What Not to Do in Vienna

Someone once said to me, “Life is never boring with Marc.” It’s true. Let me tell you a story. It takes place in the beautiful city of Vienna. If you’ve ever been to Vienna, you would agree that it is absolutely gorgeous. But what I’ll always remember was that time at the opera.

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Attending an opera has been on our bucket list for some time now, so what better way to pop our opera cherries than at one of the top opera addresses in the world! After looking through a ton of shows at different music halls and opera houses, we decided to go with Richard Strauss’s famous Der Rosenkavalier at the Vienna State Opera.

This story starts at the tourism office where we bought our tickets. As first timers, we made sure to ask all the standard questions. Everything seemed reasonable until they said ‘no dress code’.

Hmm, that’s weird, I thought. No dress code? Isn’t the opera a formal and elegant place especially in Vienna? Has modern day Vienna really loosened up that much and adapted to the tourist crowds? Meanwhile, Marc was thinking, Awesome! I’m going in shorts! It’s wayyy too hot for pants.

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As we entered the beautiful opera of Vienna, I looked around and thought, Uh oh…Marc is so underdressed. He also seemed a little worried until we spotted some less formally dressed attendees. I had a glimmer of hope. We got through the ticket checkers no problem…until we heard a cry behind us as we were half way up the stairs – they had made a mistake letting Marc in. Indeed, there is a dress code and it’s strict.

How embarrassing.

As we stood in line waiting for the manager to see if there was anything she could do, all I could think about was how I should’ve listened to my gut and double-checked the information that was given to us.

We were in a pickle. The apartment was too far to change and come back on time. Refunds were not allowed and Marc was prohibited to go in. It didn’t matter that we were given wrong information.

Luckily, after a lot of reasoning and insisting, the manager finally agreed to make an exception. Except then the first Act had already started and we couldn’t go in until intermission. So we were escorted to a special elevator and taken into an area where all the delinquents latecomers got to enjoy the ‘live’ show through a tiny screen…

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Finally, we got to go in. The opera we saw, albeit incomplete, was incredible and worth all that trouble. The costumes, the symphony orchestra, the singing – it’s something I’ll never forget. I don’t think Marc will forget this experience either as he had many leg admirers!

Moral of the story according to me: Always do your own research and trust your instincts.

Moral of the story according to Marc: How many people can say that they have worn Lululemon shorts to the opera? I rock.

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As for the rest of our Vienna trip, it was full of learning and exploration – walking around the museum quarter, visiting the Schönbrunn palace, learning about Vienna’s history, admiring Klimt’s gorgeous and inspiring paintings, discovering really funky buildings – we had a blast. But one of the top reasons why we had so much fun was the company. We made a few local friends, shared funny stories over homemade pierogi and reflected on life over glasses of wine.

Vienna will always have a special place in my heart.

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The beautiful Schönbrunn Palace: former summer residence of the imperial family where Marie Antoinette once lived.

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The Belvedere Museum where inspiring Klimt paints are housed. I was truly inspired.

I loved Gustav Klimt’s paintings at the Belvedere Museum. The famous ‘Kiss’ painting was incredibly stunning from up close.

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The Hundertwasserhaus Vienna

The Hundertwasserhaus: a funky apartment building with more than 200 trees and shrubs on the balconies and roof!

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Thanks for reading et à la prochaine!



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