The last time I was in Vienna I had spent the night throwing up and then immediately lost my wallet, but I was prepared to give the city a second chance, even if it had to wait nearly 30 years for the opportunity to impress. I have resolved to make more of the little free time that I get and it's my wife's birthday on Monday, so I whisked her away to the Austrian capital.
Aside from losing my wallet I have no memories of this city at all. I just felt pleased that I wasn't coming here with my toothbrush moustache. Having got in at 12.30 this morning and got up at six I was a bit fatigued, but it took less time to get to Vienna than it did to get to Brighton, which puts European travel into some kind of perspective. Had we stayed at home this weekend I would probably have vegged out in front of the telly, so it's worth remembering that there is a world of opportunity out there and it's easier to get out and see it than you might imagine. And it doesn't have to cost the earth, though I appreciate that my job gives me the freedom and money to enjoy the occasional jaunt. It's easy for me to forget to take any time off, so maybe I should institute a work 26 days, get a four day holiday regime. I am still keen to try taking a week away in a beautiful place to try and get work done, but this weekend is going to be about relaxing and having fun.
We had a little work around the centre of this clean and relatively deserted city (though it got a bit busier around the centre). I don't know how much this city got bombed in the war, but there seemed to be a lot of old buildings, churches and palaces still standing. We had a look at the Cathedral, which is cavernous and spooky. A friend had asked me to light a candle for her here and after my wax-based fortune telling experience in Armenia, I was keen to chuck the saint looking after me a bone and I lit two. I was hoping that the skies would open and that talking doves would descend and Jesus would tell me how great I was and that I should set up a ministry on earth awaiting his return (or even that maybe he had already returned and was in this cathedral right now, lighting candles - I am not saying that I'm Jesus), but the experience was underwhelming and the wax did not thank me for burning it.
I really wanted to go to sleep at 5pm, but we pushed onwards and went to a posh restaurant for dinner. However they wouldn't let us in as I was wearing jeans so I had to go back to my room to change. Once there I nearly just got into bed and forgot about eating, but forced myself into a suit and returned. My wife said this was like the scene in Pretty Woman, where Julia Roberts is refused service, but then returns all poshed up and makes the snobby staff pay. But that makes me the prostitute in this relationship. That and the fact that I make my wife pay for sex with me.
It was worth the effort though. The meal was amazing. I forgot about being tired and just had a lovely fun night with my beautiful wife/client. Perhaps my guardian angel saint was looking after me after all.... though surely he'd be more interested in helping the poor than assisting an already overweight man have an expensive meal. I hate my guardian angel saint. He is a prick. I hope he's one of the ones that got martyred in a horrible way, not just one of the Pope ones who gets to be a saint for doing fuck all.