Vienna was brilliant and Prague came a close second. The guide books have you believe that the pavements of Wien are awash with dog-shit but it simply isn’t true. Sure, there are a lot of dogs but maybe … well, maybe thats enough about dogs. The architecture is the finest I have ever seen – I just had no idea. I thought it was all Mozart this and Opera that. Saw the big man’s grave (or what represents his grave – his actual burial place remains a mystery) and he was surrounded by Beethoven, Brahms, Strauss (all the brothers) and a few others that I don’t know. The Viennese love their cemeteries and I visited the biggest of them all you see.
I also witnessed an argument between a chanting man and a fat German woman in the main crypt which was funnier than it sounds. Chanting man was making full use of the acoustics, hitting a small brass bell and strumming on a small harp. Fat German woman enters with hen-pecked husband and strides towards chanting man, then starts telling him off (I think) for making a noise. Chanting man is obviously deep in the outer reaches of the cosmos such is the depth of his trance and it is a full minute before he opens his eyes and with a long sigh says a single word. “Bitte?”. There begins a discussion on the merits of chanting next to a bunch of stiffs (they all do look quite dead) and the man shortly resumes his invocation of whatever a low hum invokes not much later. I then attempt to capture the incantation on my mobile, only for it to sound klaxon-like that it is recording and I make a hurried exit, much chastened.
To Prague. We visited the annual burning of the witches festival (bad, BAD, witches) and sat by the river as the fires burnt and the river boats full of increasingly drunken tourists floated past. The British excelled themselves on the first night as we walked into one riverside bar only to find one fellow countryman, shirt off and covered in tattoos shouting “stick it on yer forehead an’ see how long yer can keep it on – I did it for ages and blood started comin’ fru my skin, honest!”. Instantly, my latent Aussie accent became stronger than ever.
I could write for ages about what we saw and did but most of it is boring to read and the usual bragging nonsense which is so dull to people reading about other people travelling so I won’t. Here is a picture instead of myself and my travelling companion, taken after my successful triple chin graft.