Resting my tired feet and taking advantage of the "free" Internet access at Le Meridian. Two days down, 5 days left. Even heavy snow can't detract from the beauty of Vienna. Thank you to one and all who gave of their time to help us. Had lunch at Cafe Weimar yesterday. It was excellent, and we were thrilled to find that the entire "upper section" is nonsmoking. Today we lunched at Plachutta where the Tafelspitz was not only delicious, but a charming set of rituals and table service. Heard Zauberflöte at VO and were disappointed. We heard this in Munich two years ago, and were expecting the same level of set design and memorable portrayals. (Shhsh. It may be operetta to you, but to me it is still opera.) We like the Sarastro voice and agree with Roley about the acting, Sadly first night jitters can't explain away such a ho-hum performance. Oh well. It was still fun. Dress code info for anyone wondering. I was one of only three women in the audience in a gown. There were more torn blue jeans than suits for the men. Really one of my pet peeves, since it obviously requires a significant effort to look that grungy. Not to mention how much blue jeans weigh vs. the severe weight impositions on luggage nowadays. Even if it is the "folks" opera it still deserves a certain respect in terms of dress, but that's just my middle-aged morals I guess.
If you are coming soon, bring boots. As a Californian, I hesitated to buy some just for this trip. However; it appears that most places don't bother to shovel. Which means during the day you are slogging through heavy slush and at night icy ruts.
Our bad German has sustained us primarily due to the gracious nature of the Viennese. So don't be intimidated by language barriers.
We trekked to the top of Stephansdom today (343 steps up and then down). Not really worth it since it is covered by scaffolding and views are tainted. Plus you don't get to go outside as you do for example at St. Peter's in London. Save your breath, buy a postcard.
Finally. You know Starbucks is a cult for many Americans. Well, that is Kinder Coffee compared to Vienna. The choices for caffeine are almost as limitless as those for desserts. Amazing, amazing, amazing. Purposely redundant to make the point. The quality of both food and drink here is without peer in our travel experiences.