May 10: The day everything is closed in Vienna

As today is 40 days after Easter, it is the Day of Ascension, where Jesus ascended into Heaven. Everything is closed and everyone is outside enjoying the weather. Luckily, museums weren’t closed.

We wandered around the streets of Vienna (despite all the shops being closed) and went to the Belvedere Palace and the Albertina Museum.

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The Belvedere Palace was the summer palace for Prince Eugene of Savoy, who was a French prince who “transferred” his loyalty on to the Hapsburg Empire. He fought in different wars as the military commander for Maria Theresa, and even “got back” land in Romania, where my ancestors, the Donauschwaben, farmed and lived on. To “my people,” he’s a hero, but I have a feeling that to a girl my age living in Turkey, he is the opposite. His palace was beautiful, and he had over 200,000 books, but only 4 bookshelves at his summer residence, I guess he did all his reading in the winter.

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I didn’t get shushed today, but in the Albertina I got a very steely look in the Keith Haring exhibit. Dealing with mass hysteria, fundamentalism, and the AIDs crisis, it’s amazing how relevant Keith Haring’s work is today. He would be 60 if he were alive today. In the Albertina, we saw art from Monet to Michangelo to Picasso to Chagall to Haring. Everyone who was someone (i.e. a man) was there.

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On to Italy tomorrow, the land of good pasta and tons of churches.

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