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Lucky day 7

7th day in Wien and since this number has a strong religious meaning, what a perfect day to go see inside Stephansdom cathedral, the katacomb and the rest.

But first, let's go visit a museum. We decide to go at the Natural history museum, since they are supposed to have specimens of dinosaurs. When we get there, we quickly realize that it is closed on Thursdays. We can go to the building on the other side, which is the Kunsthistorisches Museum (or Museum of Arts).

Once entered, we can appreciate the architecture of the building. Looking above, we can see a large painting on the ceiling.

First exhibition, coins from around the world. We go through rooms, seeing different coins from different time spans. Last room we enter, we come accross a enormous coin, from the Canadian Royal Mint. This pure gold coin, is at the moment the largest coin ever made. Worth over $2M, it weights 100kg. Not very practical if you want to use it and carry it in your pocket though.

Next rooms, paintings from the 15th to 17th century. Not being very informed (or educated?), we quickly look at all the paintings, mostly religious or related to suffering (plague, wars, etc.)

Last rooms, artefacts from Egypt, pyramids, etc. Very interesting indeed. It is amazing looking at all those little hieroglyphs, not just on tablets but everywhere. They even had a mummified crocodile, which is odd at first looking at the shape.

Museum tour is over, getting back outside, it is still raining. We decide to take the subway to go to Stephansdom. Basically, this means taking the U1 after streetcar #2 (sorry, no U2).

Inside the cathedral, the humidity is strong, making it very cold and wet. Except for some plasma TVs on walls, original architecture has been preserved. Not much light inside, but just enough is coming from the outside through the large windows. Having looked around, we wait for the next Katacomb tour to begin.

30 minutes later, the guide arrives. Unfortunately, we won't be able to take pictures downstairs. Too bad, the visit is still worth it.

Going underground, we didn't really know what was there. We then learn that the katacombs contain graves of thousands of people. In each rooms, we can see piles of bones. In certain rooms, piles represent a certain era with the Black Death. Bodies were not burned as it would have destroyed the after-life of the victims. We are even told that at a certain point, the cathedral had to be closed due to the smell. Creepy.

Out of the katacombs, we head back to the hotel, and take a shower... just to be sure we're not infested. No really, we went for dinner instead.

Now time for the Sesame Street Moment: nicht verf├╝gbar. It means not available. We had a hard time understanding what was wrong with the TV at the hotel, every button we used gave that message on the screen. It seems the hotel was doing a remote update of the system and it failed. Back to normal now.

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