Budapest, Hungary 22 June 2013
Friday the 21st, the first day of summer was a day off for us in Vienna. I threw myself out of the hotel and into the street where I walked for nearly three hours, through parks and shopping districts. The heat subsided to a comfortable 29c./85f. I stopped in at a cafe with outdoor tables and umbrellas for a chicken schnitzel and pint of golden local lager, both delicious. Back to the hotel... read, practise, nap. Dinner out with the boys again tonight and I couldn't resist another schnitzel. When in Wien...... Finished off the evening with another pint of local down at the hotel bar.
Saturday morning I was up like a shot at 5 o'clock... wide awake and ready to go. Tried going back to sleep but by 6 knew it was a lost cause. Got dressed and went up to the 7th floor where there's a guest lounge that serves hot buffet breakfast and has an espresso machine. Scrambled eggs and four espressos later I was down in the gym wearing out the treadmill belt and pushing weights around. Back in the room at 9 wondering what to do next. Shower? Walk? Breakfast #2? I laid down on the bed to ponder these options and promptly fell asleep for an hour. That extra 60 minutes was enough to put me right for the rest of the day.
We flew from Vienna to Budapest for tonight's show to a fantastic audience of 6,000. A standing gig, in other words, the floor of the arena was packed full of standing fans while all around the perimeter of the venue the seats were full as well.
A runner back to the plane, a quick curry and a couple of drinks later we touched down lightly back in Vienna. After a quick change of clothes most of us ended up at Die Stadtbrauerei beer hall and restaurant for a couple of pints of their magnificent Helles style beer. Those hallertau hops that I'd mentioned in these notes a few days ago are part of what gives the helles it's distinctive flavour and it couldn't have tasted better as the gentle evening breeze blew through the open doors and windows.
A short walk back to the hotel and the end of a long day.