Friday, September 30, 2011

The Surprise Race

Written July 3, 2011

One Sunday afternoon, while our youngest was still with us in Austria, we decided to go to one of the many museums around the city. I’ve been to a few but am always up for more and since the one he wanted to go to was the Natural History Museum, I was all for it.

As our usual Sunday morning style, it is mid-morning when we all get up and start preparing for our foray into the place we now call home. After a huge breakfast, we all fight over who’s going to watch the movie, The Return of the King, and actually get showered, dressed and be ready to leave. My husband went first as he always does then because we were so into the movie, he decided to clean the bathroom with some cleaner that made it so I would be last as I tend to have an allergy attack when around the smells for long.

Soon, I paused the movie and got into the shower then quickly dressed so we could be on our way. I thought it was great it only took us four hours for breakfast, showers and getting it together. We’d got up late, lounged around and watched a movie...what could be better? They weren’t amused with the whole thing as they had wanted to be out of the house at least by one. So, we were an hour off schedule according to them. But then again, I knew the museum would be open till six-thirty while they thought we’d be kicked out by five.

Finally, we’re at the train stop, waiting for our ride. It seems as if the wait is becoming longer and longer the more I stay here. Today, it’s about fifteen minutes and while it’s summer now during winter, I know I’ll want it better timed. We talk as we wait about going to Harry Potter, how it would have been a great day to start heading for home and a variety of other things.

The train arrives and we hop on, surprised we’re the only ones in the car when my husband comments that it’s only going to Swartzenberg Platz. This is much less than half our journey and I’m concerned as just the wait has made me overheated due to the high humidity. I tell him we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

Sure enough, the police tell us we all have to get off here and it’s then that we notice the road called the Ring Road is bare of all traffic. This includes walking as well. Surprised, we decide to wander down to the next station and pick up an underground train for the Museum Quarter. Our walk will consist of a long city block and I’ll stay in the shade as much as I can to keep my heat factor down.

About half way there, we hear the police coming and decide to look at what’s coming down the road. Proceeded by no less than five motorcycle police and half a dozen patrol cars, we notice three lone bikers coming our way. It’s then we realize that there must be a city bike race of some sort. Most of the time, there are notifications at every train stop but we either missed it or this time, they didn’t post one.

Thinking we’d seen what there was, we turn to our youngest who has asked why we’ve stopped. At that moment, we hear something we’ve never experienced before and all turn to see a pack of nearly two hundred bicyclists coming our way. The noise was incredible as all those wheels are turning in sync and it’s unlike anything we’ve ever experienced. We face them the whole time, our bodies turning with their route.

All too quickly, they are by us and I start laughing, stating we weren’t likely to see that where we lived in the States. Suddenly, we’re all abuzz with what we’ve seen and heard, each of our tales slightly different. We talk about other races and wonder how many times around the ring this one will go. Soon we’re at our next stop and as we head underground, I realize that here I will be experiencing things I’d never ever thought I would.

Next time, maybe I’ll be a little more prepared with a camera in hand to snap pictures. Yet, I’m sure this won’t be the last race I see while living in Vienna. The picture is what I would have taken if my camera were ready. It all looked like a blur.

Hope you enjoyed this look into my Vienna life!


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