May 16, 2005

Visual Nirvana

This morning in the shower, I remembered a story I forgot to tell in Florence. Ooops... So, I already talked about the scooters, but the other thing is a lot of people ride bikes. You know, the old three speed kind of bike with fat fenders and balding tires? Plastic handgrips. OK, now take the bike you are thinking of and age it about 15 years in your mind. You can do it. Remember, if you put your hands out, anything is possible... OK, now picture a woman that looks like she just walked off a runway spread in Vogue (or whatever fashion magazine is the in thing with women now) with 4 inch heels no less. Riding down the street! Talk about pedaling with your toes! By the time I remembered I had a camera, she was too far down the street. 4 inch heels. I'm not kidding. So ladies, next time you are all dolled up and have the urge to say, "But look what I'm wearing..." Think again. lol


As I went to climb into bed last night, I searched for the top sheet on the bed. They had come to turn it down for me earlier in the evening, and I expected to have a bottom and top sheet. Imagine my surprise to find the bed has only a bottom sheet and a duvet. Uh, I like the duvet in the morning, but I like to just sleep with a sheet at night... cruel joke played on the American or normal? You be the judge. Despite that, I slept pretty well considering the mattress felt like a board, but maybe stiffer. lol Seriously, I'm just too used to my own bed at home which has it's super soft liner that I sink into. It's also hard to be in the 3rd bed in less than a week. I don't recommend the kind of trip I'm on to anyone. I was exhausted last night and I didn't even really do much yesterday. Part of it is I'm finally getting over the last of my jetlag. Yippee... THe other is all the activity in Venice finally caught up with me. Walking this much has me aching in places I forgot. Yeah, I ride my bike a lot, but apparently, walking and riding are entirely different muscle groups. :-)

Today, I'm going sightseeing in Vienna and heading over to a festival for the 50 year anniversary of the Austria. Now, I'm thinking to myself: the country has been around longer than that. Apparently about 10 years after WWII they reconstituted the country and there is a celebration of some kind. I hear there will be bier. Hmm... Might have to sample some of this beverage... I'll let you know if it's safe for you to try it. lol Right now, I feel like I could eat a horse, I'm hoping there will be some kind of Wurst sausage and perhaps even a pretzel... I know that is a German thing, but I can hope... lol


I've never been in a city more beautiful than Vienna. If you never visit a city outside the US than Vienna, consider yourself blessed! I really have no words to express the amazing beauty of this city. Simply amazing. I won't even count the most amazing sunburn I've had in the last 10 years as part of the package. I'm fried beyond imagination. I wish I had a Pantone color book to compare the color of my face with. Without that, let's just say that red and white aren't just Christmas colors. lol

I have 9 days left in my trip, and I can't even imagine having that long to experience the rest of what is in store. Amazing is no longer a good enough word to cover what I'm experiencing. I was able to see a demonstration today - police vs. anarchists. No violence, but the potential was there. Police in full riot gear, punks in mohawks and green hair. Oh, yes. The potential was there. I couldn't decide which side I was on. lol

I also saw a near riot of European Futball fans. How odd, the most rabid fans on the planet really aren't the fans of a Pittsburg team, but rather (insert name of any Euro Soccer team here). Look, I'm not kidding, they were busting beer bottles, setting off flares, singing English spirit songs and creating human chains. What is an American to do, but sit patiently and wait for the festivities to be over? Afterward, I went to dinner at a tiny Italian place. Only 7 tables in the whole place. No menu, just a waiter giving two options for each course.

Did I mention the castle/royal grounds that I started my day on? Part of the celebration for the new (50 Year old) Austian state. Pretty amazing... See the pix for a more visual update.


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