Beautiful Blue Danube Waltz - 2002

This cathedral is certainly less Baroque than the Melk Abbey church and is actually rather dark inside (more so due to overcast skies, I’m sure). Many of its stained glass windows had been destroyed by fires connected with the bombing during 1945. THE JEWISH MUSEUM VIENNA We picked up a couple from the cruise who joined our friends for lunch together in a fast food restaurant before deciding what to do next; a visit to Schonbrunn seemed useless because of the downpours. So we opted for the nearby Jewish Museum which turned out to be a fascinating visit because of a joint project with a New York Museum wherein young Austrians have been interviewing surviving Viennese and other Austrian Jews about their experiences during WWII. Some of the interviews have been filmed and are played continuously in German/English versions in the Library section of the Museum. All are fairly compelling as are the written responses to a lengthy set of questions which are filed in the same room. Before the War, Vienna was home to 250,000 Jews; now there are somewhere between 6000 and 10,000. Following a couple of hours in that Museum, we found our subway station at Stephansplatz and started back to the ship. It was really easy to get back—a good subway system. The very large parish church near the docking area called to us so we looked inside. Much less flamboyant on the inside though it is a Neo-gothic structure on the outside. It is about 100 years old and functions strictly as a local (and apparently very active) congregation. Then we had cakes and peanuts snacks when we reboarded the River Aria until time to get ready for our optional musical adventure in Lichtenstein Castle - a privately owned building leased out for concerts and performances. We had 10 professional players, 5 ladies and 5 gentlemen: piano, flute, clarinet, bass, cello, viola and 4 violins. There were also 2 ballet dancers and 2 opera singers. The leading violinist was quite good in particular but it was difficult to judge the singers’ quality since the little orchestra pretty much drowned them out.

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