Saturday, September 27, 2008

Crazy long overdue pics from August in Europe with the Li family

I started off my trip in Berlin. Here's me being a tourist at Checkpoint Charlie with Melissa, the world's best host:

After only a couple days in Berlin, I was off to Vienna to meet up with the family. Here's mom and Tante Gerda after lunch at "Zur Wuadn Goass", which is obscenely convoluted Viennese slang for "To the Wild Goat". This was the beginning of many days of potato dishes with potato sides for me. Why yes, that's Wiener Schnitzel on mom's plate. Don't pretend to be surprised! I think she ate one every other day for the entire ten days we were in the motherland.

We visited many of our childhood haunts, including the pool in Strandbad Klosterneuburg where Matthias and Claudius and I spent many happy summer days:

Since visiting Tante was the major reason for the trip, we spent a lot of time with her, reminiscing about the past, getting verbally flayed in a highly malicious manner... only slightly more of the latter than the former. Here's her immaculate dining room:

The "maid's quarters" of her apartment, which Tante has only ever used as a (pious!) dining nook:

Tante met her new grandniece-in-law (is that right??):

And promptly showed off a patch of blooming bruises on her legs, the result of a blood thinning medication she's on:

She also shared some old photos. This one is of her and her late husband, my great uncle. Onkel Walter was on the Austrian national downhill skiing team, and also competed professionally as a kayaker. What a dashing couple!

And while we're on the subject of photogenic relatives, check out this fox. She was an actress and Onkel Walter's mother. Clearly, handsome genes run in the family; it's only too bad we're not actually related by blood:

The Austrian version of tea time is called Jause, and involves (preferably home-baked... check) pastries and coffee topped with (also preferably home-made... check) whipped cream:

My favorite part of the vacation though, was our two day hiking trip over a pre-alpine mountain called Rax. We took a cable car to the trail head, and the view from up there was absolutely as idyllic as you might imagine:

Our trails took us through fields of wildflowers (we even saw some Edelweiss!),

herds of cows (omg to be able to do that with your tongue!!),

and patches of snow with enough ammo for a mini snowball fight!

It was a dreamy two days of nature-tastic fun.

Then it was back to Berlin, and more touristy photo opps:

Melissa and I rode bikes everywhere, visited an art squat called Tacheles, ran into (!) Carl and Jasmine at a falafel place in Kreuzberg, watched avant garde performance art, went dancing, hung out with a cute puppy, and baked vegan pie:


audrey said...

omg, there are so many things to love about this post! where do i start? does tante have a doll collection? do you always take pictures while she's showing off bruises? i think it's actually really tasteful for a grandma's house! you never went to visit noni, but there were some serious jc's in there! four stars, j!

Julia said...

I did go to Noni's house once! It was incredible. Somebody could have done a whole photo essay on any single wall of her apartment!

Oh and yes, Tante does have a doll collection, what you see in those pictures is merely the tip of the iceberg.

Cara said...


qsoz said...

Mein Herz brennt!

qsoz said...

Zerflie├če, mein Herze...

audrey said...

in that photo of the club, there's something blue coming out of the back of that guy's (blue) shirt. wtf *is* that?

Julia said...

That's an excellent question Audrey. Not gonna even hazard a guess.