Once we arrived in Vienna we had to wait for about a 1.5 hours before leaving the airport until the rest of the group arrived on various flights. There were several cafes in the airport including a little market. We decided to eat at Caffe Ritazza. I ordered the Viennese breakfast that is pictured below.
|Viennese breakfast at Caffe Ritazza in the Vienna Airport|
|My first cup of coffee in Vienna|
After breakfast we were able to leave the airport for the hotel in the center of the city. Our hotel was the K+K Hotel Maria Theresia, which is across the street from the Museum Quarter. The location couldn't be better. It is down the road from a ton of shopping and across the street from a ton of museums that are all clustered together. If you don't know who Maria Theresia is, you must google her. She was the empress and part of the Habsburg family that ruled for something like 6 centuries. She had a ton of kids and one of them was Marie Antoinette. She had a fascinating life and it was very cool to learn about her and the Habsburgs throughout the weekend in Vienna.
After we took a nap, we decided to walk around the city. We found the Naschmarkt, which is what it sounds like. It is the nosh market, where you can get just about any kind of food you want. It is several blocks long with stalls and tiny restaurants all selling food. It was fantastic. Then we found a cool looking cafe and went in for afternoon coffee and cake. Cafe Sperl opened in 1880 and the inside feels like it hasn't changed since.
Just like most places in the world besides in the U.S. the cafe had free wifi. I did a quick google search for Cafe Sperl because it had such a historic feel to it. As I typed in "Cafe Sperl" google suggested "Cafe Sperl Hitler". So of course that's what I went to. It turns out that this cafe was one of Hilter's favorite places to hang out. Yikes, but totally understandable. The cafe is really cute and has a ton of character. People brought in their little dogs and the coffee and studel were amazing.
|Apple Strudel at Cafe Sperl|
The first day went by quickly especially being so jet-lagged. Our dinner consisted of appetizers at the hotel. The next morning breakfast spread at the hotel was pretty good. The coffee was great, of course, and the pastries were great too.
|Breakfast spread at K+K Maria Theresia|
|Perfect way to start the day|
|The view from outside the room|
|The view looking the other way|
After a tour of the summer palace called Schönbrunn Palace and learning more about the Habsburg family, we went back to the Naschmarkt for lunch. We found an Asian place and I ordered Thai tom yum soup and shu mai.
|Lunch at the Naschemarkdt|
Later on after a nap, we went to the Starbucks right near our hotel on the major shopping street a block away. They had the same coffee flavors as we do in the U.S. but they also had sweet waffles. I love that the coffee culture in Vienna includes afternoon cake or sweets. What could be better?
|The best Starbucks experience ever|
Dinner was set up with long dining tables like at Hogwarts and the food was excellent. Austria has wineries and this was the wine I ordered.
Dessert consisted of this "mess" of chopped up pancakes and a fruit compote. The dessert is called kaiserschmarrn, which was a favorite of the king's, hence the name.
|Famous dessert called kaiserschmarrn|
|View from 25 Hours Hotel|
|More of Vienna|
The next morning was a fantastic breakfast again at the hotel. Seriously who doesn't love chocolate cake with breakfast?
|Croissant and chocolate cake for breakfast|
We had a morning trip out of town due west of Vienna to the small town of Melk, where there is a really old and historic Benedictine abbey.
|The Abbey in Melk|
|The town of Melk|
|A canal leading to the Danube|
|The hills are alive|
After returning to Vienna around lunch time, we met up again with our group for a walking tour to the Hofburg Palace and the famous chocolate cake at the Cafe Hofburg. This building is quite famous for more than one reason. It was the winter palace for the royal family and then Hitler claimed the annexation of Austria from the balcony in the center. It was all quite amazing.
|Hofburg, Winter Palace|
|Sachertorte, famous chocolate cake|
|Final dinner in Vienna|
This consomme soup was so good. It reminded me of matza ball soup, but the dumpling was made of a different flour.
This was the definitive apple strudel. It was covered in powdered sugar and sat in a vanilla sauce. It was wonderful and it brought my short trip to Vienna full circle since it started with apple strudel at Cafe Sperl and ended with apple strudel at Cafe Landtmann
Ich liebe Wien