Thursday, April 24, 2014

Europe's Military Officer's Ball

This is a must do if you are stationed in Europe.  Every January Austria puts on a ball for all officer service members from countries that they have partnerships with called the Ball der Offiziere.  It's a great way to see the lovely city of Vienna and get a ticket to one of the 400 balls that occur in this city between New Year's Eve and Mardi Gras.  Not to mention that you get to dance in one of the premier estates, Hofburg Palace.  We enjoyed learning how to waltz (i.e., faking it by spinning in circles) and feeling like royalty for the night under crystal chandeliers.  This city is rich in history and culture and even holds the second best palaces in the world, Shonbrunn Palace.  Similar to the Palace of Versailles.  I had no real expectations for this city when we booked our trip, and by the time we left I had fallen in love with it.  I hope to go back in the summer to see the gorgeous flowers.  

My only real expectation for Vienna...

Looks like fun, right?
Hofburg Palace - Where the ball is held

Rear view of Hofburg Palace

My first dress bought on the German economy at Hochzeitshaus Wiesbaden

Gorgeous ceilings 

The Debutantes 

Some of Austria's powerful people

"And we waltzed, and had a really, really, really good time"

Can you believe these chandeliers?

My prince charming
This city has so much to offer.  A great subway system (make sure to buy the full pass for the weekend), cute cafe's to relax and enjoy gorgeous architecture, museums, palaces upon palaces, and a great opera house.  Our favorite part of the trip, aside from the ball, was going to the Vienna State Opera.  It is gorgeous, and we were able to enjoy it without shelling out a lot of cash.  It is really nice to have your own box to watch the show, but if you're not sure if you like opera, you can do the standing seats and not feel bad about leaving when you feel like you've had enough. To buy these tickets, go to the middle of the building on the Operngasse side and look for a door to enter.  Then head to the right looking for the sign Stehplatze.  You can buy standing-room tickets for 3 Euro 80 mins before until 20 mins after the curtain time.  If you go early you can save your standing spot by tying a scarf around the rail and then head to the bar for a drink.  This was the best experience ever and so worth it!  We also ate at two wonderful restaurants while we were in town - Mini and 1516 Brewing Company.  Mini does a great pairing of wine with your food and 1516 is a reminder of home because it's a microbrewery.  

Schonbrunn Palace
I want to see the gardens in the Summer!

Vienna sausage-not from a can.  Learned the hard way that the shredded white stuff is not cheese.  Mouth full of pure horseradish = Fail!
St. Stephen's Cathedral - Look at that tile roof - gorgeous!

Vienna's taxi service

Yummy beer at 1516

The view from our opera standing-room seats

I'm so happy to report that Vienna has much more to offer than tiny sausages.  Make sure to book your tickets for next year's ball, so you can waltz the night away too!

Here's a video of the music and dancing at the ball.  I wish I looked half as good as these dancers.

1 comment:

  1. WOW, Michelle! The experiences y'all are having!! I am just in awe! First of all, you looked amazing. Secondly, I love the Cinderella shoe picture. That was very clever. If the thought ever crossed my mind to take a cute picture like that, it would have been 10 minutes after I woke up the next morning. Thirdly, gah I feel ya on guessing wrong on foods! I totally would have thought that was cheese. Sadly, I have eaten a few things thinking they were one thing, only to severely regret it later. ;)


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