We finally made it to a ball, the final ball of the season! Elmayer Kränzchen Ball was at the Wiener Hofburg Palace (Yeah, the big famous one in the center of the city!) last night from 6pm to midnight. Apparently most Viennese balls end around 3am or 4am, but because yesterday was Fat Tuesday, they started lent today at Midnight and have to get serious, or something.I borrowed a dress from one of Jake's host-sisters. She had several to choose from but I really liked the one I picked because it was very simple and she actually made it herself! I felt a little under-dressed, actually, because most people were wearing prom dress-type dresses but I didn't really care. I did have to buy some shoes to match the dress... which I felt pretty guilty about but I actually really like them and they were a good price. Anyway, more group pictures to come!
There were four dancing halls - the main hall, a waltz-only hall, a contemporary music hall (i.e. hits from the 80s and 90s, haha) and a club in the basement. It was pretty neat to be able to take your pick and/or find the dance floor you liked the best. There were also numerous bars and several places to get food. Everything was REALLY expensive and you didn't get very much but I went ahead and bought one small glass of wine for €5.50 which, I suppose is pretty standard in the U.S.A. but in Vienna, that is very expensive!! I held out on food until the end of the night when I went to my favorite street-food stand at Karlsplatz where they have the BEST Käsekrainer (cheese-filled sausage inside a big roll with ketchup)!! Only €2.50 and it fills me right up.Tomorrow is the beginning of our big Italian trip! So of course I just got back from stock-piling on snacks and goodies for the train. It will be just under 8 hours with one change in Udine, right after crossing the border into Italy. I'll definitely be bringing my laptop with the latest episodes of HOUSE and HEROES! We received a rough itinerary of the weekend from Frauke but it basically has us doing some site-seeing and meeting at coffee houses. We have an afternoon to ourselves and I think a few other "free-times." I'm REALLY looking forward to seeing how much Italian I've forgotten since my short trip to Como in 2004. Haha, maybe I still know enough to impress some of my classmates! :pI'll try to bring you regular updates throughout the weekend. Gute Morgen everyone! :)