Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Loose Ends

So I guess I have just lost puff. The holiday has ended but the blog unfinished. There are still several days not covered. I can't be bothered with photos so you will have to imagine.

I can't remember where in Vienna I left off. Laurie and I did not achieve maximum touristing efficiency there anyway. We had a little of the not-another-grand-building syndrome. Walk ten seconds in pretty much any direction anywhere in the old city in Vienna and you see some grand building. It is very much "look at us we are the capital of a massive empire at the turn of the 20th century" (or is it 19th - I mean around 1900 in case of confusion). Unfortunately almost every site has some part they are either restoring or cleaning. There is scaffolding with pictures of the building behind on top everywhere. I don't think anyone has seen the entirety of St Stephan's at the same time for many years.

Laurie and I went to the Belvedere which is a grand residence. It also is an art gallery - we reckoned we would only manage one site and here we could kill birds with one stone as the saying goes. There were also gardens here (though not very extensive). These gardens were of the manicured, pebble path variety with plants forming patterns. Laurie reaffirmed he would not make a good 19th gardener by remarks such as "I hate pebbles, even dead grass is better". We both prefered the grounds at Nymphemburg - something more woody which you could even get lost in.

We then went to London. Here we stayed with Julian which was great. He took us on a walking tour of the city center one day and the next we all went up to Cambridge (where he was for a year).

I really like the center of London. It has a mix of old and new. Dynamic and alive and at the same time filled with a rich history. I prefer this to have an old city and then the business side separate.

Going the Cambridge was fun. The main activity was punting along the Cam river. Being England it was raining alot but we were prepared and sheltered under bridges and ate a picnic in the boat. Although the individual parts are very pretty I actually prefer Chicago - I like a main quad.

Anyway that is a rushed conclusion to our Europe trip.

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