I am at the Café Central where Trotsky used to play chess, enjoying a melange, which is as closed to a flat white as I can find. Don’t ask for Café Latte, it’s like milk that’s been warmed in a pot that was once used to make coffee. That time being a few hundred years ago.
So, it’s so obvious to say I love Vienna. I am nothing if not a sucker for a pretty face. But this café kind of sux. It’s too elegant. It’s like a hotel lobby. However, I can smoke here on a fancy ashtray. In fact, I’ve yet to go somewhere I can’t smoke, and I’m taking even my smoking habits to new heights.
So I’m absolutely further north than I’ve ever been. The flight into Vienna was fine. Made a few friends on the plane, and got into town at 5:30am. I watched the sunrise from an airport bus, checked into the hostel and proceeded to just fucking walk. Fran, from Melbourne, and I walked down the Mariahlifer, which seems a bit like the posh end of Chapel St, except much longer and more expensive.
We hit the Leopold Museum, and I got to the top of St Stephen’s catherdral. St Stephen’s cathedral is simply mindblowing. It would be so much easier to be a religious zealot around so much pretty. It’s funny, cos the caretakers of the cathedral were almost all grumpy. It reminded me of the photo of the grumpy security guard in front of the Mona Lisa.
We’ve done a lot of sightseeing and went to a café where we were served by a shorter, dumplier version of Harrison Ford. That night I went and saw what I describe as tourist classical entertainment with my dorm mates Jamie and Hilary. It was a mix of Classical music, opera and ballet. It was like a best of. It was a bit too crowd-pleasing in some moments, a bit show-y, but it was fantastic.
I’ve been picking up email addresses left right and centre as everyone has said I would. I’ve met one person from Sydney so far, and avoided the conversation to figure out if we knew anyone in common. In any event, my first night in Europe ended with photos with a bunch of drunken Serbians, and Jamie, Hilary and I dancing up a storm til the wee hours to Christina Aguilera and Justin Timberlake.
Woke this morning to track down this café and checked out the Freud museum. About to say goodbye to Vienna and move onto Paris. I’m trying to keep these updates brief, because I realise now how easy it would be to ramble on for pages and pages. And I’m someone who can do that for any topic anyway.
Everything is good. Probably spent too much money so far. Only lost one thing so far – a lone glove. Still feel like I’m on a temporary holiday. Trying to enjoy every second and soak it all in.
Hope everyone’s well. Write to me please.
11th November 2006
(ps. more photos soon or keep an eye on my flickr site)