This week, we’re in Vienna, Austria! I’ve teamed up with Susanne from https://www.floralcars.com to bring you the similarities and the differences between living in Alicante, Spain and Vienna, Austria.
This time, we’re flashing back to October as Susanne has something very interesting she’d like to share.
Friday 5th October 2018:
I look out at the pine trees swaying in the wind. Our little oasis garden of green doesn’t quite fit in with the browns of the rest of the gardens around us. But, I like it. The pool is shivering in the wind.
Alex is already gone by the time I wake up but the city is only just started to wake up too. The dustbin men came and went hours ago. The children are already in school. But, for the rest of us, the day is only just starting. The cafés are just starting to open, the tables are being wiped down, ready for another day of serving endless amounts of café solo and pan con tomate.
I can’t remember the last time I started the day without a café con leche (a coffee with milk). For somebody who never drank coffee in England, it’s insane how quickly you adapt to something so instilled in the Spanish culture. But, to completely break down cultural differences, I decided cheese on toast was the only viable option for breakfast.
Nobody tells you about the struggles you’ll go through to get some good cheese in Spain. I can’t handle the Spanish cheese on toast, or even worse queso fresco on toast, it has to be Cathedral City so you can imagine us walking down the aisle of Iceland stocking up as much of it as possible. We get through a lot.
It’s just before 11:00 when I take Rio for his morning walk. He’s glad that it’s become part of his daily routine again. Although it’s still 20 degrees, the sun doesn’t have that overpowering morning heat to it, like it had in summer so the floor is bearable for his little paws. We walk around the block saying “buenos dias” to the man who owns the café over the road and “hola” to our maintenance man who has finally returned from his holidays.
It’s a lot quieter here now, the tourists have gone home and the population has quartered. It’s strange walking around not seeing the same people we saw all summer, you start to miss the daily faces of people you didn’t even know.
I decide to do some reading in the balcony corner. Something that I’ve been trying to do more of. Less time on Clash Royale more time flicking through pages of Bridget Jones’s Diary. I’m only up to page 33, so I’ve got some catching up to do.
Usually, I stop off for a pizza or an empanadilla (pastry shell) in a local café. At 1€, I can’t turn it down, can I? It’s normally a good time to grab a second café con leche for 1.30€ or a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice for 2€. Everybody is diving for Horchata at the moment, but it’s a vile drink, you won’t see me getting that again. Friday afternoon means that the pizza will have been already snapped up, so it’s an empanadilla con carne (with meat. It’s similar to a Cornish pasty) for me today.
I’m then at work. It doesn’t feel like work. Kids come running in, excited to learn. I’m still not used to that. Talking in English and these kids can converse back. They can sing Happy Birthday like a local. Today, a child asked me “can I have a ‘rubba‘ please”. I guess as much as you think you’re talking Cambridge, sometimes the Leicester scrambles its way back through. Top marks for local dialect.
Friday is the best day, there’s only a couple of classes, so not long after I arrive, I’m already leaving. I have to hurry off today, we’ve got an important weekend ahead.
Alex waits at the train station for me. Every day, he’s there and today was no different. We walk back together, except this time, we’re off to the Bali. The sun starts to dip and the sky makes an array of colours. It means another weekend filled with pink skies is waiting for us. Starting the weekend with a pink sky is always my favourite. We talk about our day as we walk.
The Bali reception is always one that impresses me. Some people hate it, some people love it. I’m in the latter. The receptionist greets us and checks us in efficiently.
We head straight up to the suite and it’s just as stunning as I imagined. [You can see all about my blog stay here: Gran Hotel Bali]
We head off for dinner where we are treated to a luxurious dinner before heading off to the entertainment for a cocktail. We retreat back to the suite late at night and watch the sparkling lights over Benidorm and the sea slowly kiss the sand. It’s a gorgeous view.
Another day has ended. It’s time for bed.
Similarities and Differences
There are times where I have planned right to the core about how we’re going to travel to Vienna. For some strange reason, it has a certain pull factor for me. Whether it’s the beauty of the architecture, like the Hofburg Palace or the intellectual and artist pull that it has. How could you not feel inspired by the city of Beethoven, Freud and Mozart?
Susanne talks about how her little corner of Vienna has a small population of 7,000, which doesn’t sound a lot until you compare it to our little corner of 2,600.
Just like me, Susanne has a shorter day on a Friday, which I can only assume she loves just as much as I do. By the time Friday comes around, I’m ready to start winding down for the weekend. Those few hours make a hell of a difference.
Unlike us here in Alicante, who are fortunately sheltered by the mountains so we receive a desirable all-year-round climate, Vienna actually lies on two different climate zones. Located right at the border, Vienna has the moderate middle European transitional climate and the drier Pannonian zone. In, I suppose real life terms, that means Vienna receives low precipitation and hot summers, with only moderately cold winters. But, don’t let that fool you, if you’re in the Alpine region, it has short summers and long winters.
A few weeks ago, we were playing a trivia game when the question “where is the Spanish riding school located?”. Of course, we initially thought Spain. However, The Spanish Riding School is located in Vienna and keeps the renaissance tradition of Haute École equestrian alive for over 400 years. It seems a nice joining between our two cities.
I don’t know why, but snowglobes have always been something I’ve admired. Something I’ve loved and collected. What’s even lovelier, is the snow globe was invented in Austria in 1900. It doesn’t even sound too long ago. According to Google, Erwin Perzy was working on improving the light bulb by adding water and semolina flakes, in hopes that it would cast a brighter glow. It didn’t. But, the effect it made was something short of beautiful. Maybe this is why Vienna has a certain unexplainable pull to me. Maybe it’s the snowglobes!
Perhaps it’s finally time to book a trip to Vienna, what do we think?
Next time, we’ll be comparing Alicante with Norfolk, UK. I’ll be teaming up with Claire from clairetaylorwriting.wordpress.com to bring you our similarities and differences!
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