A cold day in Vienna or the best way to chat with an angel



Well, I travelled a bit. And of cause I have a lot of stories to tell – partly because I am a disaster and able to find adventures straight out of my door, partly because I am so chatty that after a day I know 15 people living in that place. But among all my experiences related to travel there is one story I would always like to put on words but never had time (thanks to a bit of this and a lot of that for motivation – hope I am in time, GTM is till before midnight :P)
I was in Austria one very cold autumn. The air seemed to be crystal clear. I was always fascinated with how water changes it color and becomes transparent in October, but in Vienna it happened with the air. And suddenly everything became different, so simple, so ordered, so real. I always joke that the Austrian discipline is so high, that even leaves fall down in straight squares. It feels like everything was brushed up, leaving only essential things. You even feel your head is clean from all rubbish thoughts, buzz and noise.


One morning within the program of sightseeing we went to the Church of St Charles Borromeo, described as a Barocco masterpiece with “some interesting frescoes” inside. Well, to put it mildly, I am not a fan of barocco. My hometown is simply flooded with golden buildings painted with cupids carrying swags of flowers under fatty sheep. I think I was oversaturated with the cupids almost to the state of allergy, I hate yellow gold (specially in the architecture and décor), and I would have happily skipped the “masterpiece”. But I was not alone and I had no choice but to go. Outside it looked exactly like just another Barocco building, basically it was so even inside… but there was one feature that made it different. An elevator. No, I’d seen an elevator before and for me it was not a secret that more and more churches upgrade their customer service offer to the possibility to avoid long, dark, narrow and slippery stairwells for those who want to reach the top for the sake of spectacular view. This very elevator, though, was inside the church, made of transparent glass, it provided an opportunity to see closer the inner part of the dome, and not the panorama of the city. So I handed my ticket to a lift lady, she closed the door and we started slowly going up. There are not enough words to describe my feelings. I am not the most religious person, but when you start slowly raising up to the very middle of the church, and you see everything around, below and under you, it seems you are hovering above, it seems you have this superpower and you are the one going up straight to God. You reach the dome, and you can touch the gigantic frescoes, which seemed so small from the bottom, you can see how rough and not detailed they are (who would distinguish all these details if they were in place?). You can sit with the enormously fat cupids; discuss with them the last news, imagining you are looking down from a cloud. You can dance with the angels and think what may it feel to live up here? When do they wake up, are they on duty during certain hours or all day long? How are they doing, are they happy or they are sad sometimes? Do they have nightmares, and if they do, what do they see?


…Times come to go down, back to your everyday cares – you wave hand to the new acquaintances and enter the elevator, and watch how the Earth is coming slowly closer and closer, and you are again among tourists looking to the cupids and angels so high there. But you have changed somehow, as you can’t go to Heaven, see all its secrets and remain the same person, can you?