Lenny’s show in Helsinki on Saturday was amazing. He was full of energy, yet, so relaxed and so in the moment. He was walking in the stage and connecting sincerely to his audience. There was no rush whatsoever. He even asked the audience, “You are not in a hurry, aren’t you?” His voice was mesmerising. It was the same as listening to his studio recorded songs which means that he has such an authentic voice. His song, Here to love, was so touching with a choir on stage.
I bought seat tickets just to be sure that I can see. Except for Toto’s concert where I was stood in the first row, I struggled with height issue in concerts. I remember being squeezed among the crowd of a Green Day concert. And if not for the generous people infront of me during the Duran Duran and the Mariah Carey’s concert, I will not to able to see a thing, even those were seated tickets.
However during Lenny’s performance of Let love rule, I decided to go down. As luck would have it, Lenny went down the stage too and kept on saying, “I want to see the people.” I saw the security near me looking all nervous. Lenny went across and up the hall. I knew that he will pass my way since the steps going up the stage was on the side where I was standing. People rushed to my side with phones ready while I decided to place my phone on my back pocket. I held out both my hand as he was coming close. I called softly, “Lenny”. And he reached his hand to me and I held it with both my hands. We were face to face. He was infront of me. He saw me. It was a very in the moment handshake. The people before me didn’t get handshakes while they stuck out one hand and phones on the other. I would not be in the moment and see him up close, if I was busy with my phone. I was the second to the last person who he shook hands with before climbing back the stage. The last person who was the guy next to me was not on his phone either. Well, talking about in the moment!
It’s true what they say. Vienna has the most amazing coffee scenes. There are many cafes to choose from and each of one of them has a unique story to tell. However, there was not enough time to visit all of them as I wanted to enjoy every moment rather than moving hurriedly from one cafe to the next. Here are four cafes in the heart of Vienna which I had the opportunity to enjoy during this Vienna trip.
Cafe Diglas in Fleischmarkt was the first cafe I visited. It was just down the street from the hotel. Cafe Diglas was established in 1875. There was a homely feeling about this place. Maybe because it has been around for a long, long time. The place serves good coffee and it has a huge selection of cakes to choose from. But of course, I decided on the Apple Strudel! It was a perfect choice. There was nothing not to like about this place.
There was a queue outside of Cafe Central. I was not about to go in but there was this feeling inside me that I have to. Cafe Central was established in 1876. The place was a bit pretentious. There was also a huge selection of cakes by the entrance. But I ordered the Kaiserschmarren, of course, because it has to be tried. It was a large portion, making it quite difficult to finish up. The cafe has a beautiful interior but very busy. The waiters were rushing about, knowing that the queue outside was not getting any shorter. It was an okay experience but it would have been fine to skip it too.
Next stop was Cafe Schwarzenberg which has been on the premises since 1861. The cafe has certainly an old Vienna charm with its old style decor and nice ambience. Its says that the interior has remained largely unchanged. It has old fashioned waiters too who served me a wonderful Sachertorte, of course. It was a good choice for my birthday cake!
The last cafe was Café Hawelka. This was the most interesting cafe I have ever been. And mind you, I have visited many cafes in many countries. The Café Hawelka was opened by Leopold Hawelka in 1939.
There was a queue outside too which made it quite a gamble since I can’t even see from the outside what the inside looks like. Upon entering while still in queue, I wondered how this will work out as the place was packed. It was a tight mass of people! But they seemed to be enjoying the relaxing ambience. Conversations and laughters were flowing. People seemed to be in no rush whatsoever. The friendly waiter approached with no menu at all. With the three dishes on his mental list, Goulash was the most appropriate. And it was a good choice. It was tasty!
It was amazing how this chaotic place has so much order. For this, I definitely recommend this cafe for such an authentic experience.
All photos by arivitikainenphotography.com