Vienna Day 2

Continued from Vienna Day 1.

First, a few pictures from last night.

I ended up photo blogging at the coffeehouse for longer than I had expected so I ordered a second orange soda.

Yours truly under Stephansplatz’s colorful lights.

This Bentley, with the driver inside, was parked outside of my hotel when I left for dinner and then to the coffee shop. Some 5 hours or so later, I came back and it’s still there. The driver must be bored out of his mind waiting for his boss to return.

Hah. I realized that the sinus medicine that I got in Prague is the exact same one that they gave me here in Vienna. The only difference being that the one in Vienna is extra strength with twice the ingredients and more than twice the price. Now, what am I going to do with close to 100 herbal sinus remedy pills?

Now we’ll move onto Vienna Day 2. I woke up this morning and my allergies were much better. Whatever was killing me is apparently not as bad over here in Vienna. That’s another strike against Prague.

More matte vinyl. Overplayed.

Start the day with the subway.

Down we go to the tracks.

Well, 3rd time was a charm. I went to the platform for one subway line, realized that it was going the wrong direction. Crossed over the track to the same line for the other direction, then realized that I was at a completely wrong line. Ugh. I was forced to study a map more closely to finally figure it out. This is what I get for trying to act cool by not looking at a map closely like a tourist.

I see light!

Right outside Karlsplatz station.

Note to self. Be careful of moving trams because I almost got ran over by one while, you guessed it, looking at my map.

What does it mean??

Naschmarkt. A large outdoors market.

Lots of stalls selling all sorts of food items. There are many restaurants along the way as well.

Is that a picture of a sandwich with a piece of raw fish with skin? I’ll pass.

I left the hotel pretty late, so it’s about 11:30am. Time for a late breakfast.

I only ordered the pastry and the OJ. After I had paid, the lady handed me this other drink and told me that it was milk. I guess it’s complimentary? The pastry was too sweet for my taste.

I looked on the bottom of the milk container and it looks to me like it’s one day overdue, today being 7/29/11(looking back on it a few months later, I think it actually meant oktober 4th). Yes, I know it won’t kill me, but….yeah….I am not going to lie, I didn’t drink it. I carried it around along with the bottle of OJ and it just got to be too heavy. I ended up throwing the entire thing of milk away without even opening it. If you want to write me hate mail, you can leave me a comment and see if I care.

Not sure what these were.

Coffee roaster.

The cheese smell was so sharp, I snapped this photo and then had to run away.

Again, not sure what this is.

Surprised. There’s an Asian market here.

Sauerkraut in a wood barrel. I wonder if it’s filled to the very bottom. Doesn’t seem very sanitary to me…

Oh yeah, it’s filled all the way to the bottom alright.

Another Asian market. Really?

And yet another! I am not sure I saw enough Asians around these parts to justify 3 different Asian markets within a 3 minutes walking radius.

Got to make a quick detour.

Reason for detour. Opened in 1880!

It’s like going back in time. I believe the decor has been more or less the same since they first opened.

This guy came in hawking newspapers, then two waitresses got pissed at him and chased him out.

Shameless. Even as he was getting ushered out by two very angry waitresses, he kept on hawking his papers. Seriously? Did he really think that a customer would buy a paper from him in front of the two waitresses and piss them off more?

Loving life.

I read through a Visit Vienna coupon book while sipping on my coffee. Did you know that enjoyment is guaranteed at TGI Friday’s?

Love the interesting wrap around benches. Except, they wrap around the pillars instead of tables.

Obligatory newspapers. This coffeehouse even had billiards tables.

That is one old school looking urinal. What was really crazy was that it’s been rigged up to flush on a sensor(look to the right). When it flushed, it scared the crap out of me since I wasn’t expecting it.

They are much more open about shocking posters in Europe.

Goodbye Cafe Sperl. It’s been awesome, but time for me to get back to 2011.

Look at this crazy small dead mouse on the sidewalk?

Back to Naschmarkt

Must. Fight. Urge. To. Get. More. Kebabs. Got to save room for Austrian food.

And, we are done with the market. That was fun. It worked out well because there are subway stations on either ends of the market. I didn’t have to trace my steps back, but instead could keep on moving through to my next destinations.

My next stop was about halfway across Vienna. Immediately, I notice that the scales are way off because I’ll see where I would like to go, and then I walk and walk and walk and I am only half way there.

Schönbrunn Palace. I’ll explain the runners later.

How Austrian. The Austrian school of economics is very much free market economics. With that idea, they charge many different prices for varying levels of products. I just got the Classic Pass.

No photos allowed inside, so no photos to show of the palace interior. It’s basically Versailles all over again. Just lots of ornate decorated rooms that lead from one to another. One fact I remembered from my audio guide. Mozart performed in the palace when he was just 16.

This is the only photo that I got while being inside the palace, and it’s of the palace garden.

I pretty much blazed through the palace in about 20 minutes. It wasn’t too crowded. I didn’t really have to wait in any lines here. After the palace interior, it’s time to visit the gardens, which I am more excited about anyway.

Entering the palace garden.

Oh yeah, the garden was huge. It’s comparable to Versailles. You walk and walk and walk, and then you walk some more. Good thing the weather has been just absolutely beautiful in the low 70s. I hope I don’t get sunburned.

I know, it’s not a good picture. It was really sunny and the sun was shining in all sorts of wrong ways into the lens.

Time to climb up to the Gloriette. It’s the building on top of the hill 4 photos ago. Gloriette basically just means a building on top of a hill.

Halfway up the climb.

Scaled it!

Stunning views of the palace with Vienna in the background.

Pretty much describes my mood right now. Got thirsty then remembered that I still had most of my OJ left from this morning. Instead of carrying it in my bag, I’ll carry it in my stomach.

Again, how Austrian of them! When you go to London, you pay money to go inside Westminster Abbey because they are capitalists. When you go to Paris, you get into Notre Dame free because they are socialists. When you come to Austria, you find cafes in historically significant places because that’s what the free market dictates.

Love it.

While doing my travel research, I never saw a picture of what was on the other side of Gloriette. Well, I took a picture of it so now you know. It’s just an untended pond full of green algae.

Inside the Gloriette cafe.

Schönbrunn Palace was crawling with high schoolers on field trips here. They took up the majority of the tourists here today. I didn’t see that many tourists from other countries here. In fact, relative to everywhere else I’ve been thus far, Vienna has very few tourists. The great majority of the people I see are locals, even at tourist spots.

So about the runners. The garden is actually open to the public and used as a massive public park. It serves that purpose perfectly. I saw many people just sitting, sunbathing, pushing strollers and exercising all over the garden. There is actually also a zoo in the garden, so I saw mothers take their kids there and then stroll around the palace garden grounds afterwards. In Austria, kids get imperial gardens as their playgrounds. In US, kids get master planned neighborhood playgrounds as their playground.

Time to rest my feet a little. I’ve been walking nonstop since getting here.

Time to move again.

There’s a little Japanese garden.

Palmenhaus, a massive greenhouse. My ticket didn’t allow me entry and I didn’t feel like buying another separate ticket to get in. In retrospect, I wish I had gotten in to take a closer look.

This is all I’ve got to show for it.

It was so big, I had a tough time getting a good photo of it. Where is my ultra wide angle lens?

Back at the subway station. Holy Shit!!!! Epic Walrus Beard Man!!!!(Yes, “Holy Shit