My blog exploration adventures are presently followed by people in 56 countries. During the past two and a half years, my regular readers know that I like to write about interesting aspects of my life during my travels. Sometimes my topics get a bit personal. Even though I have readers, I remind myself that I write this blog for myself and I try hard to not offend anyone.
In past stories I have reflected on the effects of apricots in “Are You Regular?” and the potency of wines while lamenting in “One Too Many.” In the spirit of the song “Dance to the Music,” I present my story, “Peeing to Sounds of The Blue Danube Waltz.”
As I was growing up in the USA I did not have any real appreciation for classical music. Certainly, I was exposed to classical works in high school but I thought of classical music more as a relic from a bygone era rather than something vibrant and moving for modern life’s enjoyment. That changed as I became immersed in the inescapable music of Vienna.
Vienna is the heart of classical music. It provides life and is everywhere. You just need to be aware of it in this city. Every evening in my neighborhood someone is playing a classical music recording or practicing on their violin or piano. The sounds explode through the apartment buildings. Even in my rental living space there is an extensive selection of CDs should I desire to hear more.
When walking through the numerous city parks there are statues to Mozart, Strauss, Brahms, Schubert, and many more composers, performers, and master conductors. Just as schnitzel, apple strudel, and fine wines are gastronomic delights for Viennese and visitors, classical music provides a relief for one’s soul.
In this context, it just makes sense that the toilet (also known as a “water closet” or “WC”) found at the Opera House entrance to the U bahn at Karlsplatz plays a beautiful recording of Strauss’ The Blue Danube Waltz as one goes about one’s business! I recently read a blog story on the “Secret Vienna” web site about the most interesting toilets in Vienna. My favorite one at the Opera Toilet wasn’t on their list so I want to take a few moments to memorialize it here.
The toilet is easily found near the U bahn entrance at the Opera Passage. On rare quiet days one can stand at the top of the passage steps and hear the waltz music coming from this privately owned toilet.
Recently, my friends, the Sandhu’s, from the USA visited me in Vienna. On thinking about places they must see I thought of the obvious… Schönbrunn and Hofburg Palaces, the Belvedere, the Rathaus, St. Stephen’s Cathedral, and Cafe Central among others. But also on my list was the WC at the Opera House Passage.
As the orchestral arrangement of The Blue Danube Waltz envelopes the underground area at Karlsplatz, one is enticed to check it out. The music is not just outside but also inside the toilets. People stop to listen, take photos, and pay a 70 cents premium to use the facilities. The entrance looks like you have walked into the Opera House. Inside, the toilet is nicely decorated.
As shown in the photos, the urinals are positioned as if standing at a bar. So now you know. If you visit this beautiful city, a stop at the WC at Opera House is a necessity… in several ways!
The slide show below shows more of the interior of the famous Opera Toilet. Click on this link to turn on the music and return here to see the slides. You will get some of the feeling of the atmosphere around this famous Vienna toilet.
My travels continue as I leave Vienna in a few weeks for my next stop in Ljubljana, Slovenia. I will have some terrific blog stories about the city and my excursions to Lake Bled and the Adriatic Sea from there.