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Trip Report Time-travel: blissfully basking in Haussmann, Garnier, Strauss & Jugendstil

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About a year ago, a Fodorite posed this hypothetical question: "Let's say you can go back in time, where and which time period would you pick to spend your whole life in? And Why?" ( The whole life part is impossible of course, but for past two glorious weeks I savoured traces of my two choices: the Austro-Hungarian Empire from the heydays of waltz to Jugendstil, and the Fashion Capital from the reign of Charles Frederick Worth to Christian Dior.

This was my first chance in decades (and, unfortunately, last in the foreseeable future) to take two consecutive weeks off from work, so I wanted to squeeze in lots of favorite things. The first half of the trip had to be Paris, the beloved place to which I never get tired of returning, especially solo, to be free to explore anything on a whim. From there, I did an overnight trip to Moulins sur Allier and a day-trip to Compiegne. The second week, my mother and sister joined me in Vienna-- it's the first time there for all three of us, but it had been on the top of my wish-list long before I ever became interested in France.

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