The photography site for sore eyes. With extra writing because I'm also a writer.
So there I was, after three incredible days of travel, food and booze, slumped in a chair in the hotel foyer.
It was 1.30 in the afternoon, I had been drinking until seven that morning. I still felt delerious and exhausted.
My eyes were closed, as my Mp3 player pumped out songs into my sore head.
When I opened them momentarily, she was there. Sitting at the next table across from me. Waving and smiling. Blonde hair, short dress, thick make-up. I was about to get propositioned by a high-class prostitute.*
Very quickly Andrea told me that she was a psychologist, health worker, actress and singer, and possibly a few other things I can’t remember. She said she owned one-ninth of a huge potato farm in Austria and had slept with two men the previous day, one of which was her best-ever lover.
I promise you I am not making any of this up.
She also quizzed me about whether I thought the two pensioners sitting near us were feeling horny, if I liked ‘f***ing’ (she did) and allowed me try on her blonde wig.
By the time Robert, the little Irishman, joined me, she was roaring with laughter as she sang seductive love songs to us.
It goes on… when I told her what I did for a living she asked me to photograph her as she smoked (an added bonus) and also proceeded to stand up, lift her leg onto the chair and say ‘is this a bit sexy?’ He skirt also had a nasty habit of rolling up to the top of her legs as she sat. We made our excuses and left.
Abiding memory of Austria, probably not, but meeting this woman is certainly not an encounter I’ll forget in a hurry.
My four days in Klagenfurt and Vienna was as good a trip as I’ve ever had. The scenery, the architecture, the hospitality, the nightlife. First class all the way.
Now, obviously, this was a press trip (I was working for the Daily Star) and the Austrian tourist employees could not do enough to make sure we had the perfect trip, from the best restaurants and five star hotels to the use of the Rapid Vienna team coach and the dutiful company of the tour guides as we drank until it was morning. The bike ride was something special, too.
But the country bowled me over in spite of that. It was the scenery and clean air in Klagenfurt, it was the awesome architecture of Vienna (by far the most beautiful European city I have visited so far). It was amazing.
NOTE: I would like to apologise to Andrea if my assumption is incorrect and she is not a prostitute (but I think she was).