Thursday, May 20, 2010

I'm not dead yet

I am still woefully behind on blogging, but I have snagged my sister's laptop while she is out for the day to visit one of her professors (and the prof's new baby) here in Vienna. (My sister is living in Germany to do research for her dissertation just now.) I don't have much time, since all the rest of the adults, and the seven small children, will be up and around any minute. But if the pictures are good and upload, I'll share a quick installment of where we've been so far (everything in Austria is ludicrously photogenic!).

We flew out Friday night and landed Saturday morning at the airport in Vienna; then we drove straight to Salzburg. We ate at an awesome restaurant that night (I had duck, which was amazing. And like 23 Euro. That meal in that restaurant would have been easily $40 anywhere in the US!). The next morning, we went to Mass at St. Peter's cathedral:

Sadly, a lot of the interior shots are too dark. But you can see two pipe organs, at the left and right. The dome is symmetrical - there are two more right behind where I'm standing to take the picture. And then there is a giant one (can you see the organist in this pic? These are not exactly small) at the back of the church in the normal location. Five. Because you can never have too many baroque organs.

This is the back of the church from the outside, and some of the historic city center:

I took the shot as we were going up the lift thing to the old fortress/castle on the hill overlooking the city. (It's about a sixty-degree incline, so you really can't walk.) Here's a snippet of the castle - though it's much bigger than this:

There's an irregularly shaped exterior wall (fortified - cannons and arrow-slits and the like, though it's no longer occupied except by some cafes and museum stuff. It belonged to the Salzburg archbishops, and they went there if under attack. It was initially built in the eleventh century and added to over the years, until it had a lot of nice interior buildings). There were also some artifacts displayed inside - including this chastity belt:

Then we went and visited a town my husband and our friends (the other IF couple!) had lived in during a travel semester in undergrad. We stayed there for the night - so quiet and peaceful. The next morning, we went to the nearest decent-sized mountain. We took some pictures of the scenery:

And maybe a little of the people:

Then we went to Mariazell, which is Austria's principal Marian shrine. I had wanted to go the whole time I lived in Austria in college, but I was never able to get there. The church is even more impressive than I was expecting:

Miracles are associated with the Marian image there (I didn't take this picture - it would not have come out in the available lighting. That image is actually very small and you can't get super-close):

So I asked our Lady to intercede for you all - my prayer buddy, the gals expecting babies, and all the IF bloggers. She knows who you are! The town is small but it's a tourist attraction, so it has beautiful historic streets and lots of fabulous quaint restaurants (with excellent strudel - we made sure). And it's in the Alps - did I mention that? My DH and I have decided we're going to retire there.

Since then we've returned to Vienna and visited St. Stephen's cathedral, the imperial summer palace (Schoenbrunn), several other baroque churches, and wandered about the city. But pictures are being a pain, so I'll have to throw those in another post.

Bis spaeter!


  1. Sounds (and looks) like you're having a wonderful time! Safe travels and thanks for the prayers.

  2. Wow! Great pictures! Thanks for sharing them! Can't wait to see more.

    Thanks also for the prayers! It means so much!

  3. Thanks for asking for our Lady's intercession at that shrine. You're right...she knows who we are. I love the pictures. Sounds like you are having a fab trip! Austria is so picturesque! :)

  4. Were you in Gaming? I studied there for a semester; it is such a fantastic little town with a great restaurant with amazing peach wine and garlic soup (yes, garlic, it's to die for). Ah, you are making me miss Austria! It is absolutely my favorite country in Europe; I don't think any other is as beautiful or has such friendly people. Have fun!

  5. That looks amazing. I have never been to Austria, although when I was in Europe I really wanted to go.

    Okay, that chastity belt really scares me. The spikes on the back are nasty looking. Glad that trend went out of style.

  6. I am jealous! Thanks for sharing the pictures!

  7. The chastity belt, good heavens!! I bet that was painful and accomplished what it was made for. Can you imagine, my goodness!

  8. I am so jealouse! Glad your having a great time! :)

  9. Looks like you're having a wonderful time!!! Thanks for bringing our prayers to our Lady!!!!

  10. Austria is gorgeous!! And, the talk of seven small children in Austria reminds me of the Sound of Music, ha! Enjoy this amazing trip!

  11. Beautiful pictures! I'm so glad you are having a good time.

  12. Gorgeous pictures! Thanks for the prayers!