Ummm…how do I share this? I’ll just say it directly: Tonight we got to know some of Atla’s employees a bit differently: As in, we saw their kneecaps.
Yep, really. And legs below those kneecaps, too. And, let me tell you, I saw a lot of ladies looking at those legs tonight!
You see, it was our “A Taste of Austria” dinner and many of the male Viking employees wore lederhosen, the official name for those nifty, traditional leather breeches with the suspenders. Zuzana, a server in The Restaurant, looked fetching in her pink and green dirndl.
It takes a certain amount of panache and confidence to wear leather shorts around people who’ve, until this point, only seen you in black dress slacks and a white shirt, tie and patterned grey vest. Kudos to those Viking men who pulled on those leather pants (how long does it take them to feel “soft,” I wonder? And, if you eat an extra wienerschnitzel or two, is there any “stretch” to those lederhosen? I have questions…)
But the evening was about far more than catching glimpses of hairy knees…there was food involved, too. On second thought, of course there was food, everything on the Atla eventually returns to the topic of food (and my waist is bearing the truth of that). Tonight’s dining was buffet style (and, yes, I did hear some grumbles from one couple who really detest buffets on holiday; they like to be served and spend a longer time enjoying the repast) and the buffet ranged from getting food in the Aquavit Terrace, to The Restaurant, the Lounge and even the kitchen.
That’s right, Chef Noel invited all passengers to visit the kitchen and fill their plates there as well as receive a short tour on the wonderful workings in such a small facility. I think the kitchen staff must be hired for small fronts and backs because they certainly couldn’t squeeze around the Atla’s stoves, sinks, prep areas if they had normal-sized tummies and behinds. I think we passengers proved that as we twisted our way around the ship’s kitchen.
The food was varied—I just wish the portions had been smaller (really, a dumpling the size of a tennis ball when you’ve never had one before?) so I could sample and not feel like uneaten food was going to waste (and, yes, I hear your laughter, I know it’s going to my waist, right?). We had weinerschnitzel, sauerkraut, fresh roasted pig (with head intact; “Look, he’s still smiling,” noted Andreas, the Atla’s hotel manager, as he pointed to what was left of the unfortunate porcine), Sacher torte, potatoes, and other things I can’t remember but for which I will be running miles back home to eliminate from my body’s memory.
But the best part? Those kneecaps!