April 24th, 2018

me: wrong side of the mirror

Day 114/365: Vienna: Day 4: Dancing horses and photography

In the morning, we walked over to the Hofburg palace, which houses the Spanische Hofreitschule, or Spanish Riding School, where the Lippizaner stallions perform. Granny wanted to watch the morning exercises, which are much cheaper to view than the full performances, although you cannot book seats.

We were amongst the first in the queue and so we ended up getting very fine seats on the lower balcony. I was impressed that Keiki and Humuhumu maintained interest in the exercises for a full hour. Each set of horses practised only for half an hour, to avoid straining them. A little film was shown about the birth and development of the horses as they took their turns around the sandy floor. Keiki was fascinated by that, particularly the way the horses changed colour. Humuhumu got out her drawing pad and pens from her Rainbow Dash rucksack and did some drawings, which I later realised were based on the architectural flourishes inside the building.

If you’re wondering why there are no photos, it’s because all photography and filming within the building is forbidden.

The grandparents wanted to stay and watch another round of exercises, so I took the children to the cafe to wait for them.

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After lunch and a rest, the children and I went out again to take a long tram ride over to the Kunst Haus Wien, one of Hundertwasser’s buildings, and a fine gallery. I have seen a couple of outstanding exhibitions there, one of H.R. Giger and the other of street photography pioneer Saul Leiter. The exhibition at the moment is the work of Finnish photographer Elina Brotherus.

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We took the tram home again, satisfied with the day’s adventures.

Once the bloke had returned from the conference, we ventured out into the night in search of a quiet drink.

The grounds of the Hofburg were exceptionally attractive by night, and also oddly deserted.

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