After my two flights on Thursday morning, and some temporary special displacement I arrived at Doug and Kati’s place at about 1230 (once again without a bag which had not left Helsinki – I wont bother on my next trip). A quick lunch and some helpful suggestions and guide books form Kati and I was back out on the streets of Vienna (with a better map this time). There is a ring road the runs around the centre, and apart from a brief trip across the river, I stayed within the ring for most of the afternoon, eventually ending up at St Stephens Cathedral, where I did a short but interesting guided tour. The tour was mainly looking at the various sculptures inside the cathedral, most of which are from the original 4-500 year construction, some have been collected or donated and although seem to fit in had not been part of the plans. There are apparently about 250 different sculptures at the cathedral.
I meet up with Doug outside the cathedral a bit before 5, and he took me on a quick tour of the city’s main sights. We Then meet up with Kati and had couple of beers and some food at a local pub. As the menu was in German I had some help from Doug, who ordered me something nice and appropriate, and very delicious.
After the Pub, we went to the Roo Bar (an Australian Pub) and did their weekly pub quiz. We didn’t do very well in the quiz, I think we were last (of 5 or 6 teams). But we won the most bonus questions so we were having a good time anyway.
Friday we took a trip out to the lake (or puddle as Doug was referring to it) with a stop at the airport on the way to collect my bag. It was blowing about 20-25 knots and after half to three quarters of an hour of failing to water start on Doug’s windsurfer I gave up. Niki took out his Moth briefly but decided it was too gusty and came back in. After Doug had helped Kati go Kite surfing he took out his moth, and stayed out for a while before he tore one of the wing tramps and had to come in. We had dinner at a wine bar near the lake. The food they served was mostly cold meat platters of various types, they had photos of the meals on one page so I ordered with my finger, and got a plate with a bit of everything.
On Saturday after a late start I went out to Schonbrun Palace, and I spent the whole afternoon walking around in the vast grounds. You could easily get lost in the relatively untended forest areas, but at the same time the grounds are full of imaculatly cared for gardens, ponds and fountains. It is mostly a public place so it is free to look around, some of the gardens require an entrance fee.
Saturday night and Doug and Kati’s Beach Party went very well, although very late as well. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and get into the spirit of things. One of the neighbours may have not approved as the police turned up about 0330.
Sunday we spent the morning cleaning up a bit and then headed off to the lake again. We managed to fix Doug’s wing tramp well enough to go for a short sail in an inconsistent 5-8 knots. I had a go and managed to get foiling in the first gust that came along. Guy also had a go, and did quite well seeing as he hadn’t sailed moths for a number of years, even managed to get foiling once or twice.
I got dropped off at the airport on the way back to Vienna. My flight got into Helsinki at 2240. I think I swallowed some water from the lake on Friday and by yhr time I landed my sineses were pretty well blocked. This made for q very uncomfortable landing as I could not eaqulise the pressure in my ears. I spent most of the 7 hours in waiting for my flight to Kokkola not being able to hear much. Perhaps making up for not arriving in Vienna, my bag was waiting for me when I landed.
After a slow day at work on Monday feeling lousy I didn’t go in on Tuesday which seemed to help greatly, but my head has still felt a bit off all week.