1.2.11

A Winter's Ball

Many moons ago in a place far far away, an idea was hatched to attend a Winter Ball in Vienna.  Born over a long dinner that went long into the night, even at the time the idea seemed incredible.  Months went past, we moved in different directions and yet, despite everything the idea kept surfacing - initially as a "what if..." and then as a "maybe next winter?.." and then finally "how about January?"  

I will probably get into trouble for saying this, but there is something very charming and old-world about Vienna.  It is a city where, in order to buy gloves, you go to a 'Glove Shop' where they expertly size your hands and offer you a selection of gloves to try from behind the counter.  It is a city where the Danube waltz is played on the radio at midnight on New Years Eve and everyone dances and a city which still has a Ball Season.  Most weekends in January and February you can attend a Ball.  And so we did.
 It was an amazing evening.  We danced long into the night, rather poorly for Viennese standards, but we all had a lot of fun and really I think there is almost no better place to have a Ball than the Hofburg Palace. Dreams of being a Princess in the 1800s were not that hard to conjure up - especially when walking up the entrance stairs.  These pictures really only give you a taste of the almost 13 rooms (4 orchestras and 1 Disco) from the old Imperial Palace that were open for the night. 

All the pictures from the Ball were taken with my little point-and-shoot camera.  I spent a bit of time trying to remove the red eyes although I realise now (thanks Matthias!) that we've all been left in a True-Blood trance-like state.  If anyone knows of a good way to remove red-eye without rendering everyone into Zoombies, I'd love to hear!

19 comments:

elle said...

OHHHHH clare!!!!

Stella said...

Amazing!!!!! What a dream! Sounds like your dancing lessons paid off in the end?!

Jane said...

Oh, Clare! How utterly divine. Thanks ever so much for sharing this with us. An absolute treat. J x

justine said...

these photographs look so timeless, what a wonderful experience and the sheer joy of going to a glove shop and waltzing on new year's eve, it all sounds perfect, another era and a far cry from England! no idea how to get rid of red eye sorry.

onagracenote said...

The palace looks amazing - the architecture is beautiful. It's incredible that there were four orchestras! It looks like it was a wonderful evening and thanks for sharing.

Kristina said...

wow, that looks like a truely amazing experience!! love the pictures of this place, beautiful!!
Viele Gruesse, Kristina

lisa said...

Oh Clare, this must have been amazing. A memory to last a lifetime for sure! Thank you for sharing this magical evening!

ELK said...

what happy photos...and dancing!!

Em {Emerging Em} said...

Ahhh, I'm drooling! Holy cow, I want to go! I'm not sure if I could con Daniel in going one day...hmmm.

Brandi {not your average ordinary} said...

How wonderful! There aren't nearly enough balls here in the US. And does it still count as a ball if one were to insist on period dress, like in My Fair Lady? How lovely that would be.

Jen said...

How fun!! Vienna is one of my favorite spots in Europe, and I clearly need to see it in the winter sometime. Glad you had such a great time.

Corrisande said...

How lovely - I'd murder to be able to attend a Vienna Ball at one point of my life. I love how this tradition is being kept up at least in one place of the world.
The photos really capture the mood, too, awesome :)

Jamie said...

It's like a fairy tale on your blog today. I'm insanely jealous! You all look beautiful (and would have even with red eyes)

Kat Sloma said...

What a fabulous opportunity! I so love your first picture, it really captures the magic of the special evening.

Eva @ Four Leaf Clover said...

Gorgeous! I love your description of Vienna. I've only been there once and for three hours, but I definitely plan on going back. I thought to myself "I could see myself studying/living here" when I visited and it's high up on my must-return-to-asap list! Thank you for sharing.

Anika said...

Oh how dreeeeaamy. What a fabulous thing to do in a lifetime...how fun! It all sounds very romantic.

(For red eye, for photos I want to really treasure I use photoshop and paint/clone out the red.)

jamie-lee said...

Aww it looks like such a beautiful affair, i'm so envious right now!

Kelly said...

what a beautiful evening!

shopgirl said...

This ball sounds fantastic! I read about it over Christmas time while doing research for winter holidays in Europe. I've been to Vienna once and it's really a lovely city. I would love to go again.

Thanks for sharing!