24 years in Vienna

1 Aug

I do want to commemorate my arrival 24 years ago almost to the hour, even though I’m not up to a long post.

On August 1, 1988 my mother and I flew over from London on the last Austrian Air flight of the day into a hot and steamy Vienna, were awed by the spotless, shiny marble floors in the airport (now gone, apparently, lost to the latest expansion effort), and were delighted to be met completely unexpectedly by a school friend of hers. (In those days, before Vienna with the fall of the Iron Curtain once again became the hub of central Europe,  the airport busses stopped running at 10 p.m. or so.) The school friend, who with her husband over the course of my first few years became my Viennese parents, hurried us out to the parking lot and drove with great elan into the city to get us to the student residence where we were staying before they locked the doors. I remember with incredible clarity the moment she pointed out the floodlit Staatsoper on the great Ringstrasse. Spectacular.

I have just come back from a long walk in the Vienna Woods in summery temperatures followed by dinner with a few “G’spritze” (white wine spritzers) in Neuwaldegg with a friend so am off to bed. But what better way to celebrate?

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