Thursday, May 01, 2014

May Day - Vienna

Because my work trip happens to span the May Day holiday, there is nobody local for me to work with today. So, after breakfast, I met for an hour or so with a few of my project team members who were also in town. After that, I went out on the streets. May Day, for those that aren't familiar with it, is a popular labor holiday and frequently has union and/or Communist party overtones. So lots of red everywhere, even more so because one of Austria's national colors is red.
Labor parade assembling next to the Opera
And what's a parade without music?
Or the passing of idealism from one generation to the next?
Daddy, I can I be oppressed when I grow up?
Or for that matter, supporting the right to arm bears mice?
Is that a Mauser rifle he's carrying? 
From the Ringstrasse, I cut through the Volksgarten where people were just hanging out. There was also an accordion-player who I couldn't help think was making some sort of Godfather performance art statement.
Just horsing around?
I made my way to the Rathaus where the speeches were being given. Now, in case you were worried, no one presented any overly-impassioned speeches in German...but I couldn't help expecting things to break that way. 
Vienna Rathaus
Communist literature...make up your own joke about why it's tied down.
I had a bratwurst and radler near the Rathaus, enjoying the mild weather and sunlight. After lunch, I made my way back to the hotel by way of the /link/ Spanish Riding school. 
Spanish Riding School dropouts? 
Lots of Russian/slavic language tourist groups were out, I only caught enough of the guide's speeches to determine roughly what language group, but I'm no linguistic expert. Since it was a holiday and I had nothing to do, I took a nap at the hotel in the middle of the afternoon with the windows open.

I woke up to the Opera broadcasting live footage of their performance from outside my window.
I typed up some stuff on the computer while listening to live opera through my open window for a little over an hour. During a break, I went down to the street and picked up a falafel durum from a street vendor (lots of Turkish food vendors here in Vienna), then ate it while watching the remainder of the performance on the screen. Once I finished my dinner, I headed towards the /link/ Stephensdom, stopping along the way to listen to some street musicians.
Seriously, Vienna is alive with the sound of music (fun fact: the Sound of Music movie is known as My Heart, My Song in Austria because, come on, there's some serious competition here). Along my walk, there were several different performers, but I forget the specifics because I was distracted by the gelato that I was munching on. Once I'd walked through the city center and out to Schwedenplatz, I hopped on the U1 back to Prater where /link/blog I was last night to see how much could have changed in a day. 

Turns out, quite a bit. There was an Italian band playing "Hey Mambo" as I walked up to the fairgrounds, and the crowds of drunken smokers were very dense. None of that was there yesterday.


A flume ride, mid-spray.
The "Y" shaped thing is the Black Mamba
The empty go-cart track from yesterday was packed today
I had come over to Prater for the fireworks scheduled for 10pm, but by about 9:15, I decided it just wasn't worth it to me to stay so I went back to the hotel. Overall, a pretty active day doing just about nothing.
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