Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A Busy Sunday

OK,  I know it’s Tuesday.  I’m not quite that daft.  However,  I’m sure you recall my sailing analogy when it comes to life here in Wienerland.   For the next day or so,  we’ll be on a rather long beat to windward.  (i.e. boring)
But before we get to that,  just a brief attempt at some levity.  Sometimes I see the darnedest things from out my kitchen window.  Sometimes the balcony.
I guess this person needed some “alone time” with her phone? 
She’s actually on a roof a half a block away.
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Hey,  whatever works for you.

So,  Sunday.
The plan was to go to St. Augustine's for the Sunday mass.  Now,  far be it from me to poo-poo what the North Americans consider “old”,  but this place was founded in 1327.  So,  it’s been around for a while.   It’s “new” compared to St. Stephan's I suppose,  but it still doesn’t quite have that “modern” look about it?  
The trick is to get there early.   I punted the crew out not too far from the Albertina and took the car back to the parking garage outside the Opera.  That was around 10:20 a.m.  (just a warning with anyone who has a less than ideal internet connection,  that “Albertina” website has a bit going on.  Just so you know.  No crazy music though.)
In spite of getting there early,  we were relegated to the wooden chairs off to one side.   Come to find out,  they were slightly less uncomfortable than the permanent ones.   The only consideration is that the view is somewhat obstructed.  Not too much of a hardship.
I always look on in amazement at the people who show up at 10:55 thinking they’ll some how get a seat. Are you kidding me?  Get out of bed!   We were sitting on individual chairs,  so nobody came along thinking they could “squeeze” in.  There were a few attempts in the main section,  but most every one of them were turned away.  Late comers get no respect,  nor should they. 

It was a “lovely service”  (hey,  I’m not Catholic) and the irony is,  I’m really the only one who can understand what the heck is going on, but I’m not fast enough to interpret everything that is being said.  Plus there’s some of the “holy jargon” that I’m not completely sure about.  The Catholics among us (that would be Travelling Companion and her two sisters)  know the routine well enough that they can fill in the blanks.   I do however give snippets from the announcements before the mass and at the end.   This time around there was an admonition for the touristy types to not take photographs,  which curiously enough was announced in both German and Italian.   I said,  “Oh,  he should have done that one in Japanese”,  but I’m funny that way.
It’s not that they mind you taking pictures,  but some folks don’t know how to take a picture without an annoying flash going off.  THAT’S the real problem,  and really f**king annoying!   Besides,  in a church,  flash photography really doesn’t work all that well, as any of you avid photographers may already know.   And if you don’t know it, YOU NEED TO KNOW IT.

The real enticement to go to a service at this particular church,  is that there is always,  always a very nice musical performance.    We listened to Shubert’s Mass in A flat major,  which I had never heard before.   He was a little more long winded than Mozart,  but it was damned fine music.   Oh,  I guess using “damned fine music” in the context of a church setting is not the best choice. 
Meh,  so bite me.
Then of course at the very end,  after the mass is finished,  the organist plays on for a good five minutes,  and I guess the regulars have heard it enough times,  that they have places to go and coffee to drink,  but we always stay that extra few minutes.   The church organ isn’t necessarily one of my favourite instruments,  but this guys knows his stuff.  There’s always a hearty round of applause at the end.

After coming out of church,  and a brief nutrition break at Starbucks, we wandered over in front of the Albertina again,  where we were surprised to see that the fountain outside was finally operational after what seemed like the longest time.   Every time we’ve come along here in the last year and a half,  there has been netting over the thing,  and they’ve been doing some sort of work to it. 

I can’t seem to find a good link that properly describes the figures in the statue,  so you’ll have to bear with me.  It’s “Danubius”  and seated next to him is “Vindobona”.  (The chick)  Doesn’t make a lot of sense,  unless you realise that “Danubius” is the personification of the Danube river,  and “Vindobona” was the name given to Vienna by the Celts when they had a camp here around 15 BC.   The Romans made quick work of them a bit later,  but that’s a whole other story.
There are ten additional statues on either side of the fountain that represent other rivers from around here. 

I didn’t mean for this to be a history lesson,  so I’ll knock it off now.

I’ll skip ahead to Sunday night,  when we went to dinner at Plachutta.   We took the subway this time,  since Bob wanted to have a beer.   Or maybe two.  Would have been cheaper to park the car,  but sometimes you have to do what you have to do.
Once again we had a hidden agenda,  since we wanted to have an idea as to how they make this particular spinach sauce that goes really well with “Tafelspitz”.    We now think that it’s the tiniest bit of nutmeg that they put in that makes the difference.   This is one of those many occasions when having oldest sister-in-law along to taste things can be lots of fun.  She can taste most anything and tell you what’s in there. 

We did go to dinner a bit early by European standards,  since our reservation was for 6:00 p.m.   I’m usually getting hungry by then anyway,  and none of us had any problems scarfing down our food.   There’s nothing cheap about anything on the menu,  but you need reservations to get in,   and the food is to die for.   We had NO room for dessert.
Of course,  then Sunday night,  the two sisters-in-law had to pack up,  since we took them to the airport on Monday morning. 
We won’t see either of them for probably a year now,  since we won’t be going home for a bit of a stretch.
The trip to the airport was uneventful,  even though the traffic is busy on a Monday morning.  I made sure I had a pee break before heading back,  since sitting in traffic with a full bladder is just not something I’m overly enthusiastic about.  (done it too many times, it ain’t fun)
It was then Travelling Companion’s turn to head out,  since she was first heading to her office,  and then on to Prague later in the afternoon.  
What that meant was first stopping by the apartment here to fetch her suitcase,  giving me a chance to put together some lunch for her,  and then stopping at a nearby gas station where I refuelled the car.   I then saw her on her way,  and I toddled on home on foot.
I did happen to notice that the boys were working on their erector set,  and happened to have the small camera along.   This is taken from the opposite side,  down the street.

By yesterday already (Monday) the crane was gone,  and by this morning they had already put up a bunch more pieces.  I hear then using a pneumatic wrench,  (impact gun?) so I’m guessing they’re using something like Huck bolts?   I’m only guessing of course,  but judging by that website,  it would seem that such a product is readily available here in Wienerland.
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Plus,  they don’t like to have things blowing down in these parts.  That would never do.

I realise I’ve gotten a little long winded,  and I hope you’ve been able to stay awake.

Thanks for stopping by.


1 comment:

  1. Do you ever slow down? Great description of the Mass. From a very different view point. Loved it.


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