23 July 2010

M&M do V (and B)

Sister Maryanne & cousin Moira came for a ten day European holiday. It was the No Cheese Left Behind Tour. Here's the first of many cheese plates above. This one brought to you by the fine people at the Palmenhaus Café in Vienna.

I'd have to go back and check my cheese diary, but I can say with no small amount of confidence that not one day in ten went by that we didn't partake of a fine selection of local cheeses.

Our motto? "The stinkier the better!"

Cheese aside, Vienna once again lived up to all my bragging and put on her best dress.  She made me proud.

The weather started cool and got successively hotter each day.  By our last day site-seeing we started taking refuge from the sun in every church we passed.  One of our favorites was Augustinerkirche which was pretty from both the front...

...and the back.  It was bright, but cool, sporting marvelous gothic arches...

...and this precious little altar to St. Rita, complete with marble blocks saying "Thank you St. Rita" in several languages.  I like to think they're written to my mom.

Other activities, aside from eating all the cheese we could find, included strolling through Vienna's beautiful inner city, lunch at the naschmarkt and visiting Schloss Schönbrunn above.  This was the summer palace for the Habsburg empire and is short on neither grandeur nor history. 

But my favorite bits are the gardens.

The girls taking a rest from the hilly, wooded paths.

Whilst wandering the gardens, I had the genius idea of taking a photo of Moira WHILE SHE TOOK A PHOTO OF ME.  Mindbender, right?  I can't believe no one has thought of that before.  Brilliant.

We spent that night having dinner and drinks with Chris on the Danube Island (Donau Insel to the locals.)  Just off the subway is a healthy cluster of bars, cafés and restaurants, on both sides of the river, connected by a footbridge.  People puttered by on their little rented motorboats, we crossed and recrossed the bridge, a spider dropped in to say hello, the sun set...it was a beautiful night.

And may be the only time we opted for a MEAT platter instead of a cheese.  Probably Chris's influence.

We even made it to Bratislava during the girls' time here.  A mere 45 minutes by train, the girls got to see a whole 'nother country; a provincial capital of the Austro-Hungarian empire; a former Soviet block city; a walled, pedestrian-only old city; and the growth an eastward expanding Euro-zone brings.  And they thought we just went for lunch!!

The whole trip was full of giggles, gossip and gas.  Laughs and heart-to-heart talks.  I'd been looking forward to their arrival for so long that the first few days I was walking on cloud nine.  Getting a chance to show off Vienna to two of my favorite people made me a very happy girl and I am grateful for the opportunity.


Stay tuned for M&M do Z&P!!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

have you taken your guests for Sachertorte? :) Alex