Thursday, 7 August 2014

Palaces, Freud and Coffee in Vienna

27th July marked a historical day as both Athiei and I had our first Couch Surfing experience in Vienna. We connected with Philipp over the Couch Surfing website and he offered to take us both into his house for our four days in Vienna. He was the definition of our experience in that beautiful city. He showed us the ropes, taught us the history and revealed us to the essence of Vienna.

(photo credits-thewolfwilltravel)

The first thing he did was bring us to Le Loft Restaurant Sofitel Vienna Stephansdom. 
A beautiful sky bar which towered the city of Vienna. 
On its 18th floor, there were luminous yellow-orange ceilings of large flowers which illuminated the entire floor and could be even seen from the streets below. 

Le fruity orange cocktail 

It was a great way to be introduced to the city as we could see all the famous destinations which we were going to hit. It was an experience in itself as we heard French and German being exchanged in front of us both while we struggled to understand anything. 

As our stomachs began to demand to be filled, we had a taste Vienna's street food from a local würstelstand.
There were many varieties of sausages to choose from but all of them were equally as delicious. Not to forget their delicious mustard! I was very impressed as I'm not a huge fan of the yellow pasty sauce. This changed my mind entirely.

On our first night there, it happened to be the final night of Pop Fest Wien 2014, where artists were performing from a variety of genres. We managed to make it for the final closing performance which was at Karlskirche (St. Charles' Church) situated in Karlsplatz.

 Dorit Chrysler from New York performed on the theremin, an electronic musical instrument. The instrument possesses two antennas which are responsible for the frequency and amplitude of the sound produced. They then are controlled by the hand motions of the musician. Her precision and aura of the music she produced were like nothing I have ever seen. The atmosphere was eerie and yet enjoyable simultaneously.

I sat beside Calvin/Ah Meng who like us, was there on a holiday. Interestingly enough I found out that he was working in Dublin for the past year! Very small world indeed.

The Opera House in Vienna which unfortunately didn't have any shows during the summer period. If it did, we'd definitely have gone!

The next morning we were introduced to the most magical, unlike any other, pot of yoghurt.
La Fermiere, a French brand which sells its yoghurt in little ceramic pots. The texture was thicker than the typical yoghurt as it stayed on the spoon even when turned upside down. Thanks to Philipp, we will never be satisfied by any other yoghurt for a long time.

We took the train towards Belvedere Palace and took a walk in the beautiful gardens. The photo shows only a section of it which is the Upper Belvedere. The palace is now used for art exhibitions so we decided to head to the Lower Belvedere instead.

One of the art exhibitions were focusing its theme around mirrors and reflections.

So there happened to be a rotating mirror at the end of a long narrow corridor and we decided to continuously snap photographs.

Got our hands on some delicious schnitzel as we were absolutely starving!

The Museum of Natural History in Vienna 


Vienna's City Hall - Rathausplatz

On the inside of St. Stephen's Cathedral - Stephansplatz

Enjoyed a delicious ice cream concoction - Carmen - at Eissalon am Schwedenplatz

vanilla ice cream with egg liqueur, raspberry mouse and raspberry syrup

Stopped by the Manner shop and snagged ourselves three different flavours of the all-famous Manner wafer biscuit which appeared on Friends Season 6 and was advocated by Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator 3. It was extremely delicious and I definitely think the original hazelnut flavour was good but the caramel one was to die for. Athiei and I finished the entire packet of caramel wafers while resting under a monument in the Volksgarten (People's Garden)

Apfelstrudel (apple strudel) at Café Hawelka which is one of the famous cafés there too

Philipp headed to Linz together with his friend, Anaïs, and bought us back the local original cake famous in the area. A cake which has ground nuts and red currant jam as the main flavours.

We headed to the Schönbrunn Palace which is regarded as the mini version of the Palace of Versailles in France. This mini version would take you hours to complete on foot.

It had an extensively managed garden.

When I mean extensive, I ain't joking.

Athiei: It's so far...

Complete with its own maze in it

And an abundance of fountains within its grounds.

And another fountain.

And another.
There were so many, these are only three of them.

The Gloriette, which allowed tourists to walk to the top to get an amazing view of the surroundings

A snapshot of the palace with a small part of its gardens.

After the neverending walk through the palace, we met up with Philipp and Anaïs at Café Prückel to have a late breakfast.

Great coffee served on a tray.

My ciabatta with fresh slices of mozzarella and tomatoes.

Vienna's famous cake, the Sachertorte
Although we did not try it at the Sacher Hotel, it was equally as good (presumably).
A chocolate cake with apricot jam and a dark chocolate icing!

On a totally different note, there were an abundance of expensive cars throughout the city.

The view from the Albertina Museum

Saying goodbye to Anaïs as she headed to board on her flight back to Paris.

As a Psychology student, a mandatory photograph with Sigmund Freud. Unfortunately, I didn't manage to visit his museum so...I got a reason to return to Vienna!

As Mozart is also of a large importance to Vienna, we found an adorable musical shop which sold all sorts of music themed merchandise.

The famous Eis-Greissler, supposed best ice cream in Vienna.

Mango ice cream which was absolutely divine.

We headed to the sixth and seventh district within Vienna where we came across public bookshelves where people were allowed to leave and take any book they please.

Did you know that Red Bull produces Cola too??

At District 7 if I'm not mistaken

A hidden bar within a garden which sold a special beer, Starkenberger, which originates from Tirol

Green Pea Wasabi soup!? Amazing.

Rice with Chicken in Pomegranate Sauce?

And my personal favourite, ICED AFRO COFFEE!

As a great goodbye present, Philipp bought me a tin of Wasabi nuts which miraculously lasted me for the entire trip from Vienna all the way back to Ireland.

Oh Vienna.
You are so beautiful.

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