Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Two Days in Vienna

So my sister and I did a whirlwind Eurotrip while she was here and part of that was about two days in Vienna. We arrived in the last evening by train and went straight to hour hotel. That is once we figured out how to get there from the random train station we got dropped off at.

She booked us a swank hotel room.

That night we simply walked around and eventually found some food. 'Mexican' food actually. It was the only thing we could find that was open and not smoke-filled. 

Seester had woken up that morning (the morning of her 34th birthday!) with a cold that we're pretty sure her husband gave her before we left. But she was doing a great job of sticking it out. Unfortunately, the next day it was even worse and it was cold and rainy.

Wait a minute, it's July how can I possibly have needed a full on sweater?!?!

Alas, we went traipsing around in the rain anyway. I complained. Of course. But honestly I was happy to be there. 

We stumbled on the Hofburg Palace.

And we found the Michelin man's cousins.

Then we circled Stephansdom.
 Mid-circle we found a side entrance to the cathedral that wasn't littered with a millionty tourists and we decided to duck in and get out of the rain. The inside of this cathedral is absolutely gorgeous. Then again, I have a thing for cathedrals.

See. Beautiful.
 After Stephansdom, despite the crappy weather, we decided to head out to the Belvedere Palace, which was a summer residence for one of the princes. 

It was amazing to me just how symmetrical everything was. Somebody was just a tiny bit OCD.

Even in the crooked pictures you can see how symmetrical it is.
 The above picture is actually the Upper Belvedere. We only went into the Lower Belvedere. We mistakenly believed that we would get to see a lot of the architecture and original furnishings. Unfortunately, the family had recently sold off all of the furniture and there was little architecture to see as the entire building had been turned into an art gallery. 

Though it was an amazing portrait gallery.

After that we decided to find food and ended up have an amazing (though relatively expensive) meal in which I ate some amazing tomato soup and a huge plate of Wienerschnitzel. (Yeah yeah yeah, that's what she said.)

Day two was much better. It was sunny and the perfect temperature. We still weren't feeling 100 percent, but our moods were much better which made all the difference in the world. 

We went down to the Nachsmarkt which is just a really large outdoor market where you can buy lots of different deli foods and spices and there are plenty of little eateries. We had sushi. I know what you're thinking but I would go back there and have sushi again if I could. 

Unfortunately I was distracted by the eating so I didn't take any pictures of the Nachsmarkt. Next time.

Afterward we knew we only had a few hours before we had to catch out train but we wanted to make it worth it. So we headed down to Schönbrunn Palace.

This place is huge.
 Schönbrunn Palace was the main home of Emperor Franz Josef and his wife 'Sisi'. We grabbed an audio tour guide and went through the whole house. It's massive and beautiful and the audio guide is actually really thorough and tells you lots of interesting things. 
And also ridiculously symmetrical. 
 Sidenote: While we were going through the house, there was a tour group of Chinese people which we kept getting stuck behind. I finally got annoyed and decided to cut through them (because they took up the entire walkway). On my way through I said 'bu hao yi si' which is 'excuse me' in Chinese. This tiny Chinese woman looked at me so surprised. That pretty much made my day.

After the palace, Seester and still had one more thing that we absolutely had to do before we left Vienna: Eat Sachertorte.

Nom. Nom. Nom.
For those of you who don't know, the Sacher Cafe is located at Hotel Sacher in Vienna which is where this cake originated. The cake recipe for this cake is considered one of the oldest (175ish years) and the best in the world. The chocolate on the cake is made by three different chocolatiers in different countries and only they have the recipes for this chocolate. 

It's ridiculously good and was totally worth the bajillion Euro it cost. 

Alas, after stuffing ourselves full of Sacher torte we headed back to the Nachsmarkt to grab some snacks for the train (like we needed it after that cake) and jumped on a train to Bratislava. The adventures continue.

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