The least German sounding place in Austria

I may have jumped the gun in my last entry.

It occurred to me that tomorrow I will be meeting up with a friend in the afternoon and I’m not entirely sure what I’ll be doing and then of course the parents and the sister are coming on Friday, but I shall discuss that tomorrow.

Today, however, I did follow through with my plan.  I went to the Schloss Belvedere palace to film my latest video and, for the most part, I’m happy with it.  I’m more satisfied with the content than I have been in previous videos; I spoke about the architecture of Vienna compared with Seville, a subject I find fascinating and would like to know more about.  It was appropriate that I went to Schloss Belvedere to film as the last time I was there I was walking with an Australian girl who was visiting Vienna for a few days and gave me a basic course on baroque architecture.

Regrettably, I didn’t get much further past Schloss Belvedere.  My days rarely begin before noon at the moment, which will probably be the subject of my next resolution.  I didn’t leave the flat until two today and I had errands to run before I could go sightseeing.  I had to go swimming for one thing.

It’s been a while since I’ve done proper exercise, I didn’t renew my gym membership this month – it’s bloody expensive – and I always get to the pool too late to do anything of value.  Today, though, I knew the opening times and went early and it was a lot of  fun.   Swimming and cycling are sports which don’t feel like work to me because I’ve been doing them so long and because I can go out and do them on my own steam, wherever and whenever I want.  Rowing is like that as well, to an extent, but usually you’re limited to club training times and any other time you need to supplement rowing for a session on the rowing machine.

Going to the swimming pool also meant that I had a prime opportunity to – read “no excuse not to” – go the Westbahnhof, as it’s on the same U-bahn line.  I’ve been meaning – read “forgetting” – to go for a while now, as I’m looking into getting a train back to the UK when I finally leave Vienna in June.  After dealing with the world’s most apathetic bastard of a ticket salesman who said that the ticket would be around four or five hundred Euro, I was informed by travel information that I could probably get there for about €160 in around 15 hours, which doesn’t sound too bad, though I’ll have to run it by my parents as they’re funding the travel.  I’m hoping that it’ll pass muster, I hate flying.  I’d happily take my time getting there and arrived relaxed rather than get there faster and be a bag of nerves and sleep deprivation, which is my usual response to flying.

Because of that surprising show of productivity, I didn’t arrive at the Belvedere until around half sis.  Admittedly, this gave me a couple of hours before it got dark and that would have been fine, had I not been recording my next vlog.  I don’t particularly hate vlogging outside, but having done my last vlog mostly indoors I was particularly raw to the many inconveniences of talking to a camera in a public place.

For a start, it’s embarrassing.  A friend of mine once saw me recording in Plaza Nueva (Seville), he said that I was “walking very slowly talking to [my] shoulder”, and that I basically looked insane.   As time’s gone by, I become less embarrassed by the idea of people seeing me, but I am always conscious that it looks weird and tend to wait for areas to be as clear as it’s possible for tourist spots to be – not very – before I start recording.  Then there’s environmental factors.  It started raining whilst I was recording, not heavily or anywhere near enough to require a coat or umbrella, but enough to cause me a bit of an inconvenience.  And I can’t forget that for every time I record something usable, there’s about two shots which are wrecked by a sudden gust of wind.

Overall, the average time it takes for me to film a video outdoors is about an hour and a half – 30 minutes indoors – which feels entirely too long to produce the raw footage for a sequence which might last 4 minutes at a push.

Over the course of the filming I walked from the Oberes Belvedere, where I had walked before, to the Unteres Belvedere, which I hadn’t actually realised existed.  It’s not quite as impressive as its big brother, but it’s still an attractive little palace and it has the nicer half of the gardens, which I spent a few minutes walking around as night fell and then had no idea where I was.  I simply walked onto the street past the lower palace, which leads to a different part of the city

It was quite a nice sensation, I wasn’t lost; it’s impossible to get lost in the centre of Vienna, you just need to walk far enough and you’ll come to a U-bahn station, but it gave me the opportunity to walk through the city at night sober and alone, so I was paying attention to the buildings.  Vienna in pretty during the day, but beautiful at night.  All the major buildings have footlights shining up wards and picking out architectural intricacies which aren’t as obvious in the day.  And there were a lot of buildings like that, I wonder how I’m supposed to decide what to photograph, I could easily fill entire albums with buildings from Vienna, though I would prefer to have seen it before the introduction of the neon and overhead tram lines which block so many views, which would otherwise be perfect.

When I started walking, I thought had been heading towards the Cathedral, but after about twenty minutes I think I must have found myself turned around, as I started walking down the quieter one way streets, but I struck lucky when I arrived at the next main road and ended up right next to the hotel my parents will be staying at this weekend and the nearest U-bahn not too far away.  It struck me as quite a convenient coincidence that I’d popped up there, but I didn’t become truly excited until I saw the Segway dealership right next door.

I’ve seen Segways before now and they always seemed to be a bit of a touristy gimmick – on fact, my mum wants to take a Segway tour while my family is here – but now I really want one.  They look like fun.  Do I have to learn to drive?  Can’t I just take all the money I’d spend on driving lessons, petrol, MOTs, repairs and invest it in a Segway?

We’ll see if I still feel the same way after this weekend…

It’s an interesting thing.  When I sat down to write this, I was concerned that I’d not done much today, but in reality it’s been a resounding success.

Here’s to the same again tomorrow.

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