Flew to Vienna via Manchester, Jodrell Bank conspicuous from the air. Vienna was surprisingly hot, hotter still when I found myself in a square somewhere looking for the bus stop I needed to get to the village where the Guitar Craft weekend was being held, and couldn’t find it. I’d missed it and had to find my way to a railway station and get a train to a nearby village, where one of the Crafties picked me up. This experience taught me that my German is poorer than I thought, and my navigation skills even poorer.
The weekend was in what seemed to be a retreat centre or hippy farm of some kind. It had been devastated by a flood two days before, when a nearby stream burst its banks, destroying the road in the process. The course organisers had spent the day assisting the staff to clear mud from the meeting rooms and bedrooms. By the time I got there, very late, there was nothing worse than a slight damp smell inside.
The weekend was good – three instructors, two Japanese and one Argentinian who together make up the trio Zum . Lots of finger-stretching and intricate pick work, rhythm and circulation exercises and a short performance by three of us to the others.
On Sunday one of the organisers, Wolfgang, gave me a lift to Vienna, where he’d arranged for me to flat-sit for a friend of his who was working in Berlin. Before that we stopped in at a bar and watched the World Cup final.
So I had Monday, Tuesday and part of Wednesday to walk about Vienna. On Monday I met up with some of the Crafties in the evening and on Tuesday with some relatives who were passing through. I went to exhibitons of Shiele and Hundertwasser, among others. The temperature was somewhere around 32, very hot to be walking about a busy city. But I enjoyed the city and am glad to have some friends there now and the invitation to return. Given the hours I’ve been working lately I was glad to have almost a week without touching a computer.
Hundertwasser gallery, designed by the artist.
… from the inside: