Monday, April 27, 2015

Vienna, Austria Part 3... new friends and ditched concerts...

On Friday morning, Bill and I got up and had breakfast at the hotel.   It was priced at 20 euros a person, though no one was keeping track of who was eating.  I have to admit, the spread was pretty nice.  They had all kinds of fruits, breads, meats, cheeses, and prepared breakfast foods.  One could also enjoy a nice glass of prosecco, though it was a little flat when I tried it.


Breakfast at the Falkensteiner...

Bill and I never have an agenda when we visit new places.  We like to wander around and listen to conversations.  We like watching people, too.  We almost always end up in a situation when we do this.

Friday morning, we were still planning to go to the hokey concert Adrian the ticket hawker had told us about.  I like classical music, though what was on the playlist were mostly well known pieces that Bill and I have heard a thousand times.  I thought it might be fun to attend the show, though honestly I could have taken it or left it.  Bill was charmed by Adrian, who was probably more entertaining than the musicians would have been.  He was certainly funnier.

We walked another three or four miles back into Vienna.  We took a look at an anti-war memorial...




Next, we ended up at the Spanish Riding School just in time to watch them take the stallions out for a workout.  I even made a video!


This was a delight!


Here is a video of them actually performing.  We didn't go see it because I knew it would make me feel too horse crazy.

I spent a good portion of a my childhood and adolescence around horses and I never tire of the smell.  Watching the Lipizzaners on their way out of their cozy stable made me really miss having horses in my life.  Maybe someday, if and when we stop moving so often and traveling so much.


The Austrians recognize the Genocide...

Just outside of the riding school is where a lot of horses and carriages hang out.  Bill and I don't often do the carriage rides.  We did one in Seville back in January 2014, only because once again we got cornered by an aggressive salesman.  The rides in Vienna weren't nearly as assertively sold to tourists and I was content to just take some pictures.  Then we noticed a church very close to the barn which had a sign commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.  Having lived in Armenia, I decided I needed to have a look, so we went into the church for a little while.






As is his habit, Bill got a bit emotional during our few minutes in the church.  This one in particular was very peaceful and pleasant, which is more than I can say for St. Stephen's Cathedral.


More photos from near the church and the Spanish Riding School...



My feet were hurting because I wore clogs that were a little too big for my feet.  I needed to sit down for awhile, so we visited our first Viennese coffee shop.  The place was adorable.  The waiters were pleasant older gentlemen in tuxedos.


Bill soaks up the atmosphere.


I had a Maria Theresia, which is strong coffee with orange liqueur, whipped cream, and chocolate dust.


He started with a Melange.  Note the glass of water.  In Vienna, as long as the glass has water in it, you can sit.


Next, I had an Irish coffee...  Bill was good and had mineral water.


The outside... we visited here twice on Friday!

We rounded a corner and I took photos of fancy cakes...



And then, I realized it was time for lunch...

We ended up at this amazing Italian place near St. Stephen's Cathedral.  It was tiny, but very authentic.  Bill ordered a bottle of pinot grigio.  I had a delicious branzino (sea bass) with spinach and Bill had saffron pasta with shrimps.  It was a delightfully long, luxurious, and delicious lunch.


We wait for our food.  The store next door was having renovations done, so it was a bit noisy.  A few times, we laughed because the saw sounded a bit like loud farting.


This fish was amazing.  The server (and I think one of the owners) brought it out on a silver platter and deboned it right there in front of me.  I watched her lift the bones out of the filets as if she was removing a violin from its case.  


I liked Bill's pasta, too.  It tasted homemade.


I got my greens!



Well worth visiting if you go to Vienna...  this is a very authentic place.  I suspect the owners are from Venice because I noticed a lot of masks on the walls.  ETA: Apparently, they are from Bari.  Also, almost everyone else who came in was speaking Italian.  I could tell this was a well-regarded restaurant among local Italians.

After our sumptuous lunch, Bill and I went into St. Stephen's Cathedral.  We had to dodge several ticket hawkers.  Then, when we went in, the place was crowded, noisy, and not all that spiritual.  I saw no tears in Bill's eyes this time, but I did manage to get a few photos.









Part 4

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