Hey, today was our first in Vienna. We had tickets for the last Spanish Riding School show of the season (the Lipizzaners). We got there at about 9:30 for a 11:00 performance. We wanted to make sure everything was in order (Margot and Mom were really into this). Since we had an hour and a half of spare time we decided to go to the Lipizzaner museum. It was one of the best laid out museums I have ever seen. I wasn’t expecting much but I found myself quite interested, and almost absorbed, in the history of the big white beasts. 11:00 rolled around and we entered the horse ring. You could have mistaken it for a huge ball room if not for the dirt in the bottom. We waited for about 10 minutes and then the famous white horses came in. The first group of riders we saw were the young guns. These horses were so young that they had not yet turned the trademark white and were gray. The young horses had a few scares but after that the old horses took over and the performance went like clockwork. One of the last sections was the “above the ground movements”. This is the section where the horses pull out all their tricks. For the first trick the horses hop on their back legs, almost standing with the riders holding on for dear life. For the next stunt they jump into the air, and at the height of their jump they buck. It is quite a sight and very exciting. The last section was the quadrille. This was my favorite part. There were eight horses, riding in perfect symmetry around the ring. Each movement of one horse on one half of the ring was balanced by the other horse at the other half with exacting precision. After they were done we went into the church next door to hear a snippet of the Vienna boy’s choir. It was quite amazing, and made more dramatic with vast volumes of earthquake likepercussion. After having our bones rattled by the ultrasonic harmonies of the choir we hurried back to our hotel to catch the World Cup. We thought the Austrians might be rooting for their neighbors, the Germans, but they were flat out for Brazil. When both goals were scored for Brazil we heard a defined cheer from the cafe across the street. When the game was done we went to the Belvedere. Here we saw a lot of oil on canvas and not much (in my opinion) art. The only thing that I really liked were the Klimt paintings. They were really cool and vibrant. We walked back to the hotel through the gardens. It was a beautiful day and I just took in the sights and sounds of Vienna.