In order to tell you about today, I have to tell you about yesterday. Grams bought time on the internet service here at the Hilton – then, she couldn’t get on-line. A phone call was made to the main desk and Stephan (that’s pronounced: Schteh-phan) arrived at our door. Stephan is usually in charge of catering services, but he’s also an IT wizard. He worked on it for about 45 minutes and finally solved the problem (the 'problem' was Grams’ firewall). Then, he got us complementary tickets for a free breakfast. Wotta guy! And he likes hamsters too – superb!
So, this morning we bopped down to breakfast. Well, it stopped us in our tracks. Wotta spread! We went back for seconds and thirds. There were eggs and bacon and croissants and salmon and herring and yogurt and cereal and freshly squeezed orange juice (with pulp!). It just went on and on. The coffee was great too. We waddled out.
Finally, we got started late for going into the city. First, we went to the Spanish Riding School. It’s inside and you’re basically watching the horses get their morning exercise to classical music. You’re not supposed to take photos, but Grams left her camera sitting on the ledge and I happened to trip the shutter (my bad - yes, I turned off the flash. sheesh!). Of course afterwards, we had to go to the Spanish Riding School Store. Marian found a new back pack for me and Grams bought it. “Not that you deserve this Gweeds,” she said. I was appropriately humble.
Then, we went to the Albertina Museum because that’s where the Egon Schiele (pronounced: Scheeleh) paintings are supposed to live. But, this the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth and Amadeus has taken over the Albertina. So, we moved on to the Leopold Museum where they have a few Schieles and Klimts. There were some amazing exhibitions there. They had a few rooms of paintings by a fellow named named Alfons Walde (pronounced: Vail-dah). He was a fine painter and he also did those famous Austrian travel posters from the 30s, which were also on display.
We ended up in the gift shop and then went to the café and had soup and rolls. The soup was Thai chicken with lemon grass in a creamy broth (Grams assured me that it was restructured soy protein. yum). By the time we finished there it was 4 PM – and so we headed back to the hotel, but not before stopping at a bakery and loading up on yummy pastries for the morning. They’re sitting on the table now in a big pink box (Mustn’t eat. Mustn’t eat). Big Guy brought his travelling French press so we can have coffee and croissants (and strudel) in our rooms tomorrow AM.
Later, we went back into town for dinner in a wonderful 'gasthouse.' We ate in the cellar. De-lish!
The sky here is so dramatic. It’s like a constantly changing painting. In the Leopold Museum they have huge picture windows in some of the rooms and looking out of them is as fabulous as looking at the paintings. The curators also give context to paintings in the Leopold. They will move paintings around to show you how one artist can influence another or where the artist got his/her inspiration.
These horses and carriages were parked down the street from the Spanish Riding School. As we walked by Grams cracked, “So, that’s where the Lipizzaners retire to!”
Please give what you can to Médecins sans Frontières (Doctors without Borders).
And, of course
(hewa ni hataraki: work for peace)