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Vienna – Fourth of July

Today, my mom and I spent the day in Vienna. It was a good, but tiring day.

Mom woke up with some sort of infection in her ear/lymph node area. When we asked for the nearest English speaking doctor’s office or clinic, we were informed that doctors in Vienna make house calls… or in this case, hotel calls. The doctor came to the hotel room, examined her, prescribed antibiotics, and asked for payment.

Everything was fine until he asked for payment. It hadn’t even dawned on me that we wouldn’t be able to pay with a credit card for the doctor visit, and we didn’t have quite enough cash in Euros. A bit desperate, I asked: “you wouldn’t happen to accept payment in US currency, would you?” He said “Sure,” then quoted the exchange rate. We happily paid the remainder in US currency and settled the tab.

At this point in the day, however, we were completely broke. No euros, and a ridiculously small amount of American dollars. Finding a bank machine in another country is always an adventure, which is why I try not to wait until I am completely out of cash in a foreign country (which is quite different than how I am at home in the US.) Eventually, we found one… but we were sent on a few wild goose chases by well-meaning, but clueless volk.

As for tourist-y stuff, the main part of the day was spent at the Belevedere museum, which was a former palace. The Belvedere is the current showing location of The Kiss by Gustav Klimt. Of course, that is a beautiful painting, but the painting that surprised me most was a painting of a Chef by Monet. I didn’t even know that he did portrait painting.

We also went to the Wien Museum, which is not the fine art museum (we had both been to that one on previous trips)… it is instead a museum about the history of Vienna. It was an unusual museum, quite different than all the other museums that have paintings by all the same, great artists. This museum of Vienna had artifacts from local Roman history, lots of interesting stuff from the middle ages, a famous portrait painting of Queen Maria Theresa of Austria, as well as some of Gustav Klimt’s early paintings.

Lastly, we did a good amount of walking around the Opera house, and I took a lot of photos today.

Here’s the link to the Vienna gallery.

The day ended oddly. Back at the hotel, I heard fireworks… on the fourth of July. Now this would make sense if I were in the USA, but I am not. Still, I heard the rhythmic booms of a fireworks display in the distance. I don’t know the cause for celebration and I didn’t see the colors, but I wonder if they were red, white, and blue.

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