VIENNA WIENER SCHNITZEL
After a short flight we landed in freezing cold Vienna, but were luckily already somewhat winter hardened from our time in Copenhagen.
The A+O hotel was a 2 minute walk from Wien Hauptbahnhof station but we decided to stretch our legs after dropping our bags, and waked for 40 minutes into town, just as the sun disappeared for the day.
Keen to get our teeth into some typically Austrian cuisine, we b-lined for a restaurant, where I tucked into a massive Wiener Schnitzel, which for those not in the know, is a thin cut of prime Veal fried in crispy golden breadcrumbs. This came with a silky and onion heavy potato salad that dripped in olive oil. Just what I was after!
Wiener Schnitzel in Vienna
We turned down the dessert menu and walked across to the Town Hall, as we were just in time for the Christmas Markets to open! The Town Hall (Rathaus) gardens has a whopping 151 stalls, all pitched in little wooden sheds, selling everything from food, booze, decorations, gifts and crafts, all lit up in Xmas lighting. A fun and festive way to spend a few hours, but an activity we earmarked to do properly the following day instead.
Vienna Xmas Markets
SIGMUND FREUD MUSEUM
Having studied Psychology at school, I was keen to visit the house of Mr. Psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud. The museum is set in his old apartment/ treatment room, so it was quite good fun entering the museum via a street level apartment door and having to buzz the bell for “Sigmund Freud’s Office” to be let in.
After paying at reception, you find yourself in his waiting room, admiring the art and relics that he surrounded himself with, before heading through to the treatment room that is sadly missing the original and infamous, treatment couch. The tour is delivered by an audio guide and you press various numbers in front of various paintings/ books/ extracts that strings together the story of his life, from school, to his practice, to fleeing the Nazis, and to his battle with cancer.
Whilst the museum did exactly what it said on the tin from the reviews I’d briefly read, I was hoping for more of an insight into his actual theories, experiments and his eureka moments, which were all too briefly touched upon.
VIENNA CHRISTMAS MARKETS
Having briefly seen the Xmas markets all lit up the previous evening, we back tracked to go for a proper nose around. Everyone was drinking steaming hot beverages from a variety of Christmas themed mugs, so we joined the crowds and ordered two hot amaretto punches served in a little shoe! Why drink out of a boring old cup when you can drink from china footwear? You had to leave a 3 Euro deposit for the mug, but we decided to bag our shoes instead and keep them! Everyone else seemed to be doing the same.
Vienna is the home of the snow globe, and they made sure everybody knew it, with large displays of glass trapped snowy scenes for sales on the stalls, as well as a giant snow globe as the centre piece of the ice skating rink.
Vienna – Home of the Snow Globe!
Giant Snow Globe at the Ice Rink
Hungry from our morning of psychoanalysis, tiny drinkable shoes and yule themed trinkets, we sampled the favourite local snack, Kasekrainer. Clearly the invention of a genius who got tired of having to put cheese on top of his sausages, he decided to add the cheese INTO the sausage instead. Served up on a paper plate, a large dollop of mustard and a, quite frankly pointless, bread roll, you can feel your smile growing and your arteries clogging with every, cheese oozing, meaty bite!
Kasekrainer for Lunch!
As with any market, you don’t want to limit yourself to just one of the food offerings, you want to try them all, so we also made a pit stop for some cured meats at the deli stall.
VIENNA CITY CENTRE
With daylight fading we walked around the city centre enjoying all the posh buildings. Vienna is like an architect has taken the nice parts of Mayfair in London and said, “Yes. I think we’ll take that design and just copy and paste it across the whole city, but leave all the shit bits behind”. Clearly the pressure washing business is booming in Vienna as every building is a dazzling white stone that leaves Rome’s tired and grey buildings looking like a dustbin in comparison.
Posh and Polished Buildings
All the museums are conveniently located altogether in one area, and there was oodles of music and art to take in, but we were too pressed for time unfortunately and really not that into art! I did however, like the steps leading up to the Van Gough exhibition, that was very cleverly done.
Next step – a turbo visit to Salzburg!