Coffees, cakes and castles in Vienna
Jul 9, 2012
|Early start, breakfast on the go. Headed straight to the Schonbrunn palace, skipped the interior tour and got lost in the labyrinth. Ben won the race to the heart of the maze but later got disqualified for cheating and paid the highest price – the dreaded ice cream tax.
We walked up to the top of the hill and had a couple of jars in the Gloriette.
Ellen: Kaiser Helles
Ben: Kaiser Dunkel
Once our thirst had been quenched thoughts naturally (in Ellen’s case) turned to that other basic human instinct...food! What were you thinking?!
Throughout the streets it was incredulous to see honest Austrians actually paying money for newspapers being sold off lampposts and magazines remaining in good shape hanging from the windows of the tube.
After wandering around in the midday inferno for about 30 minutes and availing of a free Coke Zero (obligatory product placement for the sponsors) we turned up at the the Gosser Bierklinik which was:
b) Dark and dingy
c) Opposite a construction site
Thanks 1950s Vienna guide book.
Anyway we went to Delia’s and had another dessert coffee (served with a side order of strawberry and cream), a sandwich each and a salad to share. Who knew raspberries were an integral part of an insalata italiana?
Once our appetites were sated we set about the arduous task of making our way to the Belvedere palace before it closed at 6pm.
For dinner we headed to Gustl Bauer for some traditional hearty Austrian fare. Missing the thunderstorm by minutes we arrived at the tavern hidden in the Jewish quarter of the city. Apparently being the current and previous Mayor’s favourite restaurant has not helped with publicity as the restaurant was virtually empty – clearly it is still popular with politicians though, judging by the officious looking elderly gent and his Thai escort who were making awkward conversation at the table next to us.
We ordered Wiener Schnitzel and a Roast Beef dish, accompanied by two Grosler?? of Hirter, Ben had the Helles which, although it was nothing special, seemed to disappear in about three gulps so he went back for some more. Ellen had the Dunkel because she fancied a change. The meal came to 50E incl. tip. A phenomenal bargain.
We promised more fountain high jinks later and here they are, look at this photo of a dog refusing to leave the fountain. Needless to say the owner didn’t appreciate Ben laughing out loud and then returning to take a photo. Reports on the news suggest they may still be there now.
With dinner out the way the plan was to walk back to our hotel via 7 Stern Brau brewhouse, recommended by Michael Jackson (not that one, he was more a 5 Alive kinda guy) for it’s vast array of typical beers however, as we neared the Hofburg palace, Ellen couldn’t resist the lure of children screaming and insufferable pop music (who can?) so we took a pit stop in the Volksgarten park to see what was going on.
It turned out that Monday night in Vienna is Swing Night (not swingers, definitely not swingers, at least not for us anyway). We sat outside a random diner in the park and enjoyed a pint of Trumer Pils and Ottakringer Helles. As is fast becoming a regular event Ellen tried both beers, decided she preferred the one Ben ordered and forced the old switcheroo.