If you were to choose the elements of a perfect place to live, you might be like a deer caught in headlights. Sometimes, you have to go somewhere else to see what there is to see, and know what there is to know before you could ever say, “This. This is where I want to live.”
A visit to the Hofburg Palace, where there is a LOT of tableware. Also napkins that were having an identity crisis. (Am I a napkin or am I a flounder?) Apparently, there are only two people in the world who know the secret special napkin fold for the palace.
Or maybe that’s just me. I’ve traveled many places, but I see the elements of what makes a good life here:
Safe, reliable, convenient, and clean public transportation. (Hello, beach day)
Small grocery stores on every couple of blocks. (Not a lot of processed foods, either)
Many green spaces. (I saw a guy standing on his head during one of my walks through the park)
An appreciation for the arts, making them affordable for everyone. (10 euro opera tickets)
Courtesy for other people. (I’ve seen people give up their seats for older women a few times)
Cafes where you can sit for hours without anyone batting an eye. (Sacher torte, anyone?)
And, there’s IKEA (accessible from public transportation, of course).
This is just scratching the surface of the culture. We’ve only been here one week.
As for our apartment, well, that’s even better. It has so much natural light that I’m sure my vitamin D level has skyrocketed. We have five skylights in our room and three large dormer windows in the living room/kitchen. They aren’t sash windows; they’re like doors that open inward. No screens. Just pure air. Very few insects, which makes eating al fresco truly delightful. There’s the circular staircase leading to the rooftop terrace, a large bathroom, and a small water closet with the teeny-tiniest sink I have ever seen. The bathroom has a large, deep tub, but there’s no shower curtain, though there’s a shower head. It gets a little wet. Heh.
There’s an elevator up here that requires a key to get to our floor. The entrance to the building is tile and stone, and it’s so old that the stone has worn spots from a century+ of people walking its hall. Next to our building is a bakery. On the other side is a cafe. Nearby is a church that rings the hour beginning at 6:00 am on weekdays, but somehow it’s charming here.
Here’s some of what we’ve been up to this week:
Dinner with some lovely new Austrian friends at a place Beethoven lived when he composed “Ode to Joy.”
Chanterelles are in season, so I had chanterelle goulash.
And, finally, a walk through the city this evening, with gelato of course