Vienna is one city I've dreamed of seeing for many, many years and I can't believe I was actually here today. The weather was cold, gray and drizzly, but that didn't stop us. The day was clearly in two parts for me.
Part 1 was the guided tour provided by Viking, and, as usual, it was great. Since the ship was not docked near the city center, and because the city is so big, we started with a guided bus tour. There are beautiful buildings everywhere and lots of museums (for our return trip) but today we focused on the center of the city where royalty lived and ruled for many years. We also spent some free time in the pedestrian areas near the Cathedral of St. Stephen. The church building was fascinating, but we really loved the market that was being held all around the outside of the church in honor of Pentacost weekend. It's the same area where Christmas market is held during Advent.
Part 2 was the really big one for me: a visit to the palace where the Vienna Boys Choir resides and a concert in their small performance hall, called MUTH (a combination of music and theater). The palace and gardens are nice, but what made the visit so special was that we were invited to a ceremony where a "probationary" choirmaster was presented his first uniform. The boys were cheering, the new choir member was smiling ear to ear, and we got to be part of it all. Priceless. We also got to meet the Choir Conductor, a charming and brilliant young Asian woman who was phenomenal condcutor. Between the beautiful voices of the boys, the beautiful music of the orchestra and the animated conducting, the concert flew by! This was by far the biggest WOW! moment of the trip for me!
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