Sunday, November 27, 2011

Home Again

It's always good to be home again.  Vienna was lovely, even better than I'd imagined, but, still, home is where the heart is.  Speaking of hearts, my taxi driver in Vienna has a heart of gold.  He discovered my wallet in his car and delivered it back to the hotel.  It is now in the process of being returned to me.  When I landed yesterday, there was an email from the driver's son, as well as a facebook message, letting me know they had found the wallet and returned it.  It's heartwarming to know there are such good people out there.

Many thanks to my cab driver and to his son, EvTim Ivanov, who contacted me.  They are good people.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Vienna - Day Seven

The week has flown by, and I'm in the middle of packing my bags to head home.  My flight leaves early tomorrow morning, and I fly through London/Heathrow again.  Hoping everything goes smoothly as I stupidly dropped my wallet in a taxi late today.  It contained all of my money, credit cards, driver's license, business cards, and some jewelry that I'd purchased earlier.  Luckily, my passport was in my hotel room.

We spent today walking around the city.  It was very cold and drizzling.  The Christmas lights are beautiful.  Here are a few photographs from today.  The first was taken at a very cool shop.  Unfortunately, the owner's business card was in my lost wallet, so I do not remember the name of the store.
 Here is George, the shop owner.  He was very nice, and very creative!
 Trixie the pig usually travels with me.  Here she is, sitting in her favorite spot at the ATM machine!  Unfortunately, it was the last place my debit card was used...
 This little boy was enjoying some of the treats at one of the many Christmas markets.
 A happy dog park!
This is beautiful hand-enameled jewelry made by an artist in Budapest.  His wife was selling it at my favorite Christmas market.  I bought a gorgeous pair of their earrings yesterday.  Today, we went back, and I bought a necklace and two more pairs of earrings.  Unfortunately, they were in my wallet...

 This booth had products made from beeswax and honey for sale.

Kids were making candles from beeswax at a market this afternoon.

 For my cat-loving friends, this clock's for you!
 Trixie fell for an Austrian pig!
 This man had a little bichon frisee who had been out "running in the mud in the forest!"
 A beautiful porcelain coffee set in a shop window.
 The Christmas lights downtown.
 These horses had ear warmers on!
 More lights!

At Cafe Central, where we had a good lunch, an even better dessert, and met a very nice woman who lives in Barcelona, but is originally from Seattle!

 This is Cafe Central's gingerbread house!  Quite a big one!

Thanks for joining me on this trip.  It's been grand!  I've met many friendly and kind people, and I look forward to visiting again.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Vienna- Day Six

This morning was devoted to art...first the Kunst Haus Wein, which is the Hundertwasser Museum.  Hundertwasser was an Austrian artist who designed like no other.  He traveled extensively, and this museum contains a nice cross-section of his work.

Additionally, the Museum hosts a traveling traveling exhibition, and the current one is an exhibit of 214 of the photographs of Henri Cartier-Bresson, one of my favorite photographers. I walked from photograph to photograph, with goose-bumps on my arms.  I cannot even begin to explain how I felt when viewing them. It was, by far, the most stunning display I've ever seen, and the best part of my trip.
The Hundertwasser Village is located just blocks away, so we explored it for a bit.  Amazing!

From there, we admired some of the local architecture.

 This is taken in front of a magic shop!
By midday, we were ready to return to the Ringstrassen, which is the main part of the city.  We took the Ubon back, and walked out into the plaza of Saint Stephan's cathedral.  It was gorgeous.
We found two more Christmas markets, and collected some more Gluwein mugs before taking a taxi back to our hotel.  We attended a classical music performance at 8pm, followed by a late dinner of Thai food.  It is now almost 2 am, and I am falling asleep at the keyboard.  More later, as we tackle our last full day in Vienna tomorrow!

The Quilters of Vienna

Last night, Nancy and I were honored with an invitation to join a meeting of local quilters.  Our friend, Elisabeth, participates in a quilting group, and asked us if we would like to attend this meeting.  What an opportunity!  Despite the fact that we do not speak or understand German, many of these women are fluent in English.  They also translated for others. Even though I can barely sew on a button, I have always been interested in quilting, and own many quilts that were made by family members.  Nancy actually is a quilter, and was very inspired by these women.

As the women gathered for their meeting, introductions were made.  We were then given a brief history of quilting in Austria.  It has become popular here within the last twenty years.  It does not have the deep roots of quilting in America, but we were amazed at the talent, skill, and artistry of these quilters.

These women were very open and willing to share their experiences.  It quickly became clear that we were in the company of artists.  Here are some of the photographs I took.  Unfortunately, it was impossible to capture the beautiful depth of color.  You really had to be there to see it with your own eyes.  We feel very lucky to have been able to do so.  Thank you, quilters.  It was such a pleasure to get to know all of you, and we hope to see you again!