off they gate people wanted to search my bag. Gah...not good for an anxious person. Turns out the flight wasn't that full hence all the people being on board already. And I ended up sitting for almost a half hour before we even departed the gate. At least I made it.
Six or so hours later I landed safely in Boston. And an hour or so after that I was finally home.
no one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow - Lin Yutang