Friday, November 4, 2011

The Colors of Fall

            Just last week, I noticed the color around here was bursting at the seams. Coming from Nevada, we’re lucky to get any fall color as one day the leaves are on the trees and the next they are just gone. So I’ve been pleasantly surprised with each sojourn outside the amount of color I’ve seen. From greens to yellows to reds, the colors are fantastic and brilliant.
            I was pleasantly surprised when I looked at the pictures from the weekly walk in Hauptallee that I had managed to capture some of those wonderful colors. Another thing captured in the photos were the diversity of leaves and how they all color differently. Again, being from a desert and even though I live in an Arbor community, I am really not used to this type of diversity.
            I knew there were days in early fall, when all the leaves were still green, that I would just gaze out the window at the greenery across the street from our apartment. I’d not lived anywhere with seasons in so long, I find the whole process completely fascinating and new.
            I know many of you are saying that you think I’m crazy for wanting all the seasons but I’ve always loved the changes and the snow. There is just something beautiful about the glistening white substance that can never be replaced. We’ll see if I’m singing this song when it actually happens. LOL! But right now, it’s wonderful to fantasize about how it might be.
            Today, I have a series of pictures taken the last weekend showing the colors of fall. Many trees have already lost their leaves, so their bounty was spread on the ground everywhere. Pup Harry decided it was time to play in the leaves, tossing them up in the air he raced round and round, playing with them as we watched. It was a wonderful sight to see that he was taking so much joy from such a simple thing. I sincerely hope you agree.

            See you next time!


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Sunday Stroll

Life has changed a bit since we got our puppy but those changes are fantastic overall. One of the benefits that I have noticed is the fact that we’re more active on the weekends. Previous to puppydom, we’d stick pretty close to home or go shopping or do pretty much nothing. We’d read, we’d rest, we’d slounge. Since Harry, we are out and about more on the weekends.

For the past few Sundays, and probably at least until it gets really cold, we’ve started to go on Sunday walks. Make that Sunday strolls. It seems that everyone in Vienna is out doing the same thing. We even found that when there are holidays, like National Day which was mid-week, the strolling attitude still applies. People are out in droves and it’s a very interesting time to be had.

So far, our favorite stroll site is a place called Hauptallee in Wiener Prater. This place reminds me of grand European style and I can’t walk it without things about all the ladies and men moving about with parasols, long dresses and suits of the day. I can picture myself back in time and it has my creative juices flowing to say the least. The place is beautiful and seems never ending as we start on the end where we get off the train and walk to a little bit more than half way.

It is made especially more real when you hear the clip-clop of a horse’s shoe on the pavement. Turning, I find myself surprised as I see a horse-drawn carriage just feet from us. I can imagine many such hackneys, delivering the rich and famous or even the not-so-much-but-want-to-be-seen people of a bygone era. Here I can actually feel the pull of the city whereas in other places it seems no different to me than any crowded cityscape. Here I can feel the time of the Kaisers of the Hapsburg family, the wealth of a nation and the gentleness of the people.

The land was originally purchased by Emperor Maximillian II to be a hunting ground. There was the problem of poaching on royal land and Emperor Rudolf II forbade entry to the Prater. In April of 1766, Emperor Joseph II declared that the Prater was free of royal constraints and therefore for public enjoyment, allowing for the establishment of coffee-houses and cafes. Hunting didn’t cease in the park until 1920.

The previous mentioned Hauptalle is the main avenue of the park and is lined with horse chestnut trees that are just beautiful. It is closed to motorists and people can ride their bikes, take casuals strolls, jog or any number of things to propel one’s self through the pleasant scenery. It is home to the Liliputhahn, a narrow gauge railway now used for the entertainment of children. The main park has roller coasters and a variety of adult rides. Also there is a planetarium and the Prater Museum.

The most interesting thing that I saw was Republic of Kugelmugel,  a spherical micronation started by artist Edward Lipburger in a dispute over building permits with the Austrian government. It’s become a tourist attraction and sits behind a barb-wired fence. I found it utterly fascinating that it supposedly has 389 citizens.

Personally, I don’t care about the particulars of a lot of the history but it does certainly contributes to the overall vibe of the place. As long as I can stroll here on any given afternoon of my choosing, I’ll certainly be happy.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Foggy Morning

It’s been a while since I’ve updated this blog and I must apologize. It’s not that nothing has happened has...I’ve just been working on other things. Like writing and editing, after all, it is what I’m supposed to be doing with all my free time. <Snort> If you believe that...then I have a bridge for you...LOL!

First, puppy Harry has been occupying a lot of my time. By a lot I’m talking about daily walks on the order of one to three a day. The dear husband gets morning duty because he can jog him and tire him out. This is very, very good. The pup is just like a kid or the energizer bunny, he goes and goes and keeps on going until he drops. Naps can be anywhere from one to three hours.

There are many benefits to this. One, I feel energized myself and the walks are getting easier and easier. Two, I am losing weight slow but steady on average of about one pound per week. This was happening before we got the puppy but is now on the fast track it seems as I’ve lost one to three pounds each week, depending upon the week, the walks and the food. I see this as a win-win situation for me.

Today, though, when the DH woke up I hear an ‘oh dear’ from the bedroom. I’m thinking something is wrong and get up. By the time I get to the living room he’s already in the bathroom with Harry in tow, so I’m left to figure out just what was wrong. It didn’t take long as I turned to look out the window. The world is blanketed in fog and I can’t even see across the park as is the normal thing. The only things I can see are the building immediately in front, the wall next to that and the few trees behind it.

DH comes back and we compare how this is so much like San Francisco and or the central valley of California. Now, I’ve seen gray days here and was told that it’s not really gray but a fog hanging high in the sky. Right. It looked like clouds to me and I begin to wonder just how many days like this we will be having.

Add on to the weirdness of the day, but there is no traffic. You know you’re in a religious country when All Saints Day is a national holiday. People are in slow mode as they enjoy their time off. However, the DH does not have the day off and we don’t get to enjoy this quite day together. The holiday schedule is so odd here that we’re not sure just what he’ll have off until it happens. I’ve been making note of them as some are national holidays, international holidays and religious days. We won’t be having any US holidays off, that’s for sure.

I wait a couple of hours to see if any of this is going to change. The outside is getting better and the traffic is finally flowing. Still, it’s strange to have moments of silence in a town where I haven’t noticed much silence at all. It’s even more strange to not be able to see across the park and watch the people coming to see the sights.

Until next time!