Monday, June 18, 2012

Our Trip, By the Numbers

Clouds over Frankfurt am Main.
Photo credit MAH.

Dear Husband and I have returned from our choir trip to Central Europe, a whirlwind 9-day tour of 4 cities in 3 countries. I keep using the adjective "fabulous" to describe the traveling, the hotels, the sight-seeing, the performances. It took me 2 hours to go through my photographs (not to mention his). Over the next few weeks I will write up and illustrate some remembrances for you. This first installment is "our trip, by the numbers."

Key: B-Budapest, E-Eisenstadt, V-Vienna/Wien, P-Prague/Praha, T-Terezin/Theresienstadt

For the record, we traveled in 2 cars, 4 planes, 3 buses, 3 trams, and 9 subways. There were no boats, rickshaws, or hot-air balloons on this trip, but there was plenty of walking. DH even went for a run three mornings (around St. Margaret Island-B, in the gardens of Schönbrunn Palace-V, and along the Vltava River-P). 

Scheduled concerts: 5 (St. Michael’s Church-B, Haydnsaal-E, St. Charles Church-V, Jutta Unkart-Seifert's apartment-V, St. Nicholas Church-P)
Impromptu “flashmobs”: 4 (St. Stephen’s Cathedral-B, Esterhazy Palace Courtyard-E, St. Vitus Cathedral-P, Terezin Ghetto-T)

Setting off from home. Photo credit NJE.
Dear Husband played 3 organs, 4 keyboards, and just 1 piano, at the apartment of former opera singer and current music-charity organizer Jutta Unkart-Seifert. All in all, the instrument situation was rather disappointing, from a grand piano locked in the wings of the Haydnsaal to a sorry excuse for an electronic organ at the concert venue in Prague. However, the two old pipe organs were fun to play. I even choreographed a liturgical dance for one piece on the concerts in St. Charles and St. Nicholas. (More on the instruments here and on my European dancing debut here.)

Countries visited: 3 (Hungary, Austria, Czech Republic)
Currencies: 3 (forints, Euros, crowns)
Cities: 5 (Budapest, Eisenstadt, Vienna, Prague, Terezin)
Rivers: 4 (Danube/Donau-B & V, Vienna/Wien-V, Vltava/Moldau-P, Eger-T)
Bridges: no idea—I lost count
Churches: 6 (in addition to the 5 already named, also St. Giles-P to hear an organ, soprano, and violin concert)
Palaces: 2 (Esterhazy-E, Schönbrunn-V)
Art museums: 2 (the Belvedere-V, the Albertina-V)
Roman ruins: 2 (at Aquincum in Obuda-B + the fake ones at Schönbrunn-V)
Former prisons/Jewish ghettos: 1 (Terezin-T)

Medieval-themed rest stop
between Vienna and Prague.

Missing group members: 1 (showed up in time for the concert)
ER visits: 1 (after a fall, thankfully negative scans)
Marriage proposals: 1 (at Jutta’s apt)
Surprise visits by German cousins: 2 (not mine, although I did some translating)
Lost passports: 1 (recovered from the seat-back pocket)

Ice cream cones/bars: 5
Glasses of wine: 1
Beers: 0
Pálinka (Hungarian brandy): 0 officially, but my water smelled and tasted of it one night at dinner-B
Slivovitz (Czech plum brandy): ½ shot each-P
Schnitzels: 3
Polkas: 1
Photos taken: 630 between the two of us

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