Musing with Max

Musing with Max

September 26, 2012

Vienna waltzes

Many many many years ago, I think somewhere in the early '70's, my aunt took a 3 month trip to Europe. Those were the days when you could take a leave of absence from work for no discernible reason and when you boarded a plane you could bring tremendous amounts of luggage and packages and all manner of stuff. I can't remember all the places she visited. There was Italy, France, England, Austria, and Spain; several cities in each. I do remember that her trip started in London and ended with 3 weeks in Spain, 2 of which were in Madrid where she stayed with relatives we hadn't seen for many years. When she returned the living room was full of opened suitcases and boxes of gifts that she had brought back...lots of them. I, who had always loved dolls, lucked out with at least 5 dolls from Spain as well as castanets, "peinetas", and "mantones" for my flamenco classes. However until the day she died if you asked her what place she liked most on her trip, her answer was not what one would expect as the daughter of a Spaniard. Her answer was always, Vienna.

I have not visited every city in the world, not by a long shot, but I have been to quite a few; some considered the most beautiful in the world. Hell, I practically live in New York and it ain't too shabby. But after a 2 1/2 hour train ride from Budapest and as of now I have to agree with my aunt. Vienna is the most beautiful city I have ever seen.

Horse carriages in the square by Stephansdom


the tiles of Stephansdom

more tiles

our corner

carriage through Hofburg

Reflection of Stephansdom on Haas Haus


City Hall

Demel, or what I like to call it heaven

the kitchen at Demel

Frank enjoying his free champagne at Skopik & Lohn

Holy Moly! on the Danube

only dessert left at Holy Moly!...ah poor me. more of Stephansdom.

auf Wiedersehen.

September 24, 2012

Flowers in the (computer) house - September

So we arrived from vacation, after a week and a half away, on the last day of Summer only to find Fall. The garden is a mess, weeds, crazy tomato plants, wilting herbs. The only flowers are those starting to dry out on the pegee hydrangea. I don't want to miss Jane's flowers in the house party so I'll just cheat a little with the flowers I found on my trip.

and technically, they are in the house. I'm sure there will be much beauty to see at everyone else's house.

September 23, 2012

Hot Night(s) in Budapest

Well not really, I'm just quoting Jethro Tull because despite our thorough and relentlessly constant pursuit of the weather channel which promised beautiful days and day temperatures in the perfect mid 70's and nights in the high 50's I stared out the window of the plane as we hovered above the city for our landing and turned over to Frank with a look of absolute horror and said "EGAD, IT'S RAINING!" Well, not really, I don't ever say egad. Anyway, raining it was, a cool and drizzly rain for which I was not prepared and has ruined our perfect record of landing in European cities on perfectly gorgeous magical mornings after long uncomfortable sleepless flights. I stare out the window of our airport transfer van and see the ugly remnants of a city that was under Communist rule for too many years but then we suddenly pass into a whole other place and despite the gray ugly day it shines in it's beauty. We finally arrive at our hotel, The Gerloczy Cafe and Rooms

which is in a quaint and lovely little square in a beautiful part of town and it doesn't disappoint.

from it's spiral staircase to it's stunning stained glass ceiling

and it's warm and welcoming staff, it is perfect. Since the day is so dreary and we are so tired, we do something we never do when we arrive, we take a nap. Two hours later though, wearing layers of clothing for warmth we go exploring.

Eventually we buy ugly hoodies at a second hand store for warmth and shelter and begin to feel a little better. We have two days of rain...but on the third day...Perfection! The sun shines, the birds sing, I look out our window

at the rooftops of Budapest.

It's a good day for a wine festival! So off we go and walk a few blocks to the Danube

and cross the river over a beautiful bridge

to Buda, and climb the steep stone steps to Buda Castle

and to the Budapest Wine Festival.

where they give us this lovely little accessory

and we go a-tasting...

in awe of this incredibly magnificent setting with the most amazing views of Pest

then there's this wonderful regional parade

and this is worth it all.

The weather stays beautiful for the rest of our stay so we can do more exploring

and marvel at the architecture

and take too many pictures of parliament, just because...and enjoy a little cafe life

and chicken paprikash

and goulash

in this beautiful city that lights up at night like a Christmas tree

with it's warm, friendly people who all speak English because nobody, and I mean nobody, can speak their impenetrable language and their crazy drivers,  through those tiny little cobblestone streets, who seem to speed up and gun it when they spy a pedestrian; and their hounds everywhere

which makes not having this guy around

a little easier to bear. So after four days, which is not enough, we say goodbye because there are other places to go. Think we'll be back though, maybe next year's wine fest...