Happy Winds-Day, Pooh

Trip Start May 24, 2011
Trip End Jul 12, 2011

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Flag of Austria  , Vienna,
Friday, July 1, 2011

Now I finally have a chance to catch you up to speed (well, at least about yesterday!),

First off, the weather here is very blustery! It is so windy!!! I thought I was going to get swept away! Luckily, all that fat I gained in Italy kept me grounded. (KIDDING!) Actually, I have no idea if I'm kidding, because I don't have a scale here (let alone in lbs!). Ha.

So yesterday, I visited two cemeteries where many famous composers are buried like Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Schoenberg, etc. In Austria, it's said that a man who cannot afford a luxurious funeral is said to have wasted his life. In other words, they go all out with their burials. Like how pimped out people make their cars in the States- tombstones are definitely the "it" thing here. They are ginormous and elaborate and you're just blown away at how much MONEY that must've cost! One of the cemeteries I visited has more than 2.5 MILLION people buried there! 2.5 MILLION. It's called Zentralfriedhof and it even has a map. How crazy is that? The cemetery is so large that it needs it's own map with "blocks"! I just find that to be so ridiculous!!

After that, I visited Vienna's main church- Stephansdom (St.Stephen's Cathedral). It was very pretty (but I seem to think that about all churches). I just can't help it! I really love visiting churches, especially Catholic ones (like there are any other kinds in Europe!) But to be honest, after seeing the churches in Italy, the others just can't compete. Seriously. You don't get much better than the Duomo in Florence or St. Peter's in the Vatican.

It's also just a really nice... comfort to be in a church. The architecture and design resemble St.Adalbert (my church in Grand Rapids) so much that it makes me feel more at home. It doesn't make me miss home, per say, but rather gives me a connected feel to home. A universal kind of feeling. Hmm... how to explain. What comes to mind is in the film The Music Man when Marian and Harold both sing to the moon even though they're far apart. It's kind of like that. Except for the fact that they're not really singing to the moon, but more to each other. Yeah, that really wasn't a good example. Ha. Anyway, it's basically saying the distance doesn't matter, because the idea is more important. While I'm here in Europe visiting churches, I still feel as close to God as I do at home. It's almost like I put Him on hold, ran to another room, and picked up the phone again to continue the same conversation in just a new location. It's like a universal 1-800 number directly to God's hotline. Quite wonderful. Good thing I don't have to pay long distance!

I leave for Krakow tomorrow and will be on a train ALLLLLL day long. That will give me a chance to update/edit my pictures for you all!

P.S. HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD! I miss you! Eat some cake for me! :)
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Dad on

I love the piece you played. I did not know about the grave stones. It must be neat to be surrounded by such great composers.

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