The time had come that we finally had to return to Vienna. We continued playing the role of the tourist, taking advantage of the sites and spectacular buildings. First we followed Mozart through the city, taking a walking tour around the old part of town, viewing the buildings he lived in, where he met his wife and halls where he played. While many of the buildings were drastically changed from Mozart’s time, it was a great opportunity for us to tour the city and see many of the different buildings.
We decided to take a tour of the Hofburg Castle, the home of Franz Joseph and Sisi, his wife, the rulers of the Austro-Hungarian empire. A portion of the castle is still used as the official residence of the President of Austria, though there is, of course, a rather large portion of it open to tourists. Once again, upon entry, we were handed the language players so that we could tour through the castle. There was just one problem with the language tapes – they told you about EVERYTHING in the room in MINUTE detail.
We started listening to the tape in the kitchen area. There they talked about the cooking pots, the silverware, the wine glasses, the dishes, the dishes, the dishes, the dishes. Some of the sets were for hundreds and they had rooms of them. Then we moved into the home itself. In the first room, documenting everything in the room, the tape talked about the pineapple designed red silk wallpaper, the ceramic heaters in the corner, complete with gold leaf designs, the spectacular pictures painted on the ceilings, most of Alexander the Great and then the various pieces of furniture in the room. It was quite fascinating in the first room, interesting in the second room, remarkably dull by the 8th room. In fact, I discovered, as I was listening to the tape, that I had listened to well over half of it – and I was in the wrong room! The wallpaper was decidedly red, but the tape talked about the blue-green wallpaper in the room! I decided that perhaps it was time that I moved through the rest of the place a bit quicker. To be fair, it really was gorgeous stuff but, enough is enough.