The outside temperature has been in the mid 90’s for a while now and sun lotion is applied as a matter of course before venturing out but venture out you must in Vienna as it’s quite a place. A city rich in architectural delights, Baroque castles, gardens, monuments and the famous Ringstrasse, a circular road which was built to replace the original city walls, surrounding the Inner Stadt district of Vienna. It is well reported that Sigmund Freud took a daily recreational walk around the Ring. If the weather was anything like today, I’m sure Sigmund would have considered shorts.
In a bustling breakfast room next to the lobby of the Ritz Carlton, we anxiously await our Eggs Benedict orders. Judging the vibe of the people sitting near us, there was something going on in the kitchen and it’s a while before they show up and when they do, they’re not up to the hype. Poor, vinegary Hollandaise and no muffin, just soggy toast. OK, It’s Austria. Bircher tomorrow.
The Stadthalle in Vienna is a place we’ve visited often and despite its slightly dusty looking fifties architectural styling, it’s always one of our best shows on any given tour. Maybe it’s the Viennese and their lust for music in general. Vienna is after all, the home of music and is proud to be the city where such prodigies as Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Mahler and Arnold Schoenberg all worked. Musicians born in Vienna include Franz Schubert, Johann Strauss I, Johann Strauss II, Arnold Schönberg, Fritz Kreisler, Alban Berg, Louie Austen, Falco and Joe Zawinul. Walking, or cycling around, this musical legacy is never far from view.
Through moderate city traffic, we wound our way to the venue where first stop was literally, first stop. The cars parked up in the underground backstage area right next to the catering kitchen area and dining tables. Tonight, it soon dawned on us, is ‘Curry Night’. That meant a table dish of Home made onion bhajis and samosas with poppadums, fresh raita and chutney. And a choice of Lamb Jalfresi, Chick Pea curry (the winner), Prawn and coconut, Chicken Tikka and Sag Aloo. Of course we all chose ‘a bit of each’. Georgina with today’s adopted family..
Georgie was telling me that Dave’s mum read my diary the other day and spotted a picture of Ianto and mistook him for her son Dave.
So as to clarify who is who, here is a picture of them both.
Also, this is for Ian’s mum, Jennifer.
The show was as expected but the heat that had threatened to make the night a little uncomfortable was quelled by the efficient air conditioning system. What a crowd too. Absolutely up for every note and applause which never seemed to die. Often when beginning songs, whoever starts it often waits for the right moment in the applause to kick off. I found myself taking an extra beat or two on every song I started as the applause took so long.
After show we were back in the comfort of the Ritz Carlton, itching to get out into some local bar for a drink away from hotel nonsense. Jim, Laurie and I wandered a few blocks and found an Irish bar, opposite which was a brewery bar…1516 Brewing company. It was ok, had draught beer and boasted an air conditioned room upstairs. It was too hot in the main bar and all the tables were taken outside. We ended up there, huddled around a dodgy AC unit going through the beers on offer, all of which were fine. A late night soft pretzel and a Weisswurst and that was about as much as we could consume for one day.