Thursday, 27 March 2014

Ah Vienna

For my Vienna is as different from what they call Vienna now as the quick is different from the dead.
Erich von Stroheim

Travel is a big passion of mine. Since I began my current job four years ago and changed my entire lifestyle, I have made sure I take regular holidays and breaks away to see a bit more of the world and recharge my batteries.
My next holiday is to San Francisco and Las Vegas which I will blog about on my return, I'm hopefully there safe and sound as you read this!  But for now I thought I would delve into my memories to write a blog about my recent trip to Vienna.
I travelled with a friend in November 2013 just in time for the Christmas markets but before it gets too freezing.  We stayed in the cutest eco hotel, http://www.hotelstadthalle.at/en which is near the Westbahnhof train station - so very handy for getting around.  It has a zero energy balance, which means homegrown, continental breakfast (can't lie - I did miss the omelettes and pancakes), solar panels, energy saving lights, hallways that light up as you step into them and bizarrely a herb garden on the wall!
We often travel away together and have established a good balance of my idea of heaven - cocktails, pizza and seasides with hers - history, culture and bizarre food.  So Vienna was no different and we set off to explore the city.  
The Christmas markets are a huge thing in Europe, London is slowly catching on but Germany and Vienna are definitely beating us right now!  We visited several over the weekend, but the main one, located in front of the Rathaus, was amazing and very photogenic in the dark with all its lights.

There are something like 200 stalls selling a collection of some of the most random Christmas ornaments I've ever seen - including frogs dressed as ballerinas and even slices of pizza and camper vans.  We certainly don't have anything like that here in England.
There were truffles and chocolates galore and my new favourite discovery, langos.  


These are apparently a Hungarian specialty but they were everywhere in Vienna.  Basically they're like a giant, deep fried, salted, garlic butter covered, tortilla wrap.. and they taste amazing.  Obviously so unhealthy that I felt on the edge of a heart attack for the rest of the day!
We visited the famous Cafe Pruckel for tea and cake.  
Following that we had schnitzel in a curious,
smoke filled little restaurant off the main drag
I also made sure we got at least one pizza in 
during our stay.
Most of the waiters we had were older men, in suits or even tuxedos who, I have to say, were fairly rude.  
It seemed to be completely standard to ask for the bill 3 times and then have the waited stand over 
you while you fiddle around with your Euros.

After all that eating we made sure we got some exercise in the form of outdoor iceskating and an awful lot of walking, which seems to be typical of city breaks as you want to make sure you've seen everything before you have to leave.

We visited the English cinema to see Blue Jasmine on the Sunday afternoon as we discovered that no shops or museums or indeed almost anything is open on a Sunday and we did some homeware shopping in the most amazing store called Kare www.kare-design.com/‎ which we loved.

One day we jumped on the subway to visit the home of ex royals:Schönbrunn Palace.  It is a gorgeous Palace on acres of ground - which includes an Orangery, a Zoo and a cafe with the most amazing views. I was made to power walk up a giant hill to see these views so I was glad to know it was worth it!

All in all Vienna is a beautiful place to visit, we were very lucky with the weather as you can see from the picture above.  A great mixture of culture, shopping, history and fun - and the chilli chocolate martinis were great too.

Have you been? What was your highlight?

x


6 comments:

  1. Those "tortilla wraps" look amazing and oh so yummy!
    I've always wanted to travel and am unable to. Enjoy it! Hope you're having fun in Vegas.

    I'm from Boston. In the Summer, they have the Italian festival and I love perusing through the stands and eating all the yummy food.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Really want to go to Boston hopefully 2015

      Delete
  2. Wow. Vienna looks gorgeous! Thanks for sharing. Enjoy your San Fran and Vegas trip..I'm visiting these places in May as part of a west-coast road trip. Look forward to reading what you have to say about them! Danielle x

    frontière girl

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Will def be posting about my trips keep an eye out :)

      Delete
  3. I've always wanted to visit Vienna, great post lovely pictures!
    I hope you're having fun in LV and SF, I went to Vegas last summer and had the time of my life xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Having the best time so far :)

      Delete

Thanks for commenting - i read them all and love hearing your thoughts :)