My Adventures Touring Europe in 1982 (11) Vienna
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Sunday, July 4
I remembered nothing about unloading our luggage and checking in last night. I woke up to find myself in the hotel room with Gayla. “You feeling OK?” she asked me.
That’s right – drunk as I was last night, I should be hung over. But I wasn’t; in fact, I was still slightly drunk! “I’m feeling better than ever,” I answered her, and enjoyed her puzzled expression.
That morning at breakfast, Chris’ mother approached me. “I’m sorry for telling you off last night,” she said.
“No problem at all. I’m sorry I screamed so much. I forgot about that scary road – for obvious reasons. You did the right thing,” I told her.
I can’t believe this European alcohol. I don’t normally drink this much, yet I haven’t had a single hangover this whole tour! I wonder why?
It was pouring rain, so we had a tour of Vienna by bus. It had the same ornate architecture and photorealistic paintings on the ceiling that Salzburg had, only the buildings were bigger and much more imposing. During the tour, our local guide pointed out a harsh-looking statue that didn’t fit the décor. “When Austria and Hungary were one country, the Soviets gave them this statue as a gift of peace. The Austrians hated it, but didn’t want to reject it because that might be taken as an act of war. So they accepted it, then placed this fountain in front so they wouldn’t have to see it.” We all laughed.
Because of the lousy weather, I knew my pictures would not turn out too good, so I bought a bunch of post cards. That afternoon was free time; I was so wiped out from yesterday, I spent it sleeping. Besides, most of the stores were closed, so there wasn’t much to do regarding shopping or visiting sidewalk cafes.
That evening, we dressed up and went to a really fancy dinner at a restaurant. I decided to pass on the wine; I didn’t want to take a chance on truly being hung over the next day. For dessert, they served us a giant white sheet cake with red and blue decorations on it, covered with tiny paper American flags. A band played, “The Star-Spangled Banner”, and we all sang along. I was puzzled, then remembered it was the Fourth of July.
Afterwards, we were taken to the Waltz Palace. First we observed while glitzily-dressed ballroom dancers demonstrated, then a few of us braver souls tried it. Again, I declined (shucks!). I watched, shivering because I wasn’t wearing my usual parka, and it was very cold. Most of us just watched the professionals; they were great to see.
On the way back to the hotel, Lakis played a tape of disco music and blinked the inside lights on and off. That’s when we all danced, since we were familiar with this medium. We went to bed, knowing all too soon we were going to leave this wonderful country tomorrow morning and once again venture behind the Iron Curtain.
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© 2013 Yoleen Lucas