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A Viennese Whirl

It’s a beautiful, crisp cloudless morning and we opt for omelettes at breakfast time in a vain attempt to soak up some of last night’s alcohol, but everyone is still feeling pretty delicate as we head out into the early-afternoon sun.

We amble along just behind the town hall to a quiet little row of buildings where the Rueff Dance School is located. We head up a  stone spiral staircase and are welcomed into a lovely little studio with a colourfully decorated waiting room. There’s a waggy-tailed dog who comes to greet us and collect some belly rubs, her affectionate nuzzles helping a little with the hangovers.

There’s no-one else here save us, for our activity today is private Viennese Waltz lessons.  Continue reading “A Viennese Whirl”

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”

This must be the place.

When I woke up that Tuesday morning, it was, to all intents and purposes, an ordinary day. Except of course, It wasn’t. Continue reading “This must be the place.”

Black Beauty

Today it’s time to head out to wine country. Luckily for us, Alba is not only home to amazing food, but also happens to be located in the Piedmont region, whose hilly area, the Langhe, is a major wine production province. Yesterday we dipped our toe in the water with Barolo, which left me slightly underwhelmed, and so I am pinning all of my hopes on today to be completely wowed by what Italy has to offer when it comes to wine. Continue reading “Black Beauty”

The Michelin man

Today we are up early to collect our car and take a drive South-West of Milan, to a tiny little place called Alba. Continue reading “The Michelin man”

The Golden Age

So it’s not quite 5pm here in Spain and I’m somehow several vino tintos down and have joined an impromptu singing session, despite my companions being several decades my senior, and me unable to converse in their shared tongue.

Let’s rewind a little and see how I ended up in this-really rather glorious-situation. Continue reading “The Golden Age”

Got to be starting something…

When people at work asked me what I was up to at the weekend I told them I was going to an event for small business start-ups. They looked at me quizzically and asked ‘erm, why?’, but the real question should have been ‘why not??’.  Many of you may have made New Year’s resolutions, that a mere three weeks in you are barely sticking to (I decided to indulge in dry-white-wine January, I’m doing great by the way!) so this is the perfect opportunity to propose a resolution that might stick, to do something different, and make this year special. Continue reading “Got to be starting something…”

A familia affair…

It’s our final day here in Barcelona and we have saved the best ’til last; architecturally speaking that is. Today we are heading to The Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família, Gaudí’s as-yet still unfinished magnum opus, and living legacy. Continue reading “A familia affair…”

Once upon a time…

I stir sleepily from hazy dreams and my barely conscious brain immediately computes that I need coffee. And some form of carbohydrates. Pronto.

We head out into the mid-morning, the sky a sea of white; a lukewarm tinge to the day.

It’s not so busy yet, and we meander steadily into the slipstream of fellow humans ambling lazily half-speed into Saturday. Continue reading “Once upon a time…”

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