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Tova and the Stadt - Things to do in Vienna this June

If you have been in Vienna the past few weeks, I congratulate you for surviving the terrible weather. Austria was plagued by flooding and the damage is almost unbelievable. But now, let’s all take a deep breath and look forward to the amazing weather that is owed to us. Deep breath. There are a lot of things to do in this city (as I mention in most articles) but here are couple of ideas if you are stuck for plans.

Kaisergruft (Imperial crypt): Two weeks ago when it was raining - you remember that day or rather month of torrential downpours, right – a friend and I decided to culture up and do something different. I suggested a visit to the imperial crypt located in the 1st district. I had visited it before, about 9 years ago when I had just moved back to Vienna to be with my new bashful groom. As we walked through the crypt I grabbed my husband’s arm and whispered "Cold spot!" He removed my hand and pointed up to the open window. I think he also wondered if our marriage really really was valid outside of the City of Niagara, Ontario. After 9 years, I decided to go back. The cost is about 5 Euros and for just a few euros more, you can have a guided tour. Take the tour, otherwise you and your friend will spend 10 minutes discussing which coffin you want upon your death or wondering whether the guy in the coffin behind the pillar was disliked and excluded from imperial barbecues or fun family outings. The crypt is quite spectacular and the rows upon rows of ornate coffins is something to see. While morbid, the crypt is truly a part of imperial Vienna and truly reflects the fascination of death during the monarchy. But I wouldn’t really know - I didn’t take the tour. For details, check out their website: www.kaisergruft.at

Gay Pride Parade: This Saturday is the parade! We try and go every year to check out the spectacular costumes and crowds. The event is a lot of fun and people are lovely and happy because you have to be when Lady Gaga songs reverberate against the neo gothic city hall and neo classical parliament. Over the years the event has garnered more attention and that is a wonderful thing for a city that is becoming more and more diverse. Homosexuality in Austria is still hotly debated but there seems to be great leaps and bounds being made in terms of tolerance and acceptance. Even the Austrian president (Fischer) is pro gay marriage and in my humble opinion, that is fantastic! Not only is there a parade, there is also a pride village set up in front of the Hofburg. I will be there on Saturday with my son and husband right after I figure out a family costume. For details of the parade route, please check out this site: http://www.viennapride.at/wordpress/programm

Sam the Sailor Enters the 21st Century: Have kids? This is the event for you! Funded by the city for the Festival Der Bezirke (district festival), this is a mobile play/interactive workshop that is in English. On Wednesday I met with the lovely director/producer/actor/writer Chilo Eribenne. Chilo is originally from London but now calls Vienna home. Being a Jane of all Trades, Chilo was accepted into the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna by Franz Graf. Now she is currently debuting Sam the Sailor Enters the 21st Century around Vienna. The play is in English and encourages children to interact. The next show is today, June 14th, at Matznerpark. For more details regarding the workshop and the upcoming locations and dates, visit facebook.com/EnglishBoxOfTricks. It is free to participate and is a great way for kids to practice English and to participate in a theatrical performance.

Wine Tasting at Wein and Co.: Wein and Co. is a chain of stores that sells, well, mostly wine and is also a bar. It is located throughout the city and the best part; it’s open on Sundays, too! I recently received a membership card and one of the benefits was a one time 2 for 1 special for wine tasting. Of course I signed up; a) I love wine and b) I’m cheap. Last night we went for our Champagne and sparkling wine tasting course and I’m a little tired this morning. I forgot that in Austria you get your money’s worth when attending anything alcohol related. We tried 9 types of champagne/sparkling wine and I wrote down each type we consumed and now that I look at my list in the light of day, my writing towards the end is pretty ineligible. The course had 12 people which was nice and it took place in one of the modern, overheated conference rooms. We were provided with sparkling water and bread and every two people had a bucket to share to pour their wine out into (not to spit in as I so wrongly pointed out - I am ashamed). The course lasted about 2 hours and based on my notes, I apparently learned a lot. I am looking forward to attending another course in the future! The price is 29 euros per person and details can be found here: http://weinco.at/events/weinabc/ And as a quick side note; the word pipifein does not mean „crappy" or „terrible" as I have assumed all these years, but rather, means „amazing" and „high class". Last night I was extremely horrified at how my fellow classmates were describing the wine. Now I feel like I have misunderstood many conversations the past 9 years. Pipifein? Yes, does not sound like a positive thing. Who knew?

Anyway, now that your June is booked, you’re welcome, stay tuned for events in July. Until then, I will be holidaying in Greece and no doubt will be comparing the quality of life and wine quality to Vienna and using the word pipifein in the right context.

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