My colleague here at the University of Pecs, Joseph Horvath, produces a podcast called "Take Off," which features interviews with students and recordings of classic literature. I guess I fall somewhere in between. Joe interviewed me on one of the nicest days of autumn here; we sat outside at a cafe by the cathedral near my apartment. I read a brand new poem, "Dream Map-Vienna" at the end of the podcast. And we are laughing because earlier we had watched two girls walk past us wearing angel's wings.
Below is a video I made inside the Alte Bibliotek in Vienna (the Old Library), which is basically a museum. It's quite a place--if you have 5 minutes (warning) I show the ornate painted ceiling, old globes, statues, huge book stacks, and treasures.
Two trips to Vienna (one solo in Sept and one with Bob in Oct). The train ride is 6 hours each way via Budapest. When I visited Vienna alone I hit the last weekend of summer weather. I was able to sit outside with my plum cake and grosser brauner at Cafe Sperl. I also tried the plum cake at the historic Cafe Hawelka. Better at Sperl.
When it rained on the next visit, Bob and I and everybody else in Vienna had the same idea: to go to Cafe Demel
The nut cake is almost gone but the cup in my hand contained hot chocolate with Bailey's and schlagobers, one of the best words in the German language. I'm trying really hard not to blink at the flash.
BUT the best dessert was at the Albertiner Keller:
Poppyseed-honey mousse with sour cherries. In a little glass preserves container. What??? You can see in the top left corner what was left of Bob's sachertorte.
More later on art and buildings!
...though believe me, I erased a few puns before I took the high road. It's been a while since my last post. A lot has happened in my writing life, my academic life and my life-life. Bob and I both got faculty exchanges to teach at the University of Pécs, in Pécs, Hungary. It's still summer weather here, on the 4th of October. We arrived almost a month ago and since then I've taken the train to Vienna for the weekend, hosted a party on our back patio for our colleagues, Bob has assisted in the grape harvest and we've settled in to watch the parade of feral cats cruise through the yard.
I'm teaching a Multi-Genre Writing Workshop to upper-division students at PTE and an online class for CWU. I'm also working on a new book and training to run the Ljubljana Half Marathon this month.
I ran this morning up to high lookout at the top of the next valley over from Labastide Esparbairenque. The temperature was hot even at 9 and I hadn't done a longer run in a while, but I loved every minute of it. The runs here are so refreshing that I don't want to turn around—I come back feeling better and full of hope. Beauty erupts everywhere out on the trail—vistas open around each turn. I plan to have some new shots of the trail and the views to post later.
Then a long (3 1/2 hours) French lunch was devoured by our group at Sire de Cabaret in Roqueferre—with glorious desserts and duck, lamb, entrecote, etc. I have no photos of lunch, but I think I was the only one not taking pictures. Today was a day to look ahead to our last big project of the Creative Castle class and to enjoy being in France.
The angels on the grand entry to the Cathedrale of Ste.-Cecile have never flown with their burdens. (French sentence).
We had a beautiful day to explore the Cite (the medieval town) of Carcassonne. I hadn't visited the cathedral inside the Cite in the fall, so I appreciated having a tour led by Maria with the class this time.
We have been so fortunate with the weather during our stay in France. The air is dry, warm and fragrant (in a good way). I might even say we've been blessed.
John Fanning, who owns La Muse with his wife Kerry, let us in the ancient chapel today. This is a beautiful, peaceful space—it calms a person right down. This is John meditating in the chapel.
Today was also the book swap in La Muse's library. All of the students brought wonderful gifts to leave.
Alex Emmons, Aaron, Alex and I had a little adventure in the course of finding a place to buy bread and some necessities—we hit the epicerie in Mas Cabardes at just the time when it was closed and tooled up to Mazamet instead.
In the village of books, Montolieu, Can you imagine--a village of books!
Introducing the New Cathar Resistance!