Saturday, March 24, 2012

A fine day

This morning I went out for my second bike ride of the season, accompanied by my friend Katya from the gym. We hoped for a warm morning like I enjoyed last weekend, but we got a cold breeze and weak sunlight that failed to warm us. Still, we had a good time because by now the snow has completely disappeared from the bike path and the cleaning people have swept up most of the winter debris. Imagine our surprise, then, to discover people skiing on the cross-country track I declared snow-free last weekend. As we approached the track we saw people striding along the horizon and decided that roller-ski season has already started. But when we got closer we discovered that they wore ordinary skis and that most of the track has groomed snow. The outlying loops are dry now, but somehow the main training area has snow and plenty of skiers and coaches. I have to guess that the snow arrives overnight in trucks, but I don’t really know.

Mostly we stayed warm enough for a reasonably long bike ride, but by the time I got home my feet felt so numb that I didn’t want to make them ache in a hot shower. Instead, I cooked an omelet to eat before my shower. This month I finally (after HOW many omelets?) started flipping my eggs in a whole mass by whipping the pan over the stove. The first time I had five eggs in the pan and it was really easy. This time, with three eggs, the omelet didn’t hold together perfectly and I lost a little portion onto the floor. The floor being clean, I ate it anyway. (Guests don’t worry: I never serve others off the floor, honest!)

Post-ride omelet
After I got cleaned up, Alla and I went back out for a walk. We saw the first crocus of the spring right in front of our door; and we saw hordes of others out enjoying the city’s beautiful parks, squares and pathways. Following a brilliantly-laid plan, we concluded our walk at CafĂ© La Crete d'Or, where we bought a couple of pastries to enjoy at home.

We have an enclosed balcony overlooking our serene, grassy, finally snow-free yard. The afternoon sun warms the balcony and we’re enjoying the fact that we can already eat lunch out there. Today we sat down at our balcony table for late-afternoon tea, but we decided to behave responsibly and save our tortes for after dinner. Alla brought home a honey torte and I got Sachertorte, which I don’t remember seeing on the menu previously. I generally like Sachertortes alright but I don’t always congratulate myself for ordering them. This one, however, tasted as good as any I’ve ever had, including at the Hotel Sacher in Vienna. Alla really wanted me to take a picture of it for my blog, but by the time she suggested it I’d already eaten almost the whole thing. I guess I’ll have to go out and buy another slice.

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