I’m back in Vienna to attend the Tanz-Signale, a symposium named after Johann Strauss Father’s waltz op. 218.
From what I’ve seen on the programme, it promises to be very interesting: all about Eduard Strauss and Emperor Franz Joseph as this year marks the centenary of their death.
It kicks off tonight and I’ll be telling you all about it over the next few days.
Hope you’ll like reading about my “adventures” in Vienna.
But let me start at the beginning: travelling to Vienna, which started in a fun way as I met my co-worker Nathalie at the airport. She was traveling to Berlin for work at about the same time I left for Vienna, so we decided to have a coffee together before leaving.
I was lucky: I had the whole row for myself on the plane. I have never been able to stretch out my legs on the seats and crochet before!
Upon arriving in Vienna I thought there may be some delay at the check-out because of stricter control rules due to the refugee business. But nothing of it. As a matter of fact, I have never got off the plane, collected my luggage and been to the CAT (City Airport Train) desk to get my ticket into town so quickly!
When I arrived at the station in town, my welcoming committee was waiting for me: my friend Michaela and her dad who not only drove me to the flat but also provided lunch and flowers. Lucky me! Thank you, thank you, thank you.
The flat is the same I stayed at last time I was here but on the 6th floor instead of the 3rd. I even have (some sort of) a view on the Danube, which in case you didn’t know is not blue at all!
After lunch, I unpacked and went grocery shopping in the mall around the corner.
The last thing I saw on my Facebook page before boarding the plane was a message from the Vienna Tourist Office that the Easter markets would be open.
That was eggselent news as I have fond memories of visiting before. So after the fridge was filled, I set off into town. But what a disappointment: the beautiful one at the Freyung market wasn’t open yet. Bummer!
So I set off early for my appointment with my good friend an eminent Strauss researcher Peter Kemp.
We were going to have dinner at the Sofien-Saal complex.
Back in the time of the Strausses, the Sofien-Saal was a swimming pool which, in winter was converted into a ballroom where Johann Father, Johann Son, Josef and Eduard conducted the Strauss Orchestra.
Until 2001 it was one of a few buildings from that time still existing. That year a fire broke out and left the building completely destructed, except for the façade. It took a long, long time to rebuild it. Nowadays the premises that used to be the Sofien-Saal contains a hotel, flats, a fitness centre and a restaurant.
To have some idea of what it must have felt like to be at the Sofien-Saal, we had dinner at the restaurant there: The Room. We had a delicious Viennese dinner: Fritatensuppe (soup with pancake slices) and Wiener Schnitzel (you know: when in Rome, do as the Romans do). It was very yummy and the setting was magnificent.
After dinner we thought we’d go and see if we could have a look at the restored ballroom. Unfortunately no such luck: it was being used for an event and we couldn’t go in. But who knows, I may try again later this week.
All in all in was a good first day which finished very late. Or early. Depends on your perspective on that.
I’ll be back tomorrow with more…
All pictures were taken by me at the venues described.