Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Sepia Saturday 208 - Christmas Tourists

Merry Christmas to all my fellow Sepians. In Vienna every downtown street is an extravaganza of lights. Here below is my husband enjoying it all*. We were walking back to our rented apartment after hearing a Christmas concert at the Imperial Hall in Beethovenplatz. 

The Vienna Royal Orchestra we heard is a drastically slimmed down version of the original. Three violins, one viola, one flautist, one clarinet, one cello, one bass and a piano. The expected Mozart and Strauss pieces were performed with humor and enthusiasm. The first violinist looked uncannily like Mr. Bean. His eyebrow antics were amusing to watch. A few duets were sung by a soprano and tenor - just to make the program extra touristy Christmasy, they threw in a little ballet. Oh well, we weren't expecting much more than we got. Only the final Silent Night, a sing-along **(insert an eye rolling "Oh No") was really gruesome. Shifting uneasily in their chairs, the Japanese, Chinese and Italians sort of groaned along producing a discordant hum which we were all glad finally ended. After that, you can't wait to get out of there and so, one guesses, it's a well thought out tactic. 

The cooler weather and Austrian uber-exuberance for the season were just the diversion we were longing for. Enough however is enough and we're looking forward to getting back to our avocados and shedding the heavy outerwear.

Happy New Year!

* Blogging on the Ipad is very limiting....getting pictures inserted correctly is a struggle (for me).

**Is there a "curmudgeon" icon in the smiley face library?


  1. The ipad is an awful tool for blogging. My buddy Lena struggles every time she goes to Asia. There are a couple apps like Blogsy that supposedly make it easier...

  2. I'm envious as Wien in Winter is a magical place. I'm sorry that the music has become too commercialized, I think that was even true in Strauss and Mozart's time too. Perhaps you can find a traditional wine cellar with real Viennese music. Best wishes for a joyful holiday.

  3. I just had a couple from Vienna visit my shop. I showed them your pics and got a running commentary. You should have seen their eyes light up when they saw the schnitzel.

  4. Oh international singalong - what a concept. Still an adventure at Christmas -- sounds good to me. Happy New Year!

  5. Many long years ago I used to shop in San Francisco at Christmastime. I loved the lights & all the people, but got away from all that when I married my husband & moved off into the forest & mountains, so your picture of the brightly lit well-peopled Beethovenplatz brought back some poignant memories. I think quietly singing "Silent Night" at the end of a Christmas concert or service, is okay. But a better idea would be to send the audience or congregation out into the streets singing a rousing: "Hark, The Herald Angels Sing". But that's just me. Nice post. And Happy New Year!

  6. I too struggled with the iPad and so gave up and waited until I returned yesterday to visit my fellow Sepians. I love Vienna although I have not visited since I was a teenager (and that was in the summer). I can think of nothing worse than a singalong of that nature. I’m glad you survived anyway Helen and send my best wishes for a happy 2014.