Monday, January 14, 2013

Two Days in Vienna

Eric and I planned a short trip to Vienna.  We stayed near the Naschmarkt, a large open market filled with coffees, cheeses, sit-down cafés and prepared foods from all over.  At the Naschmarkt, I was able to witness what I hope will be a common sight in my future:

This is the dream, people.
Eric, buying cheese while a small dog wanders nearby. 

The Naschmarkt was one of the most interesting European markets I've seen.  It had such a mix of stalls, from fresh produce to coffee beans to barrels of olive oil to Chinese teapots to Russian-style perogies.  I saw something new each time I walked from end to end. 

Viennese espresso - I'm still not sophisticated enough to drink it without sugar.
The Naschmarkt on a rainy day
The variety of prepared food was overwhelming.  We couldn't decide on a place to eat, so we ended up buying a few stuffed peppers and grape leaves from one vendor, fresh bread from another, hummus from a third, and cheese from a cheese monger.  Amazing.

This is my favorite kind of lunch.
The weather wasn't great as we walked around the main downtown of Vienna, but the city glowed anyway.  We visited the cathedral in the center of the shopping district while musicians offered us tickets to classical music concerts around town. 

A walking street downtown
Outside the cathedral
Cathedral interior
Busy shopping street
Still beautiful in the rain
We found our way to a Christmas market being set up outside a grand building that we could not identify.  Turns out building names are harder to understand if your map is in German.  The market looked like it was just days from opening, and I wished we could have stayed in Vienna long enough to see it.  The few stalls we saw were bursting with ornaments and other Christmas gifts.

They also had one of the biggest Christmas trees I have ever seen.
I'm still not sure if it grew there naturally or if it was brought in for the season.
We grabbed curry wurst from a street vendor and looked at the opera house from the outside.  There are many reasons I want to return to Vienna, and attending a Vienna State Opera performance is high on the list.

Curry wurst was not quite what I expected, but it was delicious.
Doesn't it look like music is flowing from it?
After two quick nights, Eric and I boarded a train back to Prague, a city we had fallen in love with in September.  My memories of Vienna are centered around beautiful buildings and good food.  Not a surprise, I suppose.

What do you remember most from short visits?

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