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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”

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”

Drops of Jupiter

Today is our first (and only) full day here in Milan, and so we rise early to make the most of the time we have. Continue reading “Drops of Jupiter”

The importance of being Aubergine.

The other day I had a craving for the humble aubergine. In a ‘first world problems’ scenario my local supermarket was bereft, so I called and asked my father to grab me a couple since we were due to meet up after work anyhow. Continue reading “The importance of being Aubergine.”

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 blooming good night

The first few weeks back at work after the Christmas break have given me the January blues. To rally everyone back into the festive spirit however, Manchester has decided to offer 50% off the bill at a lot of it’s restaurants for the entire month. Obviously it’s a cunning ploy to keep us all eating, drinking, spending, and generally pretending that there’s thing in life to look forward to aside from the freezing rain and dark gloomy nights. Continue reading “A blooming good night”

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