Thursday, July 5, 2012

Cake, schnitzel and jewels - a more successful day in Vienna

The storms last night went for hours and although we again woke to sun filled blue skies, today was very warm/hot rather than blistering, a lovely change.

You may remember that one of S's aims for this trip was to eat as much cake as possible, well this morning we worked on that with a visit to Gerstners, just off the Graben.  It was founded in 1847 and I figure anywhere that has lasted more than 160 years must be doing something right.  We had doboschtorte and haustorte.  Both were made of layers of extremely thin sponge sandwiched together with flavoured cream and both disappeared with indecent speed.



Suitably fueled, the plan had been to visit the Klimt galleries at the Belevedere Museum, but with that U-bahn line closed we didn't want to risk an uncertain amount of walking with S's knee still not good.  So we headed back to the Museum Quarter.  It was then that we discovered that the Kunsthistorisches Museum is in the middle of the museum complex, not on the edge as we had thought and that the Hofburg palace with its mazes of museums is right next door!


With S being very careful of his knee we decided that we would play it safe and only do one of the museums, so we did the treasury, otherwise known as the Schatzkammer.  The Schatzkammer contains the Imperial Crown jewels of the Hapsburg and Holy Roman empires.  It was again interesting to compare to the British crown jewels we had just recently seen.  These are in general much older, made before cutting gems to have facets was invented.  As a result they were not quite as sparkly but boy were they ornate!


The museum also has a lot of ceremonial clothing.  Seeing garments that are almost twice the age of our country is so impressive and I loved that many of the rooms featured paintings of the various kings and emperors wearing the actual garments or crowns.  I couldn't believe some of the amazing embroidery using thousands of tiny pearls, I can't imagine what those garments were worth when they were made.

From there it was time for some knee rest, so we headed into the palace gardens and found a shady park bench from which to watch the world go by for a little while.


Given that it had now been a few hours since we had eaten vast quantities of cake, we felt we had better get some more food into us.  I was keen to find some better schnitzel so had done more research and found us a place off the tourist track, but close to our apartment to try, Beim Czaak.  My terrible German got a workout but we ended up with very delicious wiener schnitzel, accompanied by some lovely potatoes simply boiled and dressed in oil and parsley and a fresh garden salad.  It was the perfect (if huge) meal - although S is still disappointed that he hasn't had a schnitzel bigger than his head.


While today is significantly cooler than our other days in Vienna, the heat was building and being stuffed full of food, there was nothing left to do but head off for an afternoon nap.  Those schnitzel had a seriously soporific effect because we slept for ages!

Clearly we were not going to be in need of a big dinner, so we decided to go for a wander up the street.  The warm summer evening had the local bars and cafes bursting with people, but we just stopped into the local street market for some bread and cheese which we will eat while we pack, because tomorrow we head to Prague.

9 comments:

  1. Cake, schnitzel, culture!

    What's not to love!

    SSG xxx

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    1. It was a pretty perfect Viennese day SSG.

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  2. Wheeee! Life has been so crazy for me lately that I've been saving up your travel posts to read, and now I'm settling in to enjoy. Wheeeee!

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    1. Well I'm nothing if not prolific - enjoy!

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  3. Gosh, all of your holiday posts are making me insanely jealous of your traveling adventures!

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    1. Thanks Cat, and we have another 2 weeks to go till reality hits!

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  4. I'm glad you finally had a successful Vienna day - and that the weather has cooled down. It sounds like a good ending to Austria, and hopefully Prague will be fully open and ready to welcome you with cool, open arms!

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    1. Vienna did redeem herself in the end and I would love to go back at a less crowded time of year. I don't know about being cooler, but Prague is certainly going to be exciting to explore.

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  5. oh man, major schnitzel craving now!! I loved Vienna when we went 6 years ago.
    Heidi xo

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