Vienna – Day 3

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This morning I had arranged to meet Doris Ingrisch, a woman who had sent a paper for our Women’s Conference in Toowoomba last year, but who had been unable to get funding to actually make the trip. In our email exchanges she had suggested that if I ever was in Vienna, I should get in touch with her. She arrived just as we finished breakfast and we went across the road for a cup of coffee and a nice chat. She offered to drive us to Sigmund Freud’s house which was our planned  outing for the morning, but Joel started feeling ill, so he and I returned to our room so he could rest and recover. It seemed to be a short term tummy bug and after a couple of hours he was ready to go again. I managed to do some laundry and worked on some puzzles while he rested.

It was almost 12 by the time we headed off to find 19 Bergasse, Sigmund Freud’s home and consulting rooms for about 50 years. It was only one quick “U” station away and then a short walk. I was quite excited to be in the rooms where Freud had worked and written and made such a contribution to psychology. We watched some movie footage of the family narrated by Anna Freud, his equally famous daughter. We saw the family enjoying their garden and receiving visitors, and there was also footage of the house emblazoned with swastikas as was required of all houses in the city in the late 1930s. In 1938, Freud left with his family for London, having an overnight stay in Paris as guest of some prince. All of this was on film, and we watched as he was received with due ceremony in London. The house had been set up as a museum largely due to the efforts of Anna who had donated a number of books and other memorabilia. I bought a poster of the famous couch and we headed back to the hotel for lunch and to give Joel a rest. He seemed to be back in full form, so we headed off again on the “U” (by this time we have been on all five lines of the Vienna underground rail system, and have given up getting lost), to find the Jewish Museum. This was another place we found most interesting with its series of 60 photos on display, one for each year since the formation of the state of Israel. We watched a video of the medieval Jewish section of Vienna (the actual site of the current display), and another video describing the building and expansion of the first synagogue in Vienna. It was destroyed in 1421 and its foundations had only been unearthed in archeological excavations in 1998. We were able to go down and walk through the excavated site deep underground.

We found our way back to the main city place, Stephensplatz, to enjoy the street entertainers and do some shopping. Joel has checked out every music shop we could find, and he bought a CD at a store near the Jewish Museum. He was enthralled by a street spray-can artist who was achieving all sorts of interesting effects with his spray cans, pieces of card, crushed paper, some basic templates and a scraper. We browsed through a number of shops, looking for fine china for Jane and other items which might make good gifts to take home. We found plenty of fine china, but also at a very fine price! Jane can expect something slightly less than fine. We bought some chocolates and liqueurs and then headed home with our purchases to await Peter’s arrival.

Peter and Joel enjoyed a cool drink at an outdoor cafe in Vienna

He was back at about 7.00 and we headed out to find dinner. We found a likely venue only a block away. Their special of the day was Wiener Schnitzel, so we took a seat in the outdoor section and Joel ordered our three meals. Peter also had a beer, I had wine and Joel had Almdudler, a lemon drink we had found a couple of days earlier on one of our supermarket visits. The schnitzels were huge and neither Joel nor I could finish ours. The cafe owner offered to wrap our leftovers for us to take home. After dinner, Peter suggested we take a walk to see the Danube. We walked some distance and I could see no sign of the river, so I bailed out and suggested we walk back to the hotel. These long summer days give us daylight until almost 10 pm, so there’s lots of time for strolling!