Published: November 1st 2006October 28th 2006
A little Greece in Austria. Democracy is housed in this neo-Greek temple. The lady with the golden helmet is Athena...gooddess of wisdom.
9:30PM we boarded our night train to Vienna and took our seats in good spirits and excitement. That, in and of itself, was quite an accomplishment considering we were stuck in a steamy-hot compartment along with four other grumpy Polish people with no hope (really) of getting a single wink of comfortable sleep. Emily, periodically throughout the 8-hour ordeal, stepped out into the corridor for a breath of fresh air. Where as I, sat in my fully-up right seat sweating in the sauna…or so it felt.
5:30AM the train comes to a stop. We arrived to Vienna nearly an hour ahead of schedule (a slight miracle in Europe). Of course, by the time we realized that fun-fact the train had stood empty (aside from us) at the station for a solid 15-minutes. SO we hurriedly scurried off as quickly as possible. So quickly, in fact, that Emily trounced around the train terminal donning her pajamas and pink flip-flops. No, no…rest assured…she managed to change in the ultra “private” luggage locker section of the station
We re-fueled on café lattes and pastry and headed out for a day of getting to know Vienna. You know, speaking of pastry; one
of the first things that struck me while walking around was the unmistakable scent of fresh-baked bread that seemed to perfume the air everywhere…really! I was standing on a random street corner when the scent wafted over to me, I looked around for its origins but was unable to spot a bakery in the near vicinity…it’s simply in the air! You gotta love that!
This neo-gothic building looks more like a palace than a place of government.
So, our day progressed as follows: hopped on a tram for a self-guided city tour, then meandered in and around the old city square. After, we took a peak and a pause at the KunstHausWien museum dedicated to Hundertwasser, followed by a quick adrenaline rush from a carnival roller coaster and took in the view from atop the Ferris wheel. Later in the afternoon, we decided to take a small trip out to Vienna’s Wine Gardens [Heurigen] to enjoy some local wine and traditional cuisine. The spot we selected was the Beethovenhaus. This is where Beethoven lived and composed his Sixth Symphony in 1817. There, in the charming inner courtyard beneath the grapevine canopy is where I also sampled the famed Wiener Schnitzel…Holy Sh--!! This was the biggest piece of breaded-n-fried veal I have ever
seen. It was must larger than the plate on which it was served. Lastly, we took in some culture by popping in on the evening Opera, which was immediately followed by a trip to the Sacher Café…home of every chocoholic’s fantasy, the Sachertorte…layers of chocolate and apricot covered with a generous layer of dark chocolate ganache. Pheww…what a day in Vienna!
Austria's national theater
The next morning was spent at the Hofburg treasury looking at the “finest royal jewels on the continent” and making our way over to Bratislava for the afternoon.
All-in-all, I really loved this city!! It was dazzling and grand…and yet maintained much of its old world charm and hospitality. The cafes, the culture…it was very easy to enjoy the Viennese good life : )
There are more photos below