Monday, January 02, 2006

Vienna Waits for You as Billy Joel and the Vienna Tourist Board say.

Firstly in knitting news, why not call in to see my Glasgow Knitting Meetup buddy Maddie's
first ever completed knitting project ?
Do you remember a couple of weeks ago I told you I had taught someone to knit? Well it was Maddie and she decided to frog the Chunky Print scarf she was working on and to make a poncho for her wee niece instead.

Okay, tonight I want to tell you about the highlights of our trip to Vienna. Not our evening out hearing the music of Strauss and Mozart in the Kursalon, right next to our hotel, lovely as that was.

The highlights were two events at Vienna's imposing cathedral, Stephansdom . So imposing that there is no way we could have got a full photo of the entire thing, hence the link. Plus, it had a bit of scaffolding and advertising tarpaulin when we were there, isn't that always the way?
Anyway, we arrived quite late on Christmas Eve which is apparently when the main celebrations take place in that part of the world, so we just had time for a quick Wonderwoman change before heading out to try and find the cathedral for Midnight Mass. It wasn't that hard to find as we just looked out for the big jaggy thing in the sky! We found it in plenty of time for the Carol Service and Mass in what was a very international, very packed out St. Stephen's. We had to stand but we managed to shuffle our way to a screen which was relaying the view of the altar to all the parts of the church which were behind pillars and the like. Was a lovely service and before you knew it I was singing along with my German carols; it was a lovely inclusive atmosphere.

On Christmas Day we had a quiet day in the hotel (the Marriot on the Ringstrasse, Parkring section, tram stopped right outside) and had a lovely buffet Christmas lunch in the dining room. Now, I am not a very adventurous eater, but I'm sure I broadened my horizons a bit that day. Better off not knowing half the things I tried that day! I mainly chose things I thought I recognised, but appearances can be deceptive! There was a great jazz band playing cabaret as we had our meal. Bought their CD afterwards, aah memories.

Another highlight was Boxing Day, or as Good Wenceslaus would call it, the feast of Stephen. I only know a handful of Saint's Days, but I did know that one and reckoned there would be something special on at the cathedral for the patronal feast. Was I ever right? How about a Mass with the Cardinal concelebrating with about a dozen priests and a full orchestra and choir providing the music, which included the Hallelujah Chorus. Sweet music for not a penny -welcome to Vienna!

That'll do for today, except to leave you with a picture of Santa Cruz sunbathing.


Tracy said...

Sounds idyllic. I hope Santa Cruz had some hot soup after that sunbathing, I think a hot bath may have been in order too to warm those exposed bits ;)

Heather said...

It does sound wonderful Kathleen - deeply, deeply jealous :0)!

Mhairi said...

Wow ! - sounds amazing Kathleen , I would love to have been there.
Instead I listened to Handels Messiah on Classic FM, close, but not really!

Ayatollah Mugsy said...

Are you aware that Vienna is requiring dog caretakers to buy liability insurance? I find this anti-dog action highly offensive. It has led me and my ministry to boycott Austria. I hope that you will join us in this civil-rights initiative.