Sunday, May 18, 2014

Cathedral Bells

"St. Stephan deliver me to Opera Ring..." sings my inner Gooch, after a long night and day of travel, and lo and behold he has.

Vienna is cool and gray and as always rather amazingly seductive.  I soothed my shattered nerves with a quick nap and a hot bath and set out into the evening in search of supper and some good old-fashioned people watching.  By great good fortune I happened on the Stephansdom just as evensong ended, the organ booming and the bells above going quite exhilaratingly mad.  The lighting, with clouds of incense softening the view in the distance, was dramatic in a way this snap only hints at.

Then it was off to an old favorite, an excellent small cantinetta that serves the simplest possible Italian food of such quality as to bely the fact that the staff consists in its entirety of three rather dishy Egyptian brothers.  With my bits and pieces of Arabic I am received as a long-lost member of the family, and really I can't say enough good things about their garlic soup and the startlingly low price of their very respectable Montepulciano d'Abruzzo.

Really, if it weren't for the prospect of making a perfect fool of myself in the morning, when I head off to the local headquarters of Golden Handcuffs Consulting Amalgamated International and proceed to teach a course I know nothing at all about, life would be just about perfect.  Well, at the end of the day there's always the city, and as necessary a little more Montepulciano...


  1. Replies
    1. Oh, it all makes sense now.

    2. If only! While I was wandering around I did find it a little odd that so many people were still wearing cardboard Conchita-beard half-masks, but I figured it was just that she's so popular.

  2. It is a beautiful place - I love the mummified bodies in the crypt (although the ones at St Michaels are way cooler). If you tire of the charms of the Innerstadt, Neubaugasse is maybe worth a trip as well. 5-10 minutes on the train, good shopping, good food and no tourists...