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Vancouver, BC - The internationally renowned Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo is a New York based company of "professional male dancers performing ... ballet and modern dance including classical and original works in faithful rendition of the manners and conceits of those dance styles."

The comic effect arises from seeing masculine bodies performing movements normally danced by sylphe-like dainty ballerinas and  as the program notes state,  exaggerating the "foibles, accidents and underlying incongruities of serious dance."  For me awe and admiration arose from seeing  how masculine strength powering great technique, whether dancing en pointe or jeté-ing across the stage,  adds...

p1130524-w500-h500.jpgp1130281-w500-h500.jpgVienna may be variously termed the City of Music, the City of Dreams or the City of Waltz, but it most definitely merits the title of City of Fabulous Food and coffees.  In a short visit one can only touch the surface of the restaurant, cafe and coffeehouse scene but I certainly got a taste, so to speak, of the overall food scene, and I did not have a single bad dining experience.
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20140223_hor8172-w700-h700.jpgThe IAEA Ball at the Hofburg Palace was a larger and seemingly more formal affair than the Johann Strauss Ball of the previous Saturday. Because of the International nature of the sponsoring committee there was an amazing array of different national dress to be seen, as well as exquisite gowns worn by so many of the guests.The men all looked so elegant and handsome in their dark suits and tuxedoes. This time there were...

p1130582-w600-h600.jpgVienna is known as the city of grand  balls, with more than 450 balls taking place annually,  providing more than 2000 hours of dancing. The Carnival season wnp_9024x-w500-h500.jpgin Vienna is filled with more than 150 large formal balls and hundreds of smaller dances that are held from before New Year till Lent. The 2013/14 ball season opened with...

p1130360-w250-h250.jpgCafe Restaurant Diglas, Wolzell 10

After  morning dance lessons we lunched at the nearby Cafe Restaurant Diglas. I was intrigued by the chandelier which had a variety of coffee cups attached. Very unusual and clever.

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A popular choice of our group was their fixed price menu which consisted of a choice...

strauss2-w600-h600.jpgSituated where the Vienna Ring Boulevard touches the City Park, the Kursalon Wien was built in Italian Renaissance style between 1865 and 1867 and is quite beautiful. The first concert featuring Johann Strauss compositions took place in 1868. The Kursalon has four ballrooms located on two floors and a terrace with views out over the greenery of the City Park. The Strauss, Lehar and Schubert Halls are on the first floor while the Lanner Hall,  upstairs on the second floor, is the in-house concert hall.

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p1130266-w250-h250.jpg  Gustl-Bauer Wirtshaus,  Am Hof Drahtgasse 2

p1130267-w250-h250.jpgAfter classes at the Tanzschule, four of us took a walk  to find a nearby place for lunch. We found a table at the Gustl-Bauer Wirsthaus. In my quest to understand the many terms used here for restaurant, I found that Wirsthaus like Wirstschaft means inn.

Anyway I was interested to see that they offered gravlax - home made pickled salmon served...

p1130740-w220-h220.jpgRestaurant Koenig von Ungarn, im Mozarthaus, Schulerstrasse 10

p1130739-w220-h220_0.jpg For our last evening in Vienna we chose to have supper  just up the road from our hotel, at the Restaurant Koenig von Ungarn. It was located right near the building where Mozart  lived for three years from 1784 to 1787 during which time he wrote Le Nozze di Figaro.

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Loved the coffee. The dessert- my friends ate most of it

As I was going through my  photographs of chocolates, pastries and street food from my Vienna visit, it struck me how I am always more drawn to savory delicacies than sweet. To the bemusement of my friends and family,  I always choose charcuterie over chocolate or appetizers over dessert. Easily distracted from the task at hand, uploading photos to my posts, I wondered how contemporary knowledge about taste and taste preferences has advanced from the basic information I learned in first year physiology eons ago. We were  taught that there were four primary taste senses - sweet, sour, salt and...

p1130255-w250-h250.jpgPlachutta Hietzing, Auhof Str. 1

p1130247-w250-h250.jpgAxel and Sandra, our Viennese host dance teachers for the Waltz Week in Vienna group, arranged for a group dinner at one of the Plachutta restaurants.  Plachutta Hietzing, near the Schonbrun Palace, was the original Plachutta restaurant in Vienna. The Plachutta restaurants are synonymous with boiled beef and this was my first opportunity to try boiled beef or Tafelspitz....

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