Settled in, relaxed and enjoying this magnificent city
01.04.2014 - 14.04.2014 20 °C
Wow, so there you go. So far the blog is doing a bit better than my paper journal (in that it has two entries more than none), but my plans to update almost daily have not yet come to fruition.
To be fair, it took over a week for us to settle in... sure Dan and I could have made the hop to a time zone 9 hours ahead in just a day or two, Zadie, without the ability to consciously override her internal clock, took a good 8 days. She was happy and fun most of the time, but her brightest hours were between 5 pm and 5 am, which meant that one or both of us was up with her, and then she'd sleep the day away. It made sight seeing, even visiting with our friends, a bit of a challenge.
So what else is noteworthy from our first 13 days?
Our flat is splendid. It is perfectly located, just a block away from the Rathaus, the Austrian Parliament, and two blocks from the Hofburg palace and it's surrounding imperial structures.
The inside is bright, airy and spacious. Baroque crown molding surrounds the 14 ft ceiling in our living and bedrooms, and the floors are oak parquet. It is sparsely decorated, but there are four or five period pieces of furniture that fill the space and make it look grand. We have a kind sized bed, made up of two single beds... on about the fourth night Dan discovered with excitement that his side of the bed is electric.
Here are some pics - the Rathaus, and the inside of our flat:
Teresa, a very good friend of mine from Ottawa who now lives here in Vienna, met us at the main station. Shortly after we arrived home, her husband Daniel showed up pulling a trolley loaded with dinner, and food to stock our fridge and cupboards. How thoughtful!
Dan and I were excited to learn that the first weekend we were here, Vienna Air King, a freestyle mountain bike festival, was taking place in front of the Rathaus. It was impressive - they imported sand and built giant dirt jumps for the tricks, and had the competitors launch off a ramp that came straight out of the middle of the city hall (Rathaus). There were many tents with strange variations on the theme of a bike, home made jobs, all that one could try out, bikes for sale, a used bike market, information on cycling in Austria, as well as an ebike fair! Here's a link to the video, as well as some photos. : Vienna Air Bike
The second week must have flown by because I don't remember any particulars. Zadie and I went on daily walks, I just love the Volksgarten and Burggarten which are only minutes from our house. The lilacs are in bloom, as are the pansies and magnolia trees, so the air is fragrant and the views are colourful.
The second weekend we were here there was once again an event at the Rathaus - this time Steiermark, a festival celebrating and showcasing the fine wines, sausages, cheeses and music from Steier, a region in central Austria. The weather was perfect, low 20's, and the atmosphere laid back and happy. The best part was how more than half of the people were dressed - in traditional Trachte clothing! Suede vests over gingham shirts with lederhosen and calf high socks for men, and printed dresses with a tight bust thrusting vest and an apron for ladies. They look so smart! The neatest part was they weren't dressed up to dress up, they were wearing what was appropriate for the occasion. Zadie loved the "wumpa" bands, we met people from Austria, Chile, and England. And ate the best bratwurst and saurkraut of our lives.
On Saturday we visited the Schonnbrunn palace, an expansive yellow palace that was the summer residence for the imperial family. We didn't go inside this time, having toured the imperial quarters on our last visit to Vienna. This time we enjoyed the Easter market, and perused the wonderful array of hand painted eggs and wood carvings for sale, and enjoyed beer and sausage in the Schonnbrunn cafe.
Ah! And Zadie, who of late has been reaching for anything on our plates, and showing a very keen interest in what we put in our mouths, has had her first foods. Here is a picture of her, sitting in her new lobster highchair, enjoying her first foods. Avocado! To be honest, we have let her gum and suck on things before now, like the finger of organic chicken she had last week at our friends' house. But this is the first time she's sat at the table and ate at the same time as us. She seemed intrigued, though wasn't overly ecstatic about the avocado. We have since tried out pear. It was much more of a hit.