The holidays were most enjoyable. For three weeks the home was filled with family and the happy chaos that comes with. Now it’s back to routine and the happy structure that we call our life. The sun shone gloriously in Vienna for at least two days this week and perhaps three, reason alone to be outdoors. The Bank Austria Art Forum hosts interesting exhibits, including this one on Russian artist-couples before and after the revolution.  Since the exhibit closes in a couple of weeks, no better time than a sunny day to head out.

The difference in art styles before and after the revolution was striking, even something I could figure out!

The Art Forum is located in one of my favorite “squares,” Freyung, except that Freyung is generally triangular in shape. At one intersection is a statue of the Turkish solider who entered Vienna through a cannon ball breach of the city wall, only to learn he would be fighting the Austrian Army alone as not one of his fellow soldiers joined him.

Freyung Passage, the prettiest passage in Vienna, inside Palais Ferstel.

Lunchtime, and yet there were empty tables at one of Vienna’s few French bistros. I almost could not believe my good fortune, and hurriedly sat down to order a Baguette Parisienne.

The gorgeous Palais Kinsky sits on Freyung, as well. The palace has served many historic purposes, most recently being where officials met to discuss the status of Serbian and Kosovar Albanians in the 1990s.

Speaking of routines, Asshat Drivers have returned!  Let me describe the photo below…this is the narrow road leading to the school, and just ahead one can discern the buses stopped in each direction at the designated bus stops. Of course, as is all-too common here, a driver gets impatient and attempts to pass the bus. Along this road passing is next to impossible, so of course the Asshat blocks traffic and forces the other drivers to reverse until the Impatient One can get back into the lane for traffic to flow.

I was heading to school to watch the varsity lady Knights take on Danube International School. DIS is a very small school; some years they can not even field a team.  With the score at 65-2 (in our favor) and 27 seconds remaining to play, there were still AIS parents shouting, “Shoot!  Shoot! Rebound! Rebound!”  A bit unsportsmanlike, I thought.

The Travel Show is currently running at the convention center, and so a friend and I dropped in on its opening day, hoping to find inspiration for future travels.  We found plenty of inspiration, and wished we had been inspired to bring a rolling trolley for the 100kg of guides, books, and maps we carried throughout the halls.  Though I haven’t read everything yet, a couple of brochures did stand out:

Luxury Tent Camping. Except, if the only purpose of the holiday is to drive into the desert to eat dinner and sleep in a fancy tent, then maybe not.

We’re not cruise people, though a week on a clippership could bring out the sailor in me.

In the “United States” pavilion there were representatives from NYC, Florida, California and the Grand Canyon states (because that’s kind of what Europe thinks America is.)…and Michigan!

Though as a child I thought Frankenmuth was cool, I am not certain an Austrian would travel to Michigan to visit, “A Bavarian village with all its cliches in the middle of Michigan,” unless…

…they were road tripping in search of “Yoopers.” I laughed out loud when I read this. The name derives from the abbreviation for the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, “U.P.” The U.P. was inhabited early by Finnish and Scandinavian peoples, donchaknow, and their dialect of Midwestern English can be a little hard to understand.

Now it is the weekend, complete with its own fun. So far, a good start to what will hopefully be a great year!