I chose Vienna as my principal residence after my retirement from the United Nations in late 2019. Rather than returning to my native Netherlands, I felt that after three decades in the Near East, it would be good to let this new phase of semi-retirement be another adventure, exploring countries where I have not lived in before.
In addition to feeling very comfortable in the countryside - hence the decision to buy an old farmhous near Toulouse in the south west of France - I also love life in the city, and my choice for Vienna was prompted by the fact that it has been ranked as one of the most liveable cities in the world for years on end. It is not as massive and crowded as Berlin, London or Paris, and yet big enough to have a vibrant cultural scene, not just classical music but also jazz, pop, world class musea and the performing arts. That combined with the many parks, the Donau Island and the Wiener Wald make living in Vienna such a joy. The Vienna Ferris Wheel, at the Prater, in the Second District, is for me what the Eifel Tower is for Paris. Since watching The Third Man as a child, and many times thereafter, the Wheel has fascinated me and I love making a ride as part of a stroll through the Prater on a sunny day, preferably when there are not too many tourists.