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“Dankeschön” Austria

by christina.kronstal on October 22nd, 2011
View from our balcony

View from our balcony

The conclusion for our Austria leg had us enjoying the city of Vienna. While it’s hard to deny the bigger city feel from Salzburg, and even more so from Innsbruck, we found ourselves really having fun and taking in some of the cool local activities.

Angella & Rob

Angella & Rob

On our first evening we had joined another couple from our guesthouse, Angella and Rob, for dinner at Cafe Einstein, next to the Rathaus (Town Hall).

Glühwein

Glühwein

It was a pretty cool pub that served authentic Austrian meals and a variety of beers to drink. After dinner, we then went out for Glühwein (mulled wine), a hot drink that’s traditionally made during Christmas.

Rathaus with circus

Rathaus with circus

We bought a couple of rounds from the street stalls that were set up in front of the Rathaus, along with a large circus tent. Angella had mentioned that the street stalls normally wouldn’t be set up until the Christmas Market in November/December, but it was our lucky day, since the vendors were out specifically for the circus. The setup was pretty neat. We first paid for the drink and a deposit on the mug that you use. So, theoretically, you can take your mug to all the other vendors to see who makes the best Glühwein or Punch. And once we were done with our mugs, we simply returned it to the vendor to get our 2€ deposit back.

Parliament

Parliament

By the time we finished our second round, the night was still young, so we hopped on the tram and underground train and found ourselves at Chelsea’s, a 3-room bar that had a pretty good vibe and eclectic crowd. Dan and I got home passed 1am – a record for us!

The following day we started off at St. Stephen’s Cathedral, which had a really interesting (and colorful) rooftop design, which has set it apart from the various other cathedrals we’ve seen in Europe.

Gold statue

Gold statue

St Stephens Cathedral

St Stephens Cathedral

Votive Church

Votive Church

We strolled down Kärntner Straße and window shopped for a bit, only stopping once at hot dog stand, ordering ourselves some asian noodles and käsekrainer (cheesy sausage).

Sacher Cafe

Sacher Cafe

At the end of the pedestrian shopping street we nipped into the Sacher Cafe to order up some tea and the apparently famous Sacher Torte, a chocolate cake with apricot jam filling and exquisitely delightful choolate icing unlike any other we’ve had before. The cafe was really nice too, with plush red seats, fancy silverware, personalized china, and warm red & gold walls.

Mozart statue

Mozart statue

The rest of the afternoon was spent walking past the Albertina (one of the MANY museums around), the Burggarten, Maria-Thersien Platz and the Museums Quartier (which again, had more museums). Most of the old buildings blended into the others, but it was nice to see nonetheless. The evening had us on a ‘date’ to watch La Traviata, an italian opera that was on at the Staatsoper (or Vienna’s State Opera House). We arrived 30 minutes before the show through the ‘Standing Room’ doors and bought ourselves two tickets for 6€, by which we enjoyed the first half of the opera.

Staatsoper (main entrance)

Staatsoper (main entrance)

Date Night

Date Night

Staatsoper (auditorium)

Staatsoper (auditorium)

At the intermission, we decided to leave and read about the ending later because a) We were a little tired of standing, b) We were hungry and c) We didn’t feel so bad, since we only paid 6€. It was a unique experience and worth the trip, and the entry alone at least allowed us to see the inside of the beautiful opera house and observe the well-dressed folk enjoying their night out. We ended the evening with dinner in a restaurant near St. Stephen’s Cathedral.

Market snack

Market snack

Today, we woke up early-ish to check out the Nachtmarkt, a long 1.5km stretch of antique and second hand clothing stalls, as well as a plethora of food stalls that made our mouths water. We broke up the walk by stepping into one of the larger shops/cafes for wine and a tasting platter, full of meats, cheeses, olives, stuffed peppers, and mushrooms & bell peppers drizzled in olive oil.

Ultimate Frisbee - yay!

Ultimate Frisbee - yay!

We then hopped onto the metro to go visit the Schönbrunn Palace, which we eventually did visit after being distracted by a game of ultimate frisbee that we had to stop and watch for a bit.

Schonburgg Palace

Schonburgg Palace

We’re glad we didn’t miss the palace however, because the palatial grounds were pretty amazing – AND it was free to the public.

Children's Choir

Children's Choir

We caught the very end of a children’s choir performance on the back steps of palace, and did the short walk up to the top of the hill, which held the Glorietta – a pretty cool monument of sorts that held a fancy cafe within it.

Glorietta

Glorietta

Rather than going back home to rest (as we normally would around mid-afternoon), we decided to hop back on the metro to go on the other side of town to Prater to check out their amusement park. It’s like any other amusement park really, so we passed up the rides. We did, however buy ourselves a snack of mini donuts, since we figured we missed out on the Calgary Stampede mini donuts this year. :)

Einstein Capuccino

Einstein Capuccino

By the time we were through walking through the large park, we hopped back on the metro to return to Cafe Einstein, where we had our first dinner a couple nights back. It was a really great ‘last meal in Austria’ and were glad of the decision to return. Hopefully this also marks the end to the Arnold Schwarzenegger impressions that Dan’s taken to doing since arriving here. :)
Next stop, Prague.

2 Comments
  1. Mom and Dad E. permalink

    Looks like Vienna is amazing and we would have enjoyed ourselves exploring! And watching La Traviata for 6 Euros! Just to ogle inside the opera house would be a fest to the eyes! Forgot that Vienna is also famous for its Boys Choir…
    Thanks for this blog for virtually and vicariously traveling to all these wonderful sites around the world with you!
    We miss you guys though… very much!

  2. mom k permalink

    I agree with Mom and Dad E ~ so jealous of you going to the fancy opera house. So classy!! Vienna looks amazing, beautiful and so full of history. Good to had it on your itinerary and took us with you (virtually and vicariously!) Hugs’n'prayers!

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