Euro 2008: The Final

A few pictures from the build-up to the final last night here in Vienna.

Another wild afternoon in Vienna dominated by the Spanish. Although it seems as though Spain have had more matches here in Vienna than other teams, I did get the impression that their fans were the most lively, the most gregarious, and generally the most fun. They took over Kaertnerstrasse, Stephansplatz, and the Graben the whole afternoon with their chanting, singing, and humourously drunken shenanigans, creating a pleasant festival atmosphere. And, perhaps strangely, virtually all the attractive women were either Spanish or Spain fans…

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Spain V Russia Euro 2008 Semi-Final, Vienna

A few pics from last night’s semi-final build-up in Vienna. The Spaniards were out in force again yesterday, with a sprinkling of Russians here and there. Like last Sunday the largest group of people congregated on the Kaertnerstrasse, chanting, dancing, and kicking a football high into the air, sending it bouncing off the buildings. The usual friendly antagonism between rival fans; the Spaniards cheerfully out-singing the Russians, chanting taunts and taking pictures with one another. Or, as here on the left, earnestly wishing one another luck with a Continue reading

Euro 2008: Spain V Italy

A few pictures from the run-up to Spain-Italy tonight…

Oddly there were thousands of friendly and rambunctious Spaniards hanging around downtown, but relatively few Italians. A large group of perhaps 300 fans, mostly dressed in red and yellow, had congregated on Kaertnerstrasse where it intersects with Weihburggasse, chanting and singing and even kicking a semi-deflated football high into the air, letting it land where it may. Continue reading

Of Cafes and Bike Rides

At Tirolerhof today. It’s a marvelous cafe, though they regrettably haven’t installed wireless access yet. Walls cream-coloured; large windows arched in a vaguely Arabic manner, outlined in black; similarly shaped mirrors in between the windows; chandeliers suspended from a lofty ceiling; a few old-fashioned glass cabinets with several shelves of freshly made tortes and strudels; a varied clientele, generally lining the tables by the windows and walls (they have comfortable sofa-like booths), reading newspapers, chatting—one genially corpulent gentleman to my left is perusing the theater schedule. Continue reading

The Morning After

Walking back quite late into the city, I saw small armies of cleaners already at work. Vienna’s amazing in that respect: all the through the evening and night, thousands of people litter the ground with broken bottles, firecrackers, bottle-rockets, beer cans, sausage wrappers, napkins, and every other conceivable form of refuse, until by 3 or 4 there’s a carpet of trash around the whole first district. Incredibly, by 7:30 it’s all gone—the whole city looks as clean as a fresh May morning. Ahh, Vienna.

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New Year’s in Vienna

I started my New Year’s Eve perambulation by going around the corner to Dad’s flat and saying hello to everyone—some friends from Italy with their children are visiting. Then I got the materials for dinner ready and headed down to Mom’s to make dinner. When I were in Berlin last week, I rather liked the fennel risotto that Alex made, so I used their website and downloaded the recipe, and tried it out for myself. Very good.

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A Walk Around Vienna

It’s a frosty -4 C here in Vienna today, and I decided to walk around and check out the town. The downtown is bustling with activity; most of the triangular little huts have been erected for New Year’s Eve, and a number of additional stalls are being set up.

This is the back of one of the triangular huts. They’re all over town; most of them sell sekt, or Gluhwein or Continue reading