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Stowing Away I stood between two facing mirrors & almost caught a glimpse of infinity, but my bloody head kept getting in the way

Travel broadens the behind

AUSTRIA | Tuesday, 11 December 2001 | Views [14659] | Comments [4]

Vienna at Christmas

Vienna at Christmas

'We walked in the cold air, freezing breath on the window pane, lying & waiting.... yadda yadda yadda..... Ahhh Vienna'. Oh well, it will make sense to 80's music junkies like me. Yep, I'm in Vienna, Austria.

I'm having a bit of reverse culture shock. Going from 26 degrees in Cairo to sub-zero temperatures, snow and no sun all day. And it's soooo expensive, I could live for weeks in the middle east for what it costs per day here. Suddenly it's Christmas big bigtime, cant escape the carols & decorations & festivities. Crowds of people gather at stalls at night to drink hot punch (alcoholic of course) and large open areas are set aside for night markets full of stalls selling all kinds of xmas goodies. Like at the royal easter show, but xmassy. The crowds are thick & enthusiastic and it smells strongly of chocolate, cinnamon, punch, and fairy floss. In fact it seems like a town full of fashionably dressed ski bunnies at an enormous funfair. The whole town is lit up like one big Christmas tree too.

Did I mention it's snowing? It is quite possible that I may have been walking around with an idiotic grin on my face, kicking away at little snowdrifts and watching the streets and monuments slowly turn white.

I walked through some arch (which may have been part of a palace), and suddenly I'm in this medieval world of beautiful old buildings and parks of leafless trees lightly dusted with fresh snow. Fairy tale stuff.

The food is also rather good, and I'm catching up on all the hot chocolates I've missed for the last few months. The sachaTorte is also verrry good. Along with all the food I've been scoffing since I last left London, I'm sure I've packed on some extra weight to take home. You may laugh (and probably will), but there you have it. The huge amount of fat that turned into muscle in Nepal may be reversing that trend in the land of chocolate & cream. and cake. and beer. and more chocolate.

Vienna may be a tad chilly & wallet hungry, but certainly has it's compensations. When in Bohemia, do as the bohemians do, that's what I say. Well perhaps not consuming absinthe, but hot apfelpunsch & saschertorte are certainly doing the trick for me. Indulging both in a cafe (yet again) accompanied by the soothing sounds of a string quartet, I idly wondered which of Vienna's multitude of master musicians had composed this piece. Strauss perhaps? It seemed so familiar. Hang on, it's... Enter Sandman by Metallica?? Who says traditions can't evolve!

I really like this place, but I sure can't afford to stay here for long! I got a few photo's from Egypt developed, and nearly died when I got the bill (should have asked first!), but they came out like postcards, some really good pics in there. I may even scan some in if you are lucky.

Well, it's cold, it's dark, and it's snowing. I'm off to explore & wander the streets some more...


ps: For 80's music tragics, see Ultravox's Vienna video clip here!


Tags: austria, chocolate, christmas, hot chocolate, snow, snow, travel broadens the behind, travel broadens the mind, ultravox, vienna




Once again it is always great to receive one of your well written "bibles" - I always enjoy your tales over my morning coffee!!

My life is boring in comparison but I am heading off in the next couple of days to sunny Noosa - which I have been told will be a lovely 31 Degrees on Saturday.

The Christmas feeling is in the air here too - everyone is excited about going on holidays in two weeks.

Otherwise keep up the good work and I look forward to further tales. K

  Kate Dec 11, 2001 10:40 AM


I love getting your emails. Also the photos were great...
How big was that donkey you were sitting on... looks like you were going
to swash it.

Keep having fun and take care.

  Wendy Dec 13, 2001 9:45 AM


Happy snaps of the local environs most envy inducing - the best I could possibly offer from this end are dubious silly season partaking in the local environ - and very doubtfully of any envy inducing capability rest assured.

Might try and get a bit cleverer with the image sends and try again Nepal-wide photos to you at a later date - I sent them again but they bounced back saying the file was too big for yahoo! - so will work on packaging them up in some other more appropriate form.

So if the land of sachertorte is proving inhospitable to the wallet where does the lay of the land look like lying for you to whilst indulging in a spot of ye olde carol tunes and auld lang syning ? On a flight to Buenos Aires as its economy seizes up or contending with alitude sickness all in the name of the Picchus perhaps? Are you sure you're not tempted to do a slalom dawdle in the gingerbread land of the Tyrols at all?

Enjoy the dudemeister-ing whether the trail happens to be leading you

  Tyrell Dec 14, 2001 2:14 PM


Great photo ! Where to next ?

  ME :) Oct 25, 2005 6:17 PM

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