Sonntag, April 30, 2006

Listening to someone else playing organs is fun, but sometimes it's nice to take a break and go exploring. I found a little door behind the organ in one of the churches we were at and I climbed to the top. I'm not exactly sure why this tower exists because I didn't find anything at the top. Maybe it's from earlier times when they needed to keep an eye on the town.

Samstag, April 29, 2006

Light at the end of the tunnel, the abridged version. I took this picture in a little old church up in the country north of Linz where we were playing an amazing organ.

Freitag, April 28, 2006

In the last 7 days I have taken 1155 pictures, traveled to several new-to-me towns with friends, played 8 very nice organs, recorded for a competition, played a recital, gone to a concert, eaten more good meals than I can count, laughed until I cried, and otherwise managed to not get bored. But now begins the part where I go through all those pictures and try to post! The OCD in me want to do it in order, but I've already broken that so I guess I'll just go with whatever moves me at the time I post. Here is Schoenbrunn, taken from the hill behind and looking towards Stephansdom in the distance. That hill is steeper and longer than it looks and I had to run up and down in time to meet my friends who were touring the palace. But it was worth it for the pictures. Now I can catch my breath and enjoy the view.
As I mentioned about Salzburg not long ago, I have only been to Vienna in the winter when everything is brown and gray. Now the tourist book says that even the brown and gray colors have a 'distinct charm' so I won't argue, but being at Schoenbrunn in the spring is just amazing. All the tree lined paths in the gardens suddenly sprang to life and I could just imagine wearing long sweeping gowns and strolling along with a friend discussing the latest music to come to Vienna. Here you can see some people also stepping, or shall we say riding?, back in time.

Donnerstag, April 27, 2006

This evening I went with some friends to an organ concert in a very nice town along the border of Austria and Germany. Schaerding sits on the river Inn, which forms the line between the two countries. The town is very charming, full of color and life. This picture was interesting to me because of the many different types of architecture. How many can you count?

Mittwoch, April 26, 2006

While my guests were here we visited Mauthausen, a concentration camp not far from Linz. It was called the Mother Camp of Austria and the prisoners worked in a granite quarry nearby. I don't think it's possible to explain what it's like to be in a death camp, but this link gives a little more information if you are interested.

Dienstag, April 25, 2006

On Saturday afternoon we got a small boat and went out on the lake. It certainly wouldn't win any race, but it was very nice to be out on the water near the mountains just enjoying eachother's company.

Montag, April 24, 2006

I had the pleasure of playing hostess this weekend. Some of my friends who are studying in the Netherlands came over and we spent a couple days going around with my teacher and a friend playing and seeing all sorts of organs. It was lots of fun!

Mittwoch, April 19, 2006

Church on the hill - Mondsee

Dienstag, April 18, 2006

The cozy little town of Mondsee, nestled between the mountains and the lake. I love all the colorful buildings and the relaxed atmosphere.

Montag, April 17, 2006

I have visited Salzburg several times, but somehow it always works out to be during the cold times of the year. However yesterday I finally had a chance to go when the fountains were running and they are just as good as I expected.

Sonntag, April 16, 2006

It was a beautiful day on the lake in Mondsee.
"How do you solve a problem like Maria?" You marry her off! Or at least that's what happened in the movie. And for all you die-hard fans you might recognize this church. Of course it doesn't look quite as good without all the lighting and such, but it was still cool to see the church used in the wedding scene. You can visit it in Mondsee, Austria.

Samstag, April 15, 2006

This evening I went up to Postlingberg with some friends and we looked out on our city at night. Very beautiful! And the weather is warming up so that it is quite pleasant to be out even after the sun sets.
Busy as a bee!

Freitag, April 14, 2006

How do these flowers hide all year until spring and then pop up everywhere?!

Donnerstag, April 13, 2006

I think these are some relative of the lilac and they smelled just lovely. Plus, they are pink so what could be better?!
Yesterday I was walking through a park near the university and saw all these flowers. I just had to go back and take pictures. I think spring is actually here now!

Dienstag, April 11, 2006

At the front of the church are two organ cases dating from the 1600s. The wood work in the church is just exquisite. You can see some detail below.
Looking through a monastery gate.

Montag, April 10, 2006

We stopped on the way back to Linz so I could take a picture of the city from a distance. If you look closely the spire of the new cathedral is just about centered in the picture, just to the right of a white building.
The buildings of the monastery are laid out in a square with a beautiful center courtyard with a big fountain in the middle.

Sonntag, April 09, 2006

Today I had the privilege of joining two friends on a trip to St. Florian, home of the oldest Augustinian monastery in Austria. The occasion was the Palm Sunday mass in which some of our friends were performing.
The organ at the back of the church has become known as the Bruckner Organ, because Anton Bruckner is buried underneath it. It's a very large organ, with 32 foot pipes in the facade, the first in Austria, I believe.
Walking into a church for the first time is always an awe-inspiring moment for me, and this morning was no exception! The ceiling frescos and the wood carvings and the marble altar were amazing to behold.
I couldn't believe how large this monastery was! And so beautiful. Music has been an important part of the Stift since its beginning and there is a beautiful hall where groups such as The Academy of Ancient Music and Ton Koopman and others come to perform in.
The surrounding town is also very nice. We had lunch and walked around and just enjoyed the day. I love the gently rolling hills and the farmland. It was nice to get out of the city for a day. So many flowers are blooming and the smells of spring are in the air. I could live in St. Florian.

Mittwoch, April 05, 2006

I think this ivy picked a very pleasant backdrop to display itself.

Dienstag, April 04, 2006

I've found the home of my dreams! A quaint chalet set in a suburb of a nice Austrian town with a view of the Alps from the deck. Convenient location to all of Europe, perfect size for one or two, or as a vacation home after I move back to the states. Hmmm, wonder if I could just get them to uncondemn it?

Montag, April 03, 2006

While I was visiting the church the bells rang the hour. Even though I've heard bells a lot since moving here, they still send shivers down my spine. I love Sunday mornings!
Another shot of the Alps. It may be warm here, but it looks kind of cold up on top of the mountains.

Sonntag, April 02, 2006

Yesterday I rescued these tulips from a pile that was being thrown away. They looked pretty sad but when I woke up this morning they had perked right up. Spring is here!

Samstag, April 01, 2006

Today the warm sun and gentle breezes were calling my name so I grabbed my camera and headed for the hills. On several occasions I have seen this church on the hill and wanted to visit, but I'm usually running somewhere. Well, today I made the effort and discovered several quiet walking trails as well as a miniature cathedral.
When I reached the top and turned around I was greeted with something that the overcast winter months had kept hidden. The Alps are not that far away! You can see them in this picture beyond the bridges and spires of Linz. It was certainly a hike worth taking.

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