Vienna has been warm, apparently unseasonably, with most days reaching 30’C.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I really enjoyed the light operetta, Grafin (Countess) Maritza on Wednesday. I went to both Siegfried and Gotterdammerung (Twilight of the Gods) by Wagner and so fulfilled a dream of seeing all of the Ring Cycle in the Theatre. They are not for everyone and I would not quickly go again, with Siegfried taking 5 hours and Gotterdammerung nearly 5 and a half (each with 2 half hour intervals) but the music is glorious. I was lucky in timing, as each was presented just twice this year.
That was on Thursday and Sunday.
On Friday I went on a round trip to the Wachau-Danube Valley. The train took me to Melk and the huge Benedictine Abbey sitting up above the town. Photo 1 is in the Abbey church, Photo 2 is part of the extensive gardens and Photo 3 is a view from the Abbey over the countryside.
After lunch, I boarded a ship for a 2 hour journey down the Danube through the Wachau Valley. The photo shows the castle at Durnstein above the town. This was the castle where King Richard of England was held captive on his way home from the Crusade. There were a number of castles along the river.
I left the ship in Krems and returned by train to Vienna. On Saturday I went to Schonbrunn castle but just spent my time in the extensive gardens.
That evening I again went to the VolksOper (Light Opera) and saw Carmina Burana, ancient poems set to music to create a cantata by Carl Orff in 1936. This is usually a recital by Symphony and Chorus but this performance was put on by the Vienna City Ballet.
On Monday I went hiking in the Vienna Woods but chose a short hike, probably just 8km but up 300 metres, due to the heat. The views over the city were not very good due to the heat haze. That evening I went to the much shorter but bloodthirsty opera, Salome by Richard Strauss.
Yesterday, I flew to Dubai where the temperature was 40’C. Today I found my way to the Historical museum at the Al Fahidi Fort, not easy when you make a wrong turn in the heat.
However the underground and airconditioned museum told the story of the development of Dubai. Then I wandered in the huge Dubai Mall, apparently the world's largest but only bought a much needed juice and lunch then a book for the plane. Outside I took a look at the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa but did not pay the $50 to go up to the top.
Tomorrow I will make the long flight back to Sydney and then it will back to Dunedin on Monday.
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