Monday, August 3, 2009

Sissi wants to be a Lumberjack

Our voyage of discovery to the Michaelergruft was a complete failure. I thought originally that I was going to Stephansplatz (which I can just find) but Melissa pointed out that we needed to go to Michaelerkirche (which is of course where the Michaelergruft would be - wouldn't it!).

I then got lost going to Michaelerplatz (which I always do unless I go from the Ring) and we arrived there barely on time – to discover that the tours are done in the German language (without pictures) so there was not much point in our going in.
It always astonishes me that I can get so lost so often in Bezirk 1.

So we went on to our next objective which was the Kunst Historiches Museum which (it being Monday) was of course closed. I am not sure how many times I need to be caught before I understand that most Museums don’t open on Mondays.

Melissa should also know better as she comes from Paris.

However - the Sacher-Wurstel and sandwiches at Café Schwarzenburg were delicious and revived our spirits.

Wien is starting to come to life again and there were many more people around today. The ducks are also out in force and there are more ducks in Stadtpark than I have ever seen before. They were all bobbing about discussing their holidays.

Monica went to the vet today for a check-up prior to being booked in on Wednesday to be (ahem) ‘neutered’.

She has been very – how shall we say it – edgy for a while now and we think (Melissa and I) that this is the cause of some of the friction between Moni and Muffin.

I haven’t discussed this with Moni but I am sure that she doesn’t want to have any more kittens. I saw her six weeks after she had Sissi and Balu and the other three and by then she was well past thinking that motherhood was a good idea.

I hope that the minor surgery will settle her down and that there will be less hissing and snarling around here.

Moni will be in and out the same day so there is no need to send flowers.

I spent an hour or so talking to an Indian Gentleman about my Australian 3 Handy. It worked fine in Australia but since we arrived home it cannot receive telephone calls or SMS messages. I can send these but cannot receive them.

Well we tried everything including a factory settings reset but to no avail.

He eventually lost interest (and who can blame him) and told me to get someone in Australia to call me three times at five minute intervals and then to sacrifice a goat on the terrace.

Apparently the three calls (which of course I cannot receive) will help 3 identify the problem.

The goat is an alternative solution which 3 thinks has as much chance of working as anything else.

I told him it would be impossible to get a goat into the elevator so he said a duck would do.

I have no confidence in either strategy and expect that this problem will endure for some time until the cosmic forces align and someone in 3 gets lucky with a wild guess about what the problem may be.

Melissa and I found a proper Japanese restaurant and had a delicious (and cheap) meal. It was one of those places which has pictures of meals out the front and these should usually be avoided - but was really very good.

We are off the Melk Abbey – to which I have been so many times that I could give guided tours. But Melissa hasn’t seen it and it is certainly a must see as the finest example of a working Abbey that I have seen in my travels.

It is of course a church so I will have an allergic reaction when I see bits of the cross and the bones of saints but I will take a peg to bite on.

We will drive back through the Wachau Valley and I may stop and suck a few Gruner Veltliner grapes.


  1. I think I may have actually seen you on Monday - were you walking down Singerstrasse towards Stephansplatz around 1:15 or so? otherwise, you have an Austrian clone.

    I was going the other way back to work but didn't want to say anything as 1) I didn't want you to think I was a stalker and 2) If was an Austrian clone I didn't want him to be forced to flee or something.

    Speaking of Saints' bones, have you seen the skeleton in Ruprecht's Kirche that is lying on it's side, rather jauntily, composing a letter or something? (I seem to remember it was holding a pen) Haven't seen it in a while - it was when I was new to Vienna - and I was struck but all the bones and such.

    In Budapest we were treated to the mummified hand of a church founder - around 900 years old. It was in jewelled casket in a glass display case. You had to put in a coin to see it light up so you could view it in all it's "gnarled glory" as a guidebook stated. A man who I guess was in charge of it, more or less, was standing there watching while we viewed it as respectively as possible. He then gestured helpfully to me to take a gander at the front view, which I did, with what I hoped was a look of appreciation. We didn't feel right to leave until the light went off. Needless to say, it was a really long moment. I do have to see we got a lot of gazing time for that 10 Forints.

  2. That would have been Melissa and I heading in the wrong direction.

    I haven't seen Ruprecht's Kirche - but have seen a photo online and it looks fabulous. We shall go there soon.

    There are some fabulous skeletons in Melk Abbey - but I have never photographed them successfully.

    I am not sure what these guys would have said if they were told when alive that their skeletons would be forever on display in a glass case. (Probably 'what's a glass case?'

  3. One assumes that Sissi, the tree climber, won't jump from the top of the tree onto or over the cat netting?

    Perhaps she learnt her climbing skills from the bloke who recently cut down the enormous fig tree in the back garden to the south west of our home (yours too) - where Trish and ? and the brown dog live. It took him and his team + ropes, chains, chainsaw and, grrrrr, wood chipper several hours to complete the task. But the main trunk and extensive root system remain. The intermittent on/off of chainsaw and chipper made work or any concentration impossible so Jim and I spent at least half an hour, cold, in the back yard watching. And otherwise watched from time to time from the warmth of inside our back door. Now there's a large void and the then homeless currawongs immediately displaced a pair of turtledoves living in the shrubs on the cliff face which haven't been seen since.

  4. Quick afterthought...

    One up for Aussie birds! Bet your ducks can't compete with Chook:

    Sorry about the advert first but I think you'll find it worth the wait...