Austria Day 10 – 03.21.2008
Today was sadly the last day in Austria. I decided to travel by myself to mark the finale. I went to the Belvedere Palace, the Prater, the Kunsthaus, and the Musicverein for a Mozart Concert. It has been a truly fantastic ten days, and time to wake up from this wonderful dream was ticking.
I took the metro to the Belvedere Palace. I realized I became fairly accustomed to the public transportation in Wien. The palace had series of art galleries. I liked the exhibitions in the old palace more because those in the new palace were too modern for me. I especially liked Oppenheimer’s works for they gave me psychological brain stings.
Then I took the tram to the Prater. I intended to visit the Johann Strauss’s place at first, but it was closed. I walked towards an interestingly looking Ferris wheel and discovered that the whole place was a mini theme park. Due to lack of people, the Prater seemed a bit ghostly.
As a roller coaster maniac, I decided to go on a ride in spite of its high cost. The ride wasn’t bad, but it was very awkward. A random guy and I were the only ones on the vehicle (both of us in the front seats). It was weird to scream out loud, but it was more weird to stay silent as well. Both of us exchanged a shy smile at the end of the ride.
Next, I headed to the Kunsthaus. It was the most exotic place ever as if it were trying to destroy rationalism. Although everything seemed to be postmodern, I found some interesting quotes: “If we do not honor our past, we lose our future. If we destroy our roots, we cannot grow. The era of absolute rationalism is ending.” Also, Einstein said, “If the formula is not beautiful, it cannot be right. The straight line is godless.” The exhibitions here seemed like physical objects of purely emotional ideas and thought.
Walking around Wien
I passed by the Hundertwasserhaus to visit the Haydn Haus, but it was closed again. The composers hated me today. That left me about 3 hours of free time until the concert, so I decided to walk around Wien for the last time. I could never get tired of walking in Wien. It was the best part.
I met with my mom and dad at six. After having dinner at the Mozart Cafe, we entered the Musicverein for the concert. Tonight was on the best of Mozart: Symphony #40 g-minor, Don Giovanni, Requiem, Marriage of Figaro, Magic Flute, etc. I knew I wasn’t going to taste a Michelin cuisine in a Mozart Buffet, but in a way, it was a nice way to wrap up our trip in Austria.
The concert itself wasn’t exceptional. The woodwinds were too strong for the strings and the solos in the Requiem sang like pop stars. But, there were some very nice performances as well like the Marriage of Figaro overture and the Magic Flue Der Vogelfanger. It was so surprising to hear such a massive voice from a petit singer in Cosi fan tutte – Come scoglio.
Well, that was it. The last concert in Wien, the last event in Austria. Even the encores were over now. Tremendous thank you to Austria, for inspiring me with not only music but also the love of traveling. Nine concerts had taught me nine different lessons, both on what to do and what not to do when I am performing.
I realized the irony of traveling: Being closer to my genuine self in a more alien environment. Having been detached from everything that surrounded me, I became attached more to myself. Austria was the first place to inspire me that epiphany. Danke Schon. Until later, Austria!
Austria Travels. Fin.