JetSet Coco

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Weekend in Vienna

After a day in Amsterdam, we departed for Vienna, Austria, for our good friends wedding. It was the perfect excuse to return to Vienna for a fun-filled weekend. I had been to Vienna four years ago at Christmas time and loved how charming the city was with all its festive Christmas markets scattered throughout the city, and twinkling stars and Christmas lights illuminating the streets. It was just as beautiful in the springtime, with sunny skies and tulips beginning to bloom.

First stop we made in Vienna was the restaurant Zum Schwarzen Kameel, The Black Camel in English. Our Austrian friend obviously knew what she was doing by taking us there because the food was delicious, and the ambiance even better. After a flight, it was the perfect remedy to sit outside with a glass of wine, sampling a plethora of traditional Austrian spreads on bread. Later on, we all headed to the popular club Passage for a night of dancing and great music.

The following day, we headed out to the busy shopping streets of Sudtiroler Platz. We stumbled upon the charming cafe at the Hotel Sacher and ordered salmon on toast, which was light enough that we could eat what we really came their for... the Original Sachertorte! The famous Viennese specialty dessert, made of rich chocolate cake with a hint of marmalade and dollop of whip cream, melts in your mouth and is truly to die for! Hotel Sacher's cozy cafe was the perfect place to relax, enjoy delicious food, and admire the ornate decor that makes you feel like you're back in the times of Mozart. The wedding was later that day, so we concluded our sightseeing and headed to the stunning wedding for a wonderful celebratory evening.


Hotel Sacher

Our last day, we decided to soak up some culture in two of the many museums that are scattered around town. First, we hopped on the metro to see the works of one of my favorite artists, Gustav Klimpt, at the Belvedere Museum. While this museum is famous for carrying a majority of Klimpt's paintings, I was a bit disappointed at the small quantity that they were showcasing. All of the paintings were fabulous, I was just expecting to see more.

Gustav Klimpt, The Kiss

View from the Belvedere Museum

Across the street from the Belvedere, we decided to grab a light lunch, and the place looked cute and authentic. Since the chicken schnitzel was so tasty the night before at the wedding, we decided to order it again, along with a salad. Well, clearly there was a language barrier or the restaurant was having a slow day, because they brought out a schmorgishborg of dips for bread, a massive salad, and a colossal plate covered with two pounds of fries, two foot long sausages, two beef patties, two meat skewers, two blood sausages, and two chicken schnitzels. I have never seen such a ginormous amount of food in my life, it was as if a whole farm was on this plate! They looked at us strangely as they cleared tons of the barely touched plates of food, since we couldn't possibly make a dent in all that! Next, they brought out a dessert plate, on the house, of six pieces of dessert, including a streudel, sachertorte, and some cake. This was the most glutinous feast I have ever partaken in, enough to put Thanksgiving to shame. Needless to say, we kind of rolled out of there and decided to walk all the way back to the hotel instead of riding the train.

While strolling through town, we passed by an indoor antique market that takes place every other Sunday at the Ringstrassen Galerien. It must have been fate, because flea markets are one of my favorite things in the world, and European antiques always seem so much better than ours!

Next, we stopped at the wonderful Albertina Museum for a vast collection of Monet, Picasso, Kandinsky, Lichtenstein, and so many others. The museum is fabulous, and even when you aren't meandering through the art exhibits, you can view the ornate rooms fully furnished in the Neoclassical style of this former palace. All that art made me thirsty, so we stopped at an outdoor cafe in front of the Imperial Palace, and ordered the traditional cocktail wine spritzer.

Albertina Museum

Butterfly exhibit at the Imperial Palace

Imperial palace

The final leg of our journey ended at the Prater, Vienna's large amusement park full of rides, beer gardens, and the world's oldest ferris wheel, Reisenrad. Of course, we had to go on the giant ferris wheel, which has cabins large enough for people to have a sit down dinner at their mobile restaurant. After soaking in the amazing views of Vienna from the height of the ferris wheel, I went on the swing ride which elevates about 200 feet in the air. I'd never seen anything like it before- that was like our normal carnival swing ride on crack, insanely high but so much fun! We concluded the night at the Schweizerhaus beer garden and restaurant for our final meal and a giant beer. There couldn't have been a better closure to this wonderful vacation.

View from the ferris wheel

Ready to swing

The extremely high swing ride

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