Vienna, Austria

Vienna buildings:
Start ornate, add some statues,
Then spackle with gold


The Parliament building

Otto Wagner Building

Art Nouveau buildings follow the same formula

Four Vienna days
Is barely enough time for
Scratching the surface

St. Stephen's Cathedral

Inside St. Stephen's Cathedral

Boat Tour on the Danube

Boat Tour on the Danube

Two awesome mascots
In a fight, which one would win?
The one that breathes fire.

Eni Logo

Awesome Eni gas station logo that we first spotted in Italy

Avanti Gas Logo

This Avanti logo appears to be a challenger, but is clearly destined to lose since Eni can breathe fire and has SIX LEGS!

Vienna Summary

Four nights: Saturday, May 12 to Wednesday, May 16

Vienna: it puts the ‘wiener’ in “wiener schnitzel”! I’ve been enjoying the food quite bit since we’ve been in Austria. Beyond sausages (which are everywhere), Austria is the home of schnitzel and Vienna (i.e. Wien) is the source of wiener schnitzel. In fact, other than one lunch at the 1516 Brewpub, I think all my meals here have been wiener schnitzel! I also think this is becoming a concern of Donna’s.

A nice Danube river cruise wiener schnitzel

Even the wiener schnitzel on the train was tasty!

Shifting from food, Vienna is a pretty huge city (~2 million people) with a lot of history and potential stuff to do. Rather than kill ourselves trying to see too much, we took it easy and limited the number of sights we planned on seeing. We spent the first couple of days doing our usual orientation strolls, including some adventuresome tram rides. Speaking of trams, Vienna has quite a variety, both old and new. I also found it interesting that all the trams were flying both the Austrian and Rainbow flags while we were there.

We took in the Albertina, the graphic arts museum. The Klimt collection they had was a little disappointing (primarily sketches), but they had a nice Impressionist and and early 20th century collection. Also, the museum was housed in one of the many buildings making up the Hapsburg Palaces. We took a detour from the main museum and checked out parts of the palace as well – man, it must have been good to be the emperor!

Going back to food, we also wanted to spend some time in a Viennese cafe, so we ended up finding ourselves in Café Landtmann. We had some coffee and fancy pastries –  both were good, if a bit pricy. But I suppose that’s what you get at a place with regulars such as  Sigmund Freud and Hillary Clinton (according to their website).

On our last day in Vienna, and the one with the best weather, we hopped a boat for a Danube canal and river tour. We were able to see some interesting sights (UN building, power plant, impressive locks and hydro plant). While it was nice being on the river, I have to admit it was less scenic than I was imagining. On the up-side, I had a really nice wiener schnitzel for lunch!

After the Danube tour, we went back to the center of town and checked out the cathedral. Compared to most other cathedrals we’ve seen, it was festively lit up inside with both lights and colored films along the windows. Unfortunately, the regular tour was not running that day, but we were able to get a tour of the catacombs!

Next, we’re off to Bled, Slovenia. This continues the alternating pattern of big city followed by small town that we started back with Barcelona. Curiously, we didn’t explicitly plan it that way – it just kinda happened. Also, we’re finding that we like the smaller places better, so we may start skewing that way for the remainder of the trip. Stay tuned!