As I opened my eyes on for the first time in 2016 I felt surprisingly ok…. Alas, this was not set to continue. As soon as movement occurred the stirrings of a headache began to surface followed by the dreaded stomach churning. At 24, being sick after a fantastic night out is a sad state of affairs but unfortunately something that could not be prevented on this occasion. Our first optimistic alarms were silenced until we got to within 30 minutes of check-out and were forced to emerge and pack as best as could be attempted in this alcohol ridden state. Note to self – never again choose to check out of accommodation on New Years Day, this will always be a terrible decision. The usual rings of ‘I am never drinking again’ rang out as we zipped our bags and tentatively sipped on some Berroca – we were much too far gone for this!
Sensibly we considered our options and after leaving the relative comfort our room provided from lying completely still, we decided that the consumption of food and lots of it was our best chance at survival for the rest of the day. Plans of arriving in Vienna early and exploring had already been abandoned and changed to simply not puking in public. We made our way down to the main square in Bratislava a few minutes from our hotel and opted for 17s Bar mainly because it mentioned pasta on the board outside which equated to carbs. I ordered – rather optimistically I might add – the traditional garlic soup served in a whole bread roll and then a chicken risotto as well as a green tea. To my utter dismay the only part of this great menu that I was able to actually consume was the green tea. After the disastrous eating attempt we decided to take the bus to Vienna where hopefully everything would look better. The bus eventually turned up after being about 25minutes late and I used this as the perfect excuse to sleep for the entire journey – hurray!
On arrival in Vienna Manuela very kindly agreed to pick up our Vienna passes for us as the office was closing shortly while Carolyn and I took the subway to the Ibis Messe – our last accommodation spot of the trip. I made the sad but necessary decision to sleep off the left overs of the night before while Carolyn and Manuela headed out to explore the House of Musik Museum which I am told was very fun and interactive. I even managed a ham and cheese sandwich along with my nap which meant thankfully I was on fine form when Carolyn returned for the grandest part of our trip – the Vienna Staatsoper.
The Vienna Opera is world famous and so we had pre-purchased tickets months in advance of our trip for Die Fledermaus. By this point in the day I was feeling decidedly more human and so after putting on a nice dress (and sensible boots and thermals, it was -5) we took the subway to the main opera station. As we emerged the Staatsoper building loomed over us as grand and beautiful as ever. My breath was truly taken away by the grandeur of it and we stood for a few minutes taking in our surroundings before heading to Bistro 59 just a 5 minute walk from the Opera House for some much needed food. We both opted for the Vienna Pan which was a sort of frying pan type dish with potatoes and herbs with pork and chicken in a creamy mushroom sauce. It was very tasty and inoffensive and along with some fizzy drinks to reload on sugar we ate up before heading across to the stunning opera building.
After collecting our tickets from the ground floor we made our way up to the top section of the house to our cheap (although still fairly pricey seats). They had a cloak room on each floor and so after we had dropped off our multitude of layers we began to explore the stunning building before the bell sounded for us to take our seats. As the lights dimmed and the orchestra started up I was sort of swept away by the power of the music to a delightful (non-hungover) place. After the musical warm-up the main show began and I can honestly say I was kept completely captivated throughout the 3 part production. The singers were brilliant and being the first comedy opera I had seen added a nice light-hearted edge to the performance that I hadn’t experience before. During the 2 intermissions we took the chance to explore the many different floors of the building and wonder at the detail and magnificence of the décor. It was truly a beautiful place. The performance was over in what felt like a flash in comparison to a lot of other operas I have seen and so we headed back to our hotel feeling happy and tired and ready to properly explore what Vienna had to offer the following day.