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Impressions of Vienna...
(Click here for a photo album)

On October 24, 2000, Heather and I set off for a long-awaited, and carefully planned holiday.  We began by visiting my sister, Janice, and her husband, Peter McRae, in Vienna.  From there we went to England.

The following was written while we were staying in Vienna...

October 30, 2000
  • the daily newspaper in a heavy plastic bag on a lamp post, with a coin box beside it for payment... no lock.  Honour system.

  • same with the street cars... no conductor to take your ticket.  Honour system.

  • an 18th Century palace seemingly everywhere you turn... and a church.

  • apartments continually lived in for the last three hundred years.

  • more gold-painted plaster decorations than there are street lamps.

  • shop keepers who hand you individual tomatoes, eggs, mushrooms, and any vegetable you ask for, and who would be angry if you touched their bins of produce yourself.

  • two strong men on stage – a tenor and a baritone – who whip out their swords and lunge at each other, only to stand side by side singing an exquisite duet for the next five minutes.  Later one of them stabs himself, then sings mightily for another five minutes before expiring and ending the opera.
    ... all of this to a packed house, where the acoustics are so fine that you can hear a pin drop on stage when you are in the fourth of eight gold-painted balconies.

  • the car – resembling a Model “T” Ford – in which Archduke Ferdinand was shot.  There is still a bullet hole in it.  As I stand looking at it, I am acutely conscious that this assassination started World War I.  What convulsions the century went through as a result!
    Archduke Ferdinand was in Sarajevo when he was shot.  His killer was a Serbian.  But his home palace was here in Vienna... I am in a city drenched with history...

Click here to see some photos from our trip to Vienna & England

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