Today is my last full day in Vienna for this trip so I thought I'd make
the most of it. With no effort spared I made sure I was up and out of
the flat by 3pm. Vienna is a culturally rich city so Fran and I decided
to make our way to a restaurant who are known for their English breakfasts.
This entailed a 10 minute walk past the Cathedral and "religious
wares" shops. Austria is mainly a Catholic country so seeing Monks
and Clergy men is not unusual.
I was half expecting to see these Monks leap on to the motorbikes
nearby and ride off into the sunset.
As we walked to the restaurant we came across a shop that sold religious
artifact. Above is the sublime and below.....
An Artist unassumingly sketches the Cathedral Spire,
(judging by the aspect ratio of the Canvas).
The horse and cart taxi rank for that romantic tour of the city,
the occasional waft of horse manure when sitting outside cafes helps one
to appreciate car pollution.
There is a sense of a bygone era in Vienna, the architecture
though much of it was destroyed during the war was rebuilt in its original
style. Unlike many European cities which attempted to build a new world
which generally resulted in a soulless social nightmare. Even though some
of the facades here are not original one doesn't notice, or want to notice.
This is my first time in a Germanic country so possibly if this type of
architecture is all one sees then maybe it does get tiresome, however
most people I spoke to who lived here (about 3 in all) said that they
felt the city was a beautiful backdrop to a civilised way of life ( ve
don't mention zee voor). Although as with most cities Vienna has its share
of problems it is a place where people feel safe walking out late at night
(that's about 8pm to me and you).
Here a woman walks around in National Costume, one of many I saw
today as this is an activity which is particularly enjoyed on a Sunday.
For the Viennese there is a sense of heritage and pride
in their city, and while to some the atmosphere of tradition may feel
stifling to many it's a refuge to others. The restaurant we ended up in
had a very nostalgic quality about it and obviously played on that to
bring in the tourists. I'm a sucker for all that pretense and merrily
took photo after photo of the place.
Here's a few of them
Even the coat stand looked like a Crucifix
I wasn't actually posing ..... honest ....... In fact I was debating if
Fran and I could run fast
enough and long enough to get away without paying the bill. I thought
given I can't walk far that it wasn't a good idea but then I noticed the
man pictured below and could see the bike stand just down the road (pictured
below), and was just about to use my Nokia phone to arrange delivery of
my get away vehicle when Fran caught me on camera.
So do you ever get thoughts like that? Right, so it's just me then?
I have a cunning plan Fran!
We paid the bill then caught a tram that continually circles the city
centre, which having done it twice yesterday
I was a bit of an expert on by now. I only realised i'd done it twice
when I satarted to get a continual feeling of deja-vu.
Left and above Tram No. 1 (clockwise ring of city centre) Right Fran on
No not a Disney theme park (or so I was told) but the Rathause
(In English "City Hall" but Rat House is actually more appropriate)
Outside was a circus. Even more fitting,
A place where people sit in a ring while others clown around and do balancing
Anyway we got off the Tram here.
As we walked in front of City Hall I noticed some Skateboarders trying
out techniques along the steps to the front doors. As we got closer I
saw what looked like a security man start to tell them off in quite a
firm manner. The Skateboarders, who looked about 16 years old, picked
up their boards and walked off.
The "Security" men approached us laughing, and it soon became
apparent that apart from a tee-shirt that had the word "security"
written on it, these men were actually down and outs pretending to be
security guards. A logo can get you a long way.
Once I was in London with a car full of friends when we saw someone across
the road we knew.
I hooted my horn and shouted after them but they didn't notice. I U turned
my car to the other side of the road where upon they walked into an alley
way. Another man however walked up to us and asked if he could help us,
I looked him in the eye and said "It's OK sir, we're Police officers
and we were just trying to apprehend someone" He looked at us all
and said "I'm very sorry officers" to which I said "don't
worry sir" and drove off.
The Knight who says "Nee"
More nostalgic scenery
After all this walking it was time to take in the city fumes over a cup
of tea. Below is a photo of Fran telling the waiter what tip she's going
to give him. In Vienna when one asks for the bill the waiter/waitress
tells you the amount owed to which one responds with what amount you will
pay, which is supposed to be the price they ask for plus the tip, which
tends to be between 7 and 10%.
No, Francesca hasn't got an eye disorder, isn't turning in to the devil,
neither is she
crying over the bill - I was though-, however this is the effect you get
if you use a slow
shutter speed, tell your subject not to move, and then keeping their head
still they move their eyes.
So we hopped onto the tram, and made our way back to Fran's place where
I got ready to return home tomorrow. On the way we came across the advert
below, which seems to suggest Taiwan's Government's advertising bureau
could do with a session at a Western advertising consultancy.
"HELLO! I'M IN AN ADVERT!"