Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Feeling hot, hot, hot

It is hot here in Vienna.  And not some kind of wimpy European hot, it is Adelaide at Christmas hot.  Scorching during the day and not much cooler at night.

We flew in from a grey, drizzly London and it was like getting out of the plane into an Australian summer as the wall of heat hit us.  Not surprisingly our apartment does not have aircon and being on the top floor, it is pretty hot so we had an uncomfortable first night.

However we headed out first thing this morning.  We stopped at a little cafe for breakfast and S was treated to his first proper coffee - a mocca served as a shot like an expressso, he really enjoyed it.

We decided to go to the Kunsthistorisches Museum, both because we had been told the collection was spectacular and because we were hoping it would have decent air conditioning.  The air con was struggling and the museum is partially closed for renovations which meant the amazing treasury of royal and ecclisasical items was not on show.  It was very disappointing.  However they did have a special platform in place allowing you to get close to the Klimt masterpieces on show that he painted to decorate the ceiling of the main staircase and the painting gallery was wonderful.  It isn't every day that you get to walk through rooms filled with paintings by Vemeer, Titian, Rembrant, Rubens, Canaletto and so many more.  There were galleries that looked like the pages of my old art text books.  I spent a lot of time gasping and racing into rooms as I spotted famous works.

After the museum, we had a refreshing icecream then headed into the centre of the city.  We visited St Stephen's Church, although decided not to climb to the roof given the heat and wandered some of the posh shops along the Graben.  But it was blistering.  There were queues for the water fountains, groups of tourists sitting against walls in the shade and we decided it was time to get away from the heat.

So we headed back to the apartment, doing a little grocery shopping on the way.  It is too hot for a cooked meal, so we had a light dinner of fresh bread rolls with cheese, super ripe yummy tomato and black butter.  Our friend Floss made the black butter, it is a spread made of apple and is delicious, especially with the cheese.  We finished our meal with a bowl of fresh raspberries, blueberries and strawberries.

As it grew darker, I decided we should head out for dessert.  The logical choice was of course the Hotel Sacher, for some Sacher Torte.  Still being rediculously hot, we ordered iced chocolate to accompany our desserts.  We shared a piece of Sacher Torte and some apple strudel.  They were both great, however family legend says that our family chocolate cake is the original Sacher torte recipe and if that is true, our is the best.

We wandered the graben for a while, milling with the crowds out now the sun is down (and finding a souvenir store for me), before coming home to find the lift is broken.  7 flights of stairs aren't fun  at anytime but given it still has to be 30+ degrees it was a hot way to end what was an unexpected but still good day.


  1. It does sound like you're in a heat wave - and I can picture Austria not being well equipped for it! - so I hope you manage to keep cool over the next little while. I'm sorry, too, that you didn't get to experience Kunsthistorisches Museum in all its glory. We spent a solid half day there and it was amazing; but in saying that, we couldn't see all of it either just due to time.

  2. High five for your Sacher Torte defeating those in its country of origin! Woot!