Sunday, April 27, 2008


On Friday as I rode on the bus, I listened to my MP3 player and cleared out old messages on my phone. As I got off the bus at my stop, I continued to play with my phone and listen to my music as I made my way to the jewelry store to look at wedding bands. I looked at the bands and decided that I needed one the same thickness as my engagement ring (which is thicker than average here in Dublin) so I will probably need a custom ring (which of course costs more).

Anyway, as I left the jewelry store, I decided since it was payday, I would head to the other jewelry store where we were going to order John's ring from. I reached back into my backpack and it was open! I know I had closed it on the bus. I reached inside the front pocket and there was no wallet!! I dug around a bit, and nope, it was gone. I then went back to the store I had just been in and asked the sales assistants if the bag had been open when I was in the store. It was! I then texted John and asked him to look up where a Garda station was so that I could report my wallet stolen. As we were talking, I saw a Garda and asked where to go. He directed me to the nearest station and I headed off. Meanwhile, John canceled one debit card and texted me the number to cancel the other. I canceled it and then went into the police station to report the theft.

The Garda was very nice and understanding. She took my details and asked what was in my wallet. I gave a brief list of what I could remember and explained that my driver's license is there and would be difficult to replace. She asked if I needed a letter from the police saying my wallet had been stolen and that she would ring on Monday to check if I needed a letter. I thanked her for her time and went on my way.

Saturday afternoon, I went wallet shopping. John was supposed to meet me after getting my bus ticket for next month and bus ID replaced (luckily Dublin Bus didn't charge me for it). While I was trying to find John and find out of if a charity shop near us took donations, the Garda from Friday rang to say that my wallet had been returned! That never happens! I went to go retrieve my wallet and see what had been taken. All my ID was still in it! I don't have to replace my driver's license. Hurray! The thief (thieves) took my money, bus tickets, prescriptions, and taxi voucher that I needed for Monday (can get another one easily enough). So, thanks to whoever turned in my wallet. I has made my life a lot easier. Now I just need to wait 5 days for my Irish ATM card back...

Saturday, April 26, 2008


OK, I am really on a roll posting the Vienna pictures. See, I am procrastinating. We did a bit of organizing today and now I am procrastinating wedding knitting, cooking dinner, and other cleaning or baking. Hmm, that's a lot.

Anyway, while in Vienna, we of course visited every church we passed that was open. One of them was Votivkirche. Apparently it is one of the most important neogothic churches in the world! The church was built on the site of an attempted murder of Emperor Franz Joseph. Apparently, he was attacked with a knife but since he always wore a high collared uniform, his life was spared. His brother, Ferdinand Maximilian Joseph (later emperor of Mexico) later called for donations to build a church on the site. The church was to be a thank you present to God. The church was dedicated 24 April 1879, 26 years after being started.


While in Berlin last summer, I learned about the artist Hundertwasser because Opal makes yarns inspired by his paintings. :) While in Vienna, we went to the Hundertwasser museum and saw a couple of his buildings. In addition to being an artist, he was also an architect. His buildings are fascinating because he did not like straight lines. Instead, he believed that buildings should have curved lines, including the floors. He also believed that nature should be brought into buildings so there are plants inside, a couple water features, and plants growing on roofs of his buildings.

In the museum, there is a model of what he thinks a town should look like. The model had rooftops resembling rolling hills with animals grazing on top and streams running through it. I imagine that the buildings would be fairly fuel efficient and pollution would certainly be reduced if buildings were built the way he suggested.

Either way, his buildings are fascinating. They look like something out of the children's game Candy Land to me.

Wien bei nacht

Since I have an affinity for night shots, here is Vienna by night.

Schloss Schonbrunn

While in Vienna, we had to go to at least one palace. So, off to Schloss Schonbrunn it was. The schloss was built by the oh so powerful Habsburg family. It started out as a hunting retreat for Maximilian II in the late 1500's. It was then built up and started to be called Schonbrunn in 1642, when Eleonore Gonzaga, widow of Ferdinand II, added to the palace. It has a labyrinth and maze (which we didn't go into) and very large parkland around it. Although it was freezing (literally), it was fun to wander the grounds and imagine great royalty hunting and relaxing there...

