July 30, 2018

Europe '81: Innsbruck

Often when you’re searching for something you won’t find it. And sometimes you come across something even better. That’s exactly what happened when I was trying to find one of the souvenirs I’d bought in Vienna. I have no idea where it’s hiding. But I did stumble across an old essay about the day I spent in Innsbruck, written at a time when the memories were much fresher.

Innsbruck, Austria (1981)

July 23, 2018

Europe '81: Schönbrunn Palace

September 10, 1981

My third day in Vienna began at Schönbrunn Palace, summer residence of the Habsburgs. The previous day I'd toured their winter residence, the Hofburg. According to the meagre notes in my trip diary the palace was beautiful and elaborate; the grounds lovely and spacious.

Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna (1981)

July 16, 2018

Europe '81: Imperial Vienna

September 9, 1981

My fascination with the Habsburg dynasty began with the 1968 film Mayerling starring Omar Sharif and Catherine Deneuve. The movie is about the mysterious deaths of Crown Prince Rudolf and his mistress at the imperial hunting lodge, Mayerling, in 1889. On my second day in Vienna I paid a visit to the Hofburg, centre of the Holy Roman Empire, and residence of the Habsburgs for over 600 years.

The Imperial Apartments, the Hofburg (1981)

July 13, 2018

Friday Reads: The Greek Escape

In January I joined the Goodreads Reading Challenge for 2018 and set a goal of 52 books. As of this week I've read 29, which represents 56% of my goal. Friday is the day that many readers share what they're currently reading on social media so I've decided to do the same in a weekly blog post.

The Greek Escape by Karen Swan

July 09, 2018

Europe '81: Vienna

September 8, 1981

I once did a school project on Austria and fell in love with this Alpine country of imperial palaces, Strauss waltzes and warm apfelstrudel. When planning my first trip to Europe I was aware that reality might not live up to my high expectations but I needn't have worried. Austria was everything I'd hoped it would be, and more.

The Rathaus, Vienna's Town Hall (1981)

July 02, 2018

Europe '81: Florence

September 7, 1981

If you only have one day to spend in Florence, birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, don't go on a Monday. The city's great art museums, like the Uffizi Gallery with Botticelli's Birth of Venus and the Accademia Gallery with Michelangelo's David, will be closed. But this was the day I arrived in Firenze in September of 1981.

Michelangelo's David, Accademia Gallery