Okay, so… I’m just going to come out and say it: I really didn’t care for Vienna. We had a good time, but they can’t all be home runs. After 3 days here, my summary is there is a lot of high end shopping, other hoity toity shops (Ted talked to a lot of old guys about watches), and a few pretty sights. Transportation wasn’t that intuitive, and the city just didn’t come off as vibrant to me. Overall, it scores a 2 on the live-o-meter. Also, I’d need to vastly improve my wardrobe if I were to spend any significant time here. Everyone is immaculately dressed and stylish; super discouraging when you’re living out of a backpack with limited options. 🙂
But, we did still manage to see a few things and make the most of our time. We stayed in a great VRBO which had the most comfortable bed so far on our trip- -shoutout to the creators of memory foam! We were even able to make a few meals at “home” too, which was nice. Unfortunately, we learned a very hard/valuable lesson about Sundays in Austria- -EVERYTHING is closed, except the small grocery store at the train station, which has a 30 minute long checkout line, no matter how small your basket it. Sigh… lesson learned.
One of the city’s highlights is the Schonbrunn Palace just outside the center. Used as the summer residence for the imperial family starting in the mid 1700s, the property is enormous, complete with forests, immaculate gardens, roman fountains and statues, etc. It’s surprisingly my favorite royal palace of the trip so far. The weather was absolutely freezing and really windy, which I could have done without. Some photos below, more here.
More on the weather…. In the same day, it rained, snowed a little, was sunny, and hailed (WTF). The weather stayed pretty poor for our whole stay, so we found ourselves eating a lot- -you know- -to keep warm, duh. Vienna (Wien) is famous for their schnitzel (Wienerschnitzel!) so we tried some of the most famous at Figlmuller. It was good, but their potato salad stole the show (I know, right?!)- -the pumpkin seed oil is the secret. Dessert consisted of a dish called Kaiserschmarrn which people go crazy for here but honestly it is a ripped up pancake with plum sauce and powdered sugar. Fine, but not groundbreaking. Ted’s favorite part of the city is their affinity for LEGIT ice cream sundaes so obviously we participated to be culturally sensitive. YUM.
We also tired the Original Sacher Torte. It was pretty darn good, but perhaps not deserving of all its international fame.
As a lover of open-air markets, Naschmarkt was another item I was looking forward to, but I was disappointed, sadly. It covers a lot of ground, but the vendors are the same each block: doner kebab, fruit, baklava, stuffed olives, dried fruits/nuts, pushy salespeople…repeat. We did manage to sample a few items and they all tasted good, just not much variety as expected.
Of course, glad we went, but happy to move on to Salzburg!!
Posted From: Jaegerhaus Agriturismo, Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy