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  • Day77

    Wien

    June 23, 2017 in Austria ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    "This means nothing to me.. Oh Vienna" (Ultravox.. some time in the 80's)

    Can't see that the eighties anthem has anything to do with the Austrian capital, but it keep looping through my mind the whole visit :)

    Headed to Wien - the pronunciation of which I love.. sounds like 'ween' - mainly to visit a friend Kinga, who I lived with in Paris many years ago. We were incredibly grateful that she invited us to stay in her apartment which was very central. Especially as this meant she had to decamp to her boyfriend Gerhardt's place for the weekend.

    Friday night we went to Museumplatz, an area where there are various museums and galleries and where people come to relax and meet. We had dinner and then finally - much to Stuart's delight - went for an 'Upsucker' (sp.?). Kinga had told Stuart about the 'Upsucker' in London a couple of years ago and he had talked about it ever since. It is basically when someone suggests one more drink - an 'Upsucker' - you cannot refuse. So as you can imagine, a real hardship for us ;D

    Saturday morning Stuart and I headed to a Viennese Kaffeehaus for breakfast (really all we are doing is eating our way around Europe!) which had been recommended to us. The typical Kaffeehaus was described to me as a bit dated and a bit sticky and it didn't disappoint! Quite atmospheric and the breakfast was good. Kinga was also very kind to invite us to a picnic on the Saturday with her friends so we got to spend the afternoon and evening meeting Austrians and other Europeans who live and work in Austria. I had my first taste of Wiener schnitzel in Wien though it was cooked by an Irish man! Delicious nonetheless! It was also when I finally realise Wiener means Viennese and therefore Wiener Schnitzel means "Viennese Schnitzel".. we also had some Topfenstrudel which when I googled it came up with 'CHEESE STRUDEL', but it is a dessert a little like cheese cake type stuff in pastry. Also very good.

    Sunday we had a personal tour from Kinga and Gerhardt around some of Vienna's sights. We saw Stephansdom, the "Hoary and Gothic" cathedral, as it is described in our guide.

    I had to look this word Hoary up and this is what the dictionary says:

    hoary
    [hawr-ee, hohr-ee]

    adjective, hoarier, hoariest.
    1.gray or white with age:
    an old dog with a hoary muzzle.
    2.ancient or venerable:
    hoary myths.
    3.tedious from familiarity; stale:
    Please don't tell that hoary joke at dinner again tonight.

    I am not sure which of the three meanings the guide intended but I suppose it could fall in all three categories.. It is grey with age, looking quite dramatic with the grey rain clouds gathering overhead. It could be classed as ancient as it was initially completed in 1160 and perhaps being there so long makes it stale to the locals..

    We also saw the statute commemorating the lives lost to the Black Plague, wandered around the Hofburg palace which used to be used by Austria's sovereigns I think until the early 20th century. Kinga told us the story of the assassination of Franz Ferdinand which led to the start of WWI - which I did not know. Interesting story of a failed attempt and then an accidental detour leading to the actual assassination which is quite fascinating. In the evening had some drinks next to the Donaukanal (Danube channel), where interestingly people are allowed to graffiti on the riverside.

    Ended the night with a "Hotdog mit Kasekrainer" .. basically a hotdog with cheese in it in a roll.. mmmm!
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