I was able to take off one full workweek and two weekends over the Christmas holidays and visit my childhood friend Igor, his wife Mateja and one year old son Luka. Since it was little difficult to find a good connecting flight to Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, I’ve booked a flight to Vienna, Austria. Igor offered to pick me up in Vienna so I booked my ticket without much hesitation.
The flight was quite comfortable. For some reason I always get excited about the in-flight movie program and must admit that Austrian Airlines have excellent in-flight service, food and entertainment. I watched couple of movies and as I was about to start reading the Da Vinci Code when the captain announced landing. I was very excited to meet up with my Slovenian friends.
Washington - Vienna flight gets in very early, around 8am. Since I had no additional bags to wait for, I quickly cleared the Austrian Immigration. As soon as I walked out to the arrival section, it felt like I walked into whole new world. Well, this world comes with “all-inclusive” clouds of tobacco smoke with a taste of heavy roasted espresso coffee.
Luka, Mateja and Igor were already on the airport waiting for me. Despite the cold and rainy weather, we’ve decided to spend the entire afternoon in this beautiful city. Vienna is the largest city in Austria and main cultural, economic and political center. We focused on the Cathedral of Saint Stephen and the local coffee shops. The Stephansdom (Cathedral of Saint Stephen), is a beloved symbol of Vienna and the site of many important events in Austria's national life. This is where I captured a father and son – mirror reflection moment. Austria is always fun during Christmas. The area around the cathedral was buzzing with people buying last minute presents.
I realized that I could use this opportunity to meet up with another good friend, Teodora. Last summer, Boris, my “kum” from Toronto got married and he honored me to be his best man in the wedding. His wife Sladjana’s counterpart, Teodora, lives in Vienna suburbs with two Bosnian girlfriends, Irma and Sofia, for the last couple of years so I rang her up to join us for lunch. Teodora was working that day but she invited me to Vienna on my way back to Washington.
On the way to Slovenia we stopped near Graz to have some famous Austria stew and amazing strudels for desert. Luka was sleeping in the back seat as we were crossing the border to Slovenia.
bosnia & h'govina
serbia & montenegro
republic of south africa