Sunday, August 24, 2014

Vienna, Day 2


We started our second day in Vienna at the National Library.  First we visited the Papyrus exhibit.
The regular parts of the library are closed to tourists so you don't disturb the students, but of course, Moogie and I snuck in just a bit for a look around.  We didn't take photos, though, as we wanted to pass as ... students.

This is the visitor part we were allowed into:

here are some of the stacks of books:
I couldn't help thinking of JulieMustKnit and wondering how the King County Library System compares.

Then we walked past the stables for the Royal Lipizzaner Stallions.  Really, they were beautiful.
Next we went to the Globe Museum, and by that I mean a museum of globes.  Our family loves maps of all kinds, and this was a very cool museum.
The globe above is of the stars.  The animals are depictions of the constellations.  So many of the globes came in pairs.  One would be of land, and the next of the "heavens."  The oldest globe did not have the Americas, just ocean.  And then some of the next ones had pretty weird drawings of the coastlines.  Africa and the east coast of Asia were also drawn in funny ways in the oldest globes as the map maker had to go on stories of what those coasts looked like.

Our next stop was at the History Museum.  Ha ha ha we thought we were going to the Natural History Museum and were eagerly anticipating seeing fossils, bones and lots of stuffed animals.  Instead, we saw some amazing automatons.  There was this Diana and a Centaur, and the centaur shot an arrow, and the other cool one was a ship that had a band play instruments, then it shot off cannons.  We didn't actually watch the automatons go, they had videos of them in motion, but just looking at the machines was really neat.
They also had a beautiful Vermeer and some paintings by Bruegel, including Children's Games which is one of my favorites.

Next we went through the crypt of the Kaisers.  When we got to the ticket booth, the man inside came out and shook our hands.  We thought he was just going to explain the rules to us, but he then said something about how happy he was to have us there, and there would be no charge for such a beautiful girl.  We were a bit freaked out, and when we went down the stairs, I kept thinking that we would somehow be trapped down there...
with all of the coffins, but we got out safely.  I admit that we kind of snuck past the ticket booth very quickly on the way out.

After lunch, we went to the palace and saw the silver and china, wow, then an exhibit on Sisi, the Empress Elizabeth, who lived in the 1850's ish.  The clothes were beautiful, she was a bit of a fashion plate for the era.  There was one knit shirt!  but no photos allowed of the fabrics, of course, for fear of fading them.

The last museum we hit today was the Modern Art Museum, the MUMOK.  It is not very large, and has only a small amount of permanent art, but it was very fun, and the special exhibits were suitably modern and weird.
We had coffees in the plaza by the MUMOK and people watched for a bit then went to dinner at this hole in the wall place that had amazing carrot/ginger soup and homemade ravioli.

One more day here tomorrow.  We hope to see the summer palace and this really interesting apartment building in the city.  O, forgot to say that we bought some chocolates and treated ourselves as we walked through the city.  YUM!

shaping the planet with Austrian chocolate

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