I was only in Vienna for a day, in retrospect being here on a Sunday wasn’t a fabulous idea as almost everything is closed on Sundays in Austria except a few things in the tourist centre.
The highlight of coming here though was catching up with a friend (Martin) from high school who was only there for one year before moving back to Austria. Lost contact for many many years until reunited by the power of Facebook. For all it’s negatives it does have some significant positives as well.
Met up with Martin and Jasmin here on Saturday night for drinks and talked about what we would do and see on Sunday. Martin and Jasmin are heavily involved with one of the churches here in Vienna, so on Sunday morning I went with them to one of the services and met many of his friends. The area it is in reminded me of some of the less salubrious inner suburbs of Melbourne with the trams, general layout and socio-economic indicators.
After that we headed over to the main centre of Vienna (St Stephan Platz). There is a metro station here where most of the lines meet. A 24hr metro ticket that was valid for trains, trams and busses was €8.
Wandered around the city for a bit and checked out the main Cathedral which is undergoing some renovations. The details on the stone work is amazing in its detail.
Martin knew a place that did awesome schnitzel close to the centre of the town but also very quiet that was off the tourist track a little. Fantastic choice. The Austrian potato salad is amazing, served in a vinegar based dressing that is so much lighter than what I’m used to with creamy potato salad. Also served with a little dish of Lingonberry sauce.
I wanted to see the Danube up close. If I’d been here much longer I would have taken a boat down to Bratislava, so we took the metro to a stop that is right on a bridge over the Danube. River is massive and splits in three around some islands. In this section of the river at least I can confirm it is not completely blue, more a greenish tinge.
Headed back into the city to sample some of the famous Viennese coffee offerings and a traditional Apple Strudel. We went into Hotel Sacher
I had a traditional Großer Brauner coffee. The literal translation to English means “big brown one” which doesn’t sound appealing at all given how we would use that sentence, however the meaning is a double espresso with a side of milk, you add as much milk as you like to make it brown. I can confirm this was totally delicious and not crap at all. If I’d been here longer I would have also sampled their famous apricot filled chocolate cake.
More on the specifics of Viennese coffee in a later post. Stay tuned !
We did some more wandering around Vienna, which was much needed after schnitzel and strudel. Wandered through the Burggarten and the Hoffburg Imperial Palace. You could argue this is where both WW1 and WW2 started as it’s where the declaration of war with Serbia was signed by the Austrian-Hungarian empire and where Hitler declared the Aunchlass or union between Germany and Austria, something that was forbidden in the treaty of Versailles.
Check out another broken obike. The world hates this shitty leave anywhere bike share.
There are some Roman ruins here near the palace that were discovered during some renovations. Vienna was celebrating a film festival with some food carts and coffee carts around so took the opportunity to try a coffee here, excellent, at least an 8/10
A ride on the tram and down to the DC tower to the level 57 bar for cocktails. Would be an awesome view on a clear day. Bring your cash, cocktails are €18-25 a pop. Given entry to other tall structures in Europe are around €20pp, having one and checking out the view is a reasonable deal as you don’t pay to go up to the bar or restaurant. It was now quite late at night and close to where Martin lives so I bid him farewell and headed back to the hotel.
Where I’m staying is about 3 metro stops from the city centre right near the main station. Ultra modern, very handy and very reasonably priced. Motel One
Some other pics of from today