Austrians sure know how to throw a ball. I was able to secure a last minute ticket to the IAEA annual Ball which took place last Saturday. It was truly and extravagant and elegant evening, I can say with complete honesty that I have never attended anything quite like it. It took place at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna, which itself is a beautiful venue, but the IAEA event staff did a wonderful job organizing and decorating the event. There was the main ballroom in which the opening and midnight ceremonies were held. The room itself was a work of art, and during the opening ceremony, a group of professional dancers performed a number of beautiful traditional Austrian dances. This was also the location that during the midnight Quadrille I attempted to follow in a traditional Austrian line dance and finally live out my Pride and Prejudice dream. (to say I abysmally failed would be an understatement, but we still had a blast)
And in addition to the room seen above, there were a number of other themed dance rooms (yes, I immediately found the salsa room).
Now I would by no means characterize myself as an avid partier, or even having the party endurance that I had in undergrad (still moderate granny status then too).. but my goodness, the Austrians can party. I left the Ball around 3 am and there was still a sizable crowd dancing the night away.
I think my favorite part of the night was when I realized that this bunch of elegantly dressed men and women, in floor-length gowns and tuxes, were some of the biggest nuclear nerds out there.