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aimeebynight

tales of travel, inspiration and adventure

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culture

Forging a Dynasty

It’s our final day here in Vienna and we are heading slightly out of the city to visit Schönbrunn Palace. Referred to as ‘The Summer Palace’, it’s where the Habsburg’s spent the warmer six months of the year when they were not holding court at The Hofburg.

After a hearty breakfast, we take a cab past the industrial and more run-down outskirts, to what would once have been considered countryside and where it would have taken about three days to reach by horse and carriage. It takes us only 20 minutes by car, and as we round our final turn, suddenly there it is – lit up in all it’s glory by the mid-morning sun.
Continue reading “Forging a Dynasty”

Walking in a Wiener Wonderland

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”

Oh, Vienna

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”

Last night a Reacher saved my life.

I love Jack Reacher. Fact. When the world is a sad, bad, scary place, I feel reassured just knowing that he can come along and kick some ass for me.

Solid, dependable, and analytical to a flaw; there’s still light at the end of the tunnel as long as Jack Reacher walks this earth. Jack Reacher might just be my spirit animal. His preference for solitude, uneasiness around staying in one place too long, and almost phobic response to commitment are things I completely identify with. It may not be everyone’s ideal, but to me, Jack Reacher’s alienation represents the ultimate freedom.  Continue reading “Last night a Reacher saved my life.”

Down and Out in Genoa

Today we bid farewell to Alba. As we rise, early doors and pack up the car, I am overcome with reluctance to leave our beautiful little piece of paradise here in Piedmont. But alas, we have places to go and things to do, and so we say our goodbyes, heading off to our intended destination, and the final stop on this Tour Italia, Genoa. Continue reading “Down and Out in Genoa”

Wheel of fortune

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”

The end has no end

Today I’m leaving America. A quick breakfast on The Strip, and then it’s time for this chapter to sadly come to close. Continue reading “The end has no end”

The Great Bixby

I have a feeling I should not have drunk the entire bottle of wine last night when my alarm goes off at 7:30am. Yuk. I would go back to sleep, but I have an early morning appointment with a castle. Continue reading “The Great Bixby”

Hollywood Forever

Today I’m exploring the famous sights of Hollywood. The sun is out and I have my oversized sunglasses at the ready, so it’s time to play glamorous tourist. Continue reading “Hollywood Forever”

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