The drive from Budapest to Vienna was rather smooth and fairly short, perhaps 2 hours. We found Camping Wien (Vienna) and set up shop in spot directly across from the facilities. Again the internet was slow and sketchy, but it was available on Frederick's computer. Just enough to look at email, but not enough to upload pictures. What do I miss about home? FIOS!
We woke up early and took a bus to the subway station. I had one goal for Vienna, to seek the agreed on location of Mozart's grave. Contrary to popular opinion Mozart wasn't dumped in a pauper's grave, he was buried with others as was the custom of the day. He died at just 35 years old from “military fever”. What that is, no one is really sure. He was working on a requiem mass when he died. It ha been said that he feared working on it as he felt he might be writing it for his own death. I had the joy of watching the entire requiem mass performed at the Meyerson Symphony Hall in Dallas last year. You truly feel like you are hearing the voice of God when it is performed. What a way to honor a departed beloved than to have this requiem mass sung in their honor. About 20 years after Mozart's death, his widow could not remember exactly where he was buried. Mozart had become even more famous. I assume they decided he needed his own stone. The current marked location is a guess, but it can't be too far off as it isn't a huge cemetery. Many years later the memorial was moved to the Central cemetery to be with the actual graves of Bach, Beethoven, etc. I wanted to be at the actual site. The current site is marked with a headstone that was put together with broken pieces from other sites. It must not be visited very often as the directions to get to it are sketchy at best. We knew where the cemetery was located on a map, but getting there via subway and walking was tricky. We ended up asking the attendant the subway station, but she gave us the wrong stop. It was soooooo hot when we exited the station. In fact it has been hot since we left Frankfurt. 90 degrees plus. The path to the site was up hill and surrounded with trees, all of he older headstones, from the 1800’s were quite grown over. You can imagine the carriage carrying the coffin making its way up the path. Then out of nowhere a clearing appears to the right and there is Mozart’s grave. Step 1 of the journey is complete.
We make our way out of the cemetery and head for the city center to visit the apartment that Mozart lived in when he was in Vienna. Step 2 These are the apartments portrayed in Amadeus. Again, to be standing in the room where The Magic Flute was composed was quite the thrill for me.
We spend about an hour here and then headed back to the main square. We had intended to enter St. Stephen's cathedral, however we found that Frederick was being chatted up by one of the many concert hucksters in the square. When you go to Vienna, you really do want to hear live classical music. The ticket salesperson took credit cards and was offering us 2 free tickets for our party of 5 to see a Mozart and Stauss live concert. So we decided it was a good deal and headed over to the venue. Well...it was exactly has described, however it was all much smaller. It was a quartet, including piano, with one singer and 2 ballet dancers. The room was a small salon and quite crowded and hot. The people in front of us were from Montreal and were quite upset as they had paid full price, for what we all thought was a theater. A small vacation indulgence. The performers were quite good and we were able to say we heard Mozart in Vienna. The leader of the group kept continuing to take bows….it’s was quite funny. Each time the audience clapped, he brought the group back for an encore. I think they were clapping more because the concert was over, as it was quite warm in the room. This brought our first day in Vienna to an end. More tomorrow.