I couldn’t spare the precious time to write anything before we left the US. All of our time was spent with our family and friends and our beloved dogs saying our goodbyes before we left on our newest adventure. Lola, our moody and strangely perceptive Basset Hound, knew immediately that bad things were on the horizon when she saw our suitcases come out. Riegl, our little guy, picked up on her anger and proceeded to follow us around every moment he could, trying in vain to convince us to stay.
If there is anyone I felt bad about leaving behind, it’s these two. With our family and friends, they understood that this is a huge deal for E’s career as an academic. Lola & Riegl don’t know that & don’t give a damn either. All they know is we abandonded them & all we can do is try through Facetime to convince them that we will return one day with delicious treats & belly rubs to make up for our absence.
E & I landed in Vienna on Friday afternoon exhausted after our trans-Atlantic flight & quick jaunt through Heathrow trying to make sure we did not miss our connection. After getting to our apartment in Landstrasse (district 3), we crashed for a long nap before going out for dinner at Landstein, celebrating with beer, beef carpaccio, veal, & filet before succumbing to jet lag again.
morning afternoon, we finally drug ourselves out of bed to catch the bus to the Ringstrasse, the center of Vienna where we ate at Café Prückel. A 100 year old establishment, I was entranced by the beautiful light fixtures & classic Viennese café culture. People posted up reading the daily Zeitung & slowly sipping their coffee, in no hurry to get back into the dreary weather outside (which to a former Chicagoan, was quite beautiful).
My goulash was fantastic although my pride was bruised when a man corrected my pronunciation when I asked him for the sugar. This was quickly forgotten when I watched a man with his young son count to 10 on their fingers while enjoying cake & coffee. My easily damaged pride was quickly healed when I realized I was understanding their elementary conversation.
The rest of the day was spent wandering around the Inner Stadt:
Der Wiener Staatsoper (Vienna State Opera)
The Hofburg – the Hapsburgs’ main residence
The Nationalbibliothek where E goes to work every day, NBD…
The day ended with drinks & dinner with E’s fellow Fulbrighters. Wine, beer, & tacos were the order of the evening – tacos being rare treats here in the land of veal & potatoes. More to come tomorrow as E gives us his take on his third Viennese experience. Prost!