Tuesday: Spanish Riding School: very neat to see in the real. We watched about an hour of the "morning exercise with music." Hofburg museums, Treasury: Fascinating. The many coronation robes and herald´s tabards are spectacular, as are the remaning crown jewels. For some reason the most recent set of the Austrian crown jewels remain in Germany. Armory: Also facinating. This collection has a few ancient weapons and helmets, but pretty rapidly gets to the armor collection of Maximillian I and other nobility that had jousting as a hobby, with many, many examples of armor for the joust, parade armor, and some actually intended for combat. Contains the orginals of many pieces that I have only seen in drawings or pictures. Dinner at Figlmüeller, a restaurant famous for schintzel. Georgie had the Viener schnitzel, and, as advertised, it is larger than the plate, but very thin. It was tasty and good. I tried "tafelspitz", the boiled beef dinner famous for being the favorite dish of Emperor Franz Joseph, and found it very good indeed.
Evening was the Volksoper, for Straus' "The Gypsy Baron." The plot is pure fluff, so we did not suffer from having neither supertitles nor an English libretto, having looked up the synopsis previously. The production was rather campily over the top in design, but beautifully sung by principals and chorus, and well accompanied by an excellent orchestra. We traveled there and back by the U-Bahn, the "underground", which compares favorably to those of Toronto and London that we have used before.
Wednesday morning:Art History Museum: Spectacular collection! The Antiquites are astonishing: dozens of mummy cases, sarcophagi and Egyptian statuary, far more than in US collections such as the Field museum. So many Greek urns, vases, kraters in pristine condition--. And when you get to the paintings, room upon room with multiple examples of so many masters--Tintoretto, Titian, Ver Meer, Bruegel, Rembrandt, it's a bit croggling.
This evening:Schönbrunn Palace tour, dinner and concert. More to come!