Tuesday, March 15, 2016

My last day with Jordan

Jordan and I took the subway to the main train station where we got on a bus for Bratislava, the capital of Slovokia. The ride is 1 1/2 hours and the cost is $8 round trip.  Bus had sketchy wifi and the one on the way back also had movies on the back of each seat.  Amazing. 

Lots of windmills on the way.

We stopped in at a pretty swishy hotel for lunch. This is Jordan's appetizer course.  One dish has a potato/cod dish and the other a green salad. 

I had to have borsch which was delicious

This is my dessert.  It is a purée of chestnuts. Weird texture, but delicious.

Our main place to visit in Bratislava was their modern art museum, Nedbalka Gallery.   It reminded me of the Guggenheim in New York.  At the Guggenheim you ride an elevator to the top and walk a spiral down.  Here there are actually four separate floors.  The top floor is early twentieth century and by the time you get to the bottom you are in the 21st century.  There is a whole in the center so you can see to the bottom

Each door of the elevator is painted. This is the first floor elevator door

Nice shapes on the stairway

Could be a quilt

Walking street in Bratislava

We got back to Vienna by bus at about 7:30. About 10 Richard and jordan went with me to the train station. My train to Munich left at 11:55 pm. New in the trip to the railway station was a ride on a trolley. 
I got lucky in the train.  I was in a compartment for 6 by myself and was able to lock the door so I could try to sleep and not be concerned that I might wake up with new friends

At the Munich station I found a ticket kiosk and the train which heads for the airport. Amazing how much easier this was than a week ago.  United gave me a first class ticket for the ride back to Chicago. Yea!!!,

Lunch on this flight involved:

Warm nuts and Chardonnay 

Followed by chicken skewer with coriander sauce and tabbouleh salad 

Followed by zucchini and Parmesan cheese soup 

Followed by  a salad with passion fruit dressing 

Followed by Indian spiced shrimp, julienned vegetables and basmati rice

Followed by cheese, grapes and port wine

Followed by a Carmel sundae

And a cup of coffee

What a wonderful trip!  

Another day soloing in Vienna

I rode the subway with Jordan who was on his way to work. He opened up the store and pointed me toward the market we had visited our first day in Vienna.  Today, because it was Saturday, there was also a flea market.  At the end of the day Saturday everything that is not removed is bulldozed and thrown away.  The Saturday before we had seen people picking over the rubble for treasures.  I bought two pieces of hand woven linen at the market.  

The pickle man was doing a big business.  

This cheese was beautiful.  I bought a small piece because the sample tasted so good.

This is the guy I bought my cheese from and this is the cheese my piece came from. He was a very good salesman.

In the afternoon I found my way to the Belvedere Palace because that is where Klimpt's The Kiss is hung. The palace and gardens are quite spectacular.  

And here is the kiss

This palace is now totally used as an art museum. It also had a few French impressionists. Here is a piece by Monet called The Chef. Never saw this one before.

Today was fun. Finding my way was really fun.  Amazing how easy it is to learn to navigate in a new place

Friday, March 11, 2016

A day on my own in Vienna, Friday, March 10, 2016

Today jordan had a job interview at his school in the morning.  It will be a work study job in the psych office.  Then this afternoon he had to work at his job in the grocery store.  I kept trusty subway map in my coat pocket and headed for down town.  The subway system is easy to navigate. My main destination was the Leopoldo art museum.  I ended up spending 4 hours there.  It is primarily modern Austrian art.  Their main claim to fame is the large Schiele collection as well as much from Klimt

This is the most famous Klimt picture in the museum.  It's name is death and life. The one I like best, The Kiss, is somewhere else.

At first I didn't like Schiele, but he grew on me during the visit.  This is one of his self portraits.  He did several nude self portraits.  

One of his landscapes

I really liked his buildings

After four hours, lunch was required.  I ate in the Karlsplatz subway station.  

Took the subway to St Stevens platz.  Two events occurring.  The first I saw was a Samsung introduction of a new phone.  They were having drawings and giving away phones.  This drew quite a crowd. More interesting across the square was a demonstration by a Palestinian group about their decreasing amount of land.  briefly I saw two women carrying Israeli flags.  The police moved them to a different area.

To watch what was happening I went into a cafe for coffee and a view out the window. 

We were well supervised and protected.  Lots of police present

Returned to Richards home by subway to rest up for out late dinner.  I'm taking us all, including Richards mother, who does not speak english, to a Turkish restaurant for dinner.


We found Stubenbach Thursday, March 9

Excitement in Innsbruck. The original plan was for Richard to drive the car.  Turns out it would have cost much more because he is under 30 even though he is a citizen of Austria. So I got to drive the 6 speed stick shift Mercedes diesel. Richard navigated and interpreted signs for me.  Once we got out of Innsbruck it was smooth sailing for about an hour as we were on a four lane freeway going through the Alps.  About an hour from our destination we turned off onto smaller highways..we started way below the snow line and ended up driving on a narrow two lane road with snow piled high on both sides.  There were many tunnels and switchbacks. I was a bit apprehensive, but admit it was fun.  By the time we reached Studenbach the road was down to one lane.  There were skiers everywhere.

Jordan and I at the end of the road in Stubenbach.  Herbs father came to Wisconsin over 100 years ago from here.  Hard to imagine living here at that time.  Skis would be required to get anywhere.

A little cottage

This sign points to where the bus for skiers goes.  

We wanted to have lunch here, but it wasn't open

This is the last road we drove up

This is our trusty Mercedes. 

Lunch in Lech which adjoins Stubenbach

Richards lunch. Bacon and cheese. Very crisp

Jordan had pear and Camembert 

The sun was hot so we were able to eat outside, but it was so bright we had trouble looking that way

After lunch I drove us back to Innsbruck, we turned in the car and got on the train for Vienna.  Home by 9:30. 

Finding family roots, Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Herbs family immigrated to Wisconsin in 1903 from what was then Austria-Hungary. They had lived in a small town called stubenbach.  Richard, jordan and I took a train from Vienna to Innsbruck. We stayed overnight in Innsbruck and then rented a car to get to stubenbach

Below is the view from my hotel room in Innsbruck. It seems no matter where you are in Innsbruck, you can always look up to see the Alps

We arrived here early afternoon.  I walked around the historic part of Innsbruck by myself. Soon I saw a small Swarovski store.  This is one bit of jewelry they had for sale.  The prices are in euros.  If you can see the numbers, just add a bit because the euro is worth more than a dollar.

Here I'm in a square.  Mountains still with me.

All that walking requires fuel.  My lunch was Gorgonzola cream soup.  Quite tasty

Dessert was apple strudel with vanilla sauce.  Not as good as what we had at the strudel shop in Vienna. Can't believe I'm getting picky about my strudel.

Back on the walk I found a large Swarovski store.  This is the stairway to the second floor of the store. Yes, the stairs glitter.  They are full of crystals

Swarovski and clothing

Elsa from Frozen

I abandoned the walk through town and walked the edge of the area so that I could always see the mountains.  Beautiful weather, beautiful scenes. Life is good.