Friday, April 25, 2008


Alright, I continue to be remiss on the blogging. But I have a good excuse, really I do. I have been busy knitting. But that isn't the good excuse. The current one is that my parents visited for two weeks and then John's mom was in town for a few days. Yeah, so I was busy entertaining. That's my story and I'm sticking to it! (there is something else but I'll write about that later)

Anyway, back to the travel photos. Vienna, yeah. That's where our travels took us. While in Vienna, John was on a mission to find bock bier. It is a stronger beer that is only available a couple times a year, and Easter is one of them. Therefore, he consulted the "drinking" section of the guidebook and directed us to a pub that he thought should have potential. While the 1516 Brewery didn't have bock bier, they had a lot of other good things. Since we had gone to have dinner, we ordered food. I ordered a turkey burger and John ordered sausage. My "burger" was really a grilled fillet of turkey and tasty wonderful. It tasted well spiced and had a lot more flavor than I am used to turkey having. I gave John a bit. He said it tasted familiar. He then ate more sausage and he realized that my turkey tasted basically the same as his sausage!! The must have been grilled on the same grill....

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Around Vienna

OK, I have been remiss in the blogging again. I meant to post the pictures of our latest trip more quickly but life just seems to get in the way. At least I got a major piece of knitting done for the wedding (nope, no pictures). So, to get back on track, here are pictures from around Vienna.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Stephan Dom

Welcome to Vienna! After dropping off our luggage at our hotel, Hotel Bellevue which was lovely. The room was spacious and the staff helpful. It was also in a good location as well.

So, after checking into the hotel, we decided to go check out the Unesco World Heritage site in Vienna, the city centre and Stephan Dom and surrounding area. The church was built in the 1200s and is quite impressive. I could go on about it but instead, I'm just going to let the pictures tell the story...

Oh, this post has a couple of my favorite photos from the trip.

Hungarian Baths

Okay, we have been back for ages but we are continuing our play by play posting about our most recent trip. We better hurry up because we have another long weekend coming up soon. I don't really know what I've been doing with my time (besides working and sleeping) because I don't seem to get that much knitting done either. Hmm...

Anyway, while in Budapest, we decided that we needed to check out a bath because the city is on a fault line. So, we consulted our Lonely Planet guide and chose the only one listed that said men and women could come on the same day. The guidebook also said that the Gellert was like taking a bath in a cathedral! So, after the art museum, we headed onto the baths. When we got off the tram, the adventure began.

First, we ended up walking around most of the building because we couldn't find the entrance. We eventually found the entrance. When we walked in, we saw the lines to get tickets and the information booth. We stood in line, looked at the prices, discussed what we were going to do, and then asked a couple questions at the information desk. We then got back in line and I thought of another question and asked it while John waited. Meanwhile, we saw people wandering around in bathrobes and entering from a different entrance. We got our tickets and still didn't really understand what we paid for because you could get treatments such as massage but also there appeared to be different tickets for the warm and cool water areas. They told us that our ticket got us into both. So, we got our ticket and then handed them to the person checking them. He told us to both go the same way. No word on where the changing rooms were. We eventually found where to get towels and they told us where each changing area was (hallway to change into). Eventually, we got changed and then met up and found a bath. In that room, there is one cool water and one warm water pool.

After being done with these two pools, we decided to wander around a bit because we thought that there had to be more. And there was. We found two more pools. One was warmer than the other and we went into the warmer one and relaxed. We stayed in this pool until our fingers were all shriveled. Then we wandered some more and decided that was all there was for us. I then began my adventure of getting back to my changing area. Luckily for me, a guy noticed that I was confused/lost and told me how to get back to my changing area. After getting changed, we headed out and saw a bunch of people with guidebooks all looking disappointed because the bath stopped allowing in visitors before it closed...

Oh, and this ends the tour of Budapest. Next stop: Vienna