Episode 403 – There Are Places I’ll Remember

There are places I'll remember
All my life, though some have changed
Some forever, not for better
Some have gone and some remain
Thank you for the inspiration Lennon and McCartney.

Someone asked me recently why, when I talk about my favourite cities in the world, Vienna is always top of my travel list.

OMG, where to start’?

Ted and I both love history and architecture, and there’s plenty of both: incredible historic churches, museums, palaces, art galleries, tons of green space and parks, gardens, and concert halls, all in a range of styles from Hapsburg opulent to ultramodern.

There’s a historic amusement park, the oldest continuously operating zoo in the world, and the Opera House.

The transit system is FABULOUS: subway direct from the airport and main train station right into the centre of town, modern trams, gorgeous buses, an amazing underground.

The food….. oh, the food! The world’s best coffees, chocolates and desserts – and I defy even the French to produce better breads. Cuisine from all over the world as well as classic and delicious Austro-Hungarian foods.

And the markets! The Naschmarkt in the city centre is world renowned for its restaurants as much as the produce, and the Brunnenmarkt in the 8th ring/ 16th district where we stayed last summer) has the most amazing meats, produce, and Syrian specialties (it’s a very diverse city) – it’s also the largest market in the city, boasting 170+ stalls.

The shopping is amazing, on huge pedestrian malls with all the luxury brands, plus buskers at every corner, many performing gorgeous classical pieces. Even if you’re not buying, the window shopping is magnificent, and there’s always a café in which to sit and enjoy pastries or gelato.

Plus, since I speak German, communication is a breeze (most Viennese speak English too).

But now there’s unforgettable Mérida, Mexico.

Not only was there history, art, architecture, culture, food, and music (SO much music!), but our long stay made it possible to reconnect with old friends who winter here, to meet new people, to learn (at least a bit) of the language, and to make a connection with a host/landlord who has left an indelible impression on our hearts and minds.

Our large accommodation in a colonial era townhouse gave us the space – and the well-equipped kitchen – to allow us to entertain. Living with our landlord just upstairs gave us unprecedented access to truly world-class violin and string quartet rehearsals. And, Chris was generous with his contacts and friends as well, which meant we met the most interesting people from all over the world, including a Swiss couple in the process of opening a museum of vintage gramophones in the building right next door. I even got to speak German with them!

We leave today, with heavy hearts. I’d thought 5 months would be much too long in one place (and, honestly, we’ll likely not do a long stretch like this again), but Mérida has been incredible.

If/when we return, it will certainly have changed. We’ve watched that start to happen, as infrastructure is improved and more tourism is wooed.

Nonetheless, in our lives, it’s a place we’ll always remember as being the imperfect yet marvellous city with which we fell in love.


  1. ROSE: Wasn’t sure exactly when you were leaving Merida.  Really, really sharing it with you in person and also through your blogs. 

    Looking forward to our next meeting! Al

    Liked by 1 person

  2. When you said you were leaving today, I got weepy! (My eyes are glazed as I write this) I sent your blog to Carolyn and Robert Morassutti before I finished Vienna. I wish I got to see Vienna as you did! Love you so much


    Liked by 1 person

  3. Vienna has never been in my list to be honest. But now I am rethinking it…

    I also love to hear about surprises like this. Like finding such an undiscovered place and loving it so much. Andrew and I have similar priorities when it comes to travel. I’m shall have to tell him more about your stay in Mexico. Fly safe!

    Liked by 1 person

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