Yesterday, I would say, was pretty much the coldest day in Vienna yet: the sunniest, but the coldest. Such is the way things work though, huh?
My friend Hannah from UPS, who is studying in London this semester is here to visit. She checked out Stephansdom (my favorite part of Vienna right now) and the Kartenerstrasse (the big shopping boulevard) while I was in class and then we headed off to try and get her a tour of the main Synagogue of Vienna. Sadly, they were closed for renovations, so that didn't work out. Then we headed to the Judisches Historisches Museum, which was ALSO closed for renovations! So apparently Judaism is closed in Vienna right now. But we walked all over (in the freezing cold (I'm wearing long-johns today I was so cold yesterday)) and she got to see quite a bit of Vienna.
So I took her to the Albertina (Blau Reiter, Roy Lichtenstein, etc) and she toodled about while I went to my meeting about the ski trip. I've decided that instead of skiing, since I'm not a big fan of skiing, I'm going to learn to snowboard. I have been reassured multiple times that I will spend most of the weekend on my ass: Thanks for the encouragement everyone! I'm just excited to try something new! Kent was pretty excited for me though, he's a surfer/snowboarder I guess, so he told me where I can go get some legitimate gloves and shell pants to wear on this adventure so I don't freeze my bum off.
I met my language buddy this week. He is unbelievably cool. He had me meet him in the most hipster-y little cafe, and it was very Seattle. The most at-home I've felt in a kaffeehaus in Vienna. We talked about my German and our families and music. We're going to go see a Belle and Sebastian concert together in March. You know who is excited? This girl.
The pictures above are of my expedition yesterday to the Belvedere. It is a castle-turned-art-museum. We didn't go into the lower museum which is at the far of the Garden pictured at the top, but only to see the permanent collection in the upper castle. They have Klimt's "The Kiss" and many other Klimt pieces. I never realized how much I really do like his work. They also have works by Egon Schiele, a new favorite. His works are dark, but beautiful.
We're headed to a Heurigan tonight. This is a Viennese wine tavern. My language buddy explained it to me. They only serve small courses, and the wine is Hausgemachte (housemade) so it is really cheap and really delicious. They're all over my neighborhood since we're practically IN the vineyards. The tomorrow we're headed to Prague. We'll get there around 2:30 and we're going to do a bunch of museums and stuff, stay the night, and head back in the evening. Well, I'm heading back and Hannah is flying home from there. We're taking a private bus-line, so it should be a pretty good journey and it only cost me like 30 Euros instead of the 120 they wanted for the train. I'll get back to Vienna around midnight on Sunday, and luckily for me, I don't have class until after 1 o'clock in the afternoon on Mondays. I need to look into the homework situation to see what I need to bring, but the bus has on-board WiFi, so that should at least help a bit.
I will take lots of pictures in Prague and get them up. I'm also going to try and finish an IES post today. I have a lot almost ready but none totally ready, so I'm goign to get my shit together today. I love you all! Have a splendid weekend!