Sunday, 11 March 2012

Return to Vienna (7)

Was Schubert ever fou as a wulk here?

All right, nearly finished. Thank you for staying the course, if you have. 6 days (actually Friday evening - Wednesday morning) was quite long enough to become completely inebriated with all Vienna had to offer, particularly to one of my romantic and musical leanings. Inebriated? The very word sent me to Roget's Thesaurus, where it seemed to me that fully to convey the sense of Viennese intoxication what I needed to do was to copy out the entire adjectival §949:

Drunk, inebriated, intoxicated, inder the unfluence, having had a drop too much, in one's cups, in liquor, the worse for liquor, half-seas over, three sheets to the wind, one over the eight, boozed up, ginned up, liquored up, lit up, flushed, merry, happy, mellow, high, full, fou, tanked up, bevvied up...

*takes sip of Alka Seltzer*

...tipsy, tiddly, squiffy, tight, half-cut, well-oiled, pickled, arseholed, canned, bottled, stewed, smashed, wasted, legless, sloshed, sozzled, soaked, soused, plastered, stinko, stinko paralytico, blotto, stocious, under the table, fou as a wulk...[erm, what?]

*takes another sip of Alka Seltzer*

So on our last morning in Vienna we spent an hour or two wandering around the Ringstrasse, noting that in front of the Town Hall they'd made a massive public outdoor ice-rink, with be-skated classes of infants being shepherded round; breakfast in the Café Landtmann, 'coffee-house of Vienna's intelligentsia', the guide book said; across the street to the Mölker-Bastei where the Emperor Franz-Josef survived an assassination attempt in 1853 (a tailor tried to stab him with a pair of scissors); into a house where Beethoven once lived on the top floor, but not in the apartment across the landing now made into a tiny museum with a Streicher piano as almost the only exhibit, which the notice said once belonged to Beethoven, but it certainly did not: he never owned one of that make; past another wedding-cake-like house, the Dreimäderlhaus (photo above), where Schubert was notable for not having had three girlfriends at one go despite the claims made in Lilac Time; and so back to our hotel via the Vienna Stock Exchange to pick up our luggage and take a taxi out to the airport.

We checked in, went through security and into the departure area in search of lunch, a final Wiener Schnitzel. The restaurant was decorated here and there with cartoons, photos and other memorabilia of two other composers with strong Viennese connections. Please believe me: it was called the Brahms und Liszt.

Exactly so.

On the way back we flew high over the Danube. From that height it really is blue.

No comments: