It’s a couple of degrees colder this morning and we’re all slightly shivery as we arrive at The Albertina to begin our walking tour. Our guide today is a lovely gentleman named Wolfgang (yes, like Mozart) and he begins by taking us up onto the roof of the gallery so we can look out across the city of Wien – what the Viennese call Vienna in their native German tongue. He points out the famous Vienna Opera House, which was built around 150 years ago and was the first major structure to be built on the now-busy Vienna Ringstraße, which also plays home to the Civic Hall and Parliament building. This boulevard was where the old city walls used to stand before being torn down by Emperor Franz Josef, Vienna’s longest reigning Emperor, and part of the Habsburg Dynasty that ruled over Austria for over 600 years. Continue reading “Walking in a Wiener Wonderland”
Today we are up before it’s light, only slightly marred by the effects of last night’s wine consumption, to head to the airport and jet off to Vienna.
Austria’s capital is our chosen destination for celebrating the baby bro’s 30th birthday, and as none of us have even been before, we are all pretty excited (despite the hangovers).
It’s a short two hour flight and we take off as dawn is breaking and land mid-morning – the whole day still ahead of us. The airport is in the industrial outskirts of the city and so we hop a cab to our hotel which is central.
Once we leave the smoky chimneys behind we are greeted by strange trees whose leaves grow in little blobs, reminding me of a child’s painting, and apartment blocks in varying shades of cream and yellow, their windows framed by ornate stucco trims. keeping us company on our ride is the great Danube river, not so blue today, but rather a murky green. Continue reading “Oh, Vienna”
I adore fairy stories. The Brothers Grimm, Hans Christian Andersen, even Disney. They’ve all been a staple part of my reading diet circa ‘a long, long time ago’. Hence how I find myself here this evening, at a concert about a fairy tale. When my friend invited me to join her for this Hallé orchestra event, she knew I’d say ‘yes!’ straight away given our current mutual obsession with ‘Once Upon a Time’ a TV show featuring all your favourite characters as they battle evil, cross realms, and fire off copious amounts of magic spells. Continue reading “Wheel of fortune”