Better late than never, I bring you... an Austrian wedding weekend. (Or, "One Wedding and Thankfully No Funerals")
Thursday, May 10
9:00am George and I take a taxi to Barcelona airport for our 11am Click Air (cheap-o Iberia spinoff that started back in February, just in time for our trip to Switzerland) flight to Vienna. After a flight, a train, and a taxi, we finally arrive at our hotel, which is right in city center. On our way to eat lunch, George is nearly decapitated by a worker carrying a large piece of lumber through a door. We notice later that nearly everyone in Vienna carries large objects around. During our lunch on a terrace, we are passed by another man carrying a large piece of plywood, two men carrying glass, and another man carrying a large table. We are obviously tourists. We are carrying nothing.
4pm, at the Cathedral
Which, sadly, doesn't allow ice cream or mobile phones. But Big Macs and ghetto blasters may be tolerated...
Francis joined us in the late afternoon and Tom arrived for dinner. Before dinner, we waited for Tom at a bar called Barbara's, which was filled with beautiful girls and photos of naked women and wine glasses. After speaking to a girl who happened to be the daughter of the bar owner, we learned that we had stumbled upon the opening night of this particular exhibition, and that all the models in the photos were in the room, along with the photographer.
George, after realizing he was surrounded by the women in the photos...
After a schnitzel fest dinner, we wandered through Vienna and then called it a night. Tom had an early interview and Francis realized that he only looked at the wedding invite the day before... so he had to locate a tuxedo first thing in the morning.
Friday, May 11
With Francis off tuxedo shopping and Tom interviewing, George and I wandered around in search of an internet cafe. Along the way, we bumped into this friendly zombie.
After an extended lunch at a terrace in the center of town (we lucked out with the weather!) George and Tom headed off to pick up our rental car and I helped Francis pick out a wedding gift. Soon we were off (in a Mercedes E-class! Choice!) to Burgau, about 150km south of Vienna.
7:00pm - The festivities begin. Dressed in "traditional attire" (for me that means jeans!) we all meet for a welcome dinner. Fantastic food (80kg worth of spit-roasted pork!) followed by traditional Austrian dancing, and then traditional international drunk dancing until 3am.
George & Jan-Erik
The happy couple, Kathi and Chris
Francis tearing it up
Blue Steel on the dance floor
An Austrian dancer explains that you just can't do this stuff if you're English... sorry Francis.
Marco decides he will ride a bicycle back to the hotel
And George decides to carry this sign
In a fit of German integrity, Marco drops Francis at the hotel and returns the bike where he found it. The sign remains in front of our hotel until we leave for good.
2:46am: We have to enter through the back door because the front of our B&B is locked. Imagine our excitement when we find a tractor... with the keys in the ignition! And bicycles!
Again, reasonable Marco prevented the tractor from leaving the garage. But we had fun anyway.
Saturday, May 12
By now, most of us have stumbled downstairs to breakfast and group consensus is that we go horseback riding. So off we go in a group of 12 to the stables nearby, only to find that the woman who would normally be able to take us out riding isn't around. So we head for this crazy spa.
With all of us feeling rather worse for the wear, a healthy place like a spa seems like just the ticket. Especially a spa that serves beer!
Sunglasses are key in times like these
On the way out, we found this sign, which means "Evacation Point." I guess in Austria, you're supposed to huddle in the midst of a huge field in case of any problems. But it does not explain what to do with your large objects...
3:45pm: We head back to the hotel to get cleaned up and ready for the wedding ceremony.
Alex and Tom: Tuxedo Model v. Sock Model
5:26pm: A quick stop at Crazy Girls on the way to the ceremony... which was unfortunately closed.
5:37pm: Just enough time for a quick beer before saying "I do." (Or, in this case, "Ja.")
5:48pm: Ian, Alex, and Bertrand looking dapper in the church
6:56pm: The newlyweds drive off in a sweet Mustang
7:15pm: The Reception, at the estate of Kathi's family
7:47pm: The tossing of the bouquet.... I missed it! Woo hoo!!!
7:58pm: Pre-dinner photo op with the IESE crew
10:38pm: After a fabulous dinner, time for dancing! Chris and Kathi get us started
10:41pm: And I continue
11:38pm: The crew still standing
12:02am: The castle by night
The path to the reception tent
12:21am: George strikes a pose
2:40am: The party still going strong
3:04am: Francis shows off his moves
3:42am: Tom's flying again!
4:26am: Alex, Francis, and George
5:45am: The house and tent... also still standing!
6:03am: On the way back to the car, we pass this swing set and have to have a go, of course
6:16am: Tom takes his swinging very seriously
6:35am: Sunrise on the way back to the hotel, with Tom screaming "GO FASTER!!!!"
Sunday, May 13
11:45am: George and I try to wake up Tom and Francis for brunch
Or, "why you shouldn't go to bed and leave your door open"
Francis is so posh he even wears his cufflinks to bed!
12:34pm Brunch.... because we hadn't yet had enough weiners!
Freddy definitely hadn't
1:45pm Tom opts for a liquid lunch
2:15pm: Francis and I harass a poor helpless dog that just wanted a weiner
3:35pm Tom finds one last chance to play in the sandbox before it's time to hit the road to Vienna
On the way back into Vienna, we stopped at a XXX video shop to "ask directions." I didn't take photos there....
Monday, May 14: Time to head back to Barcelona and prepare for the Olympics!!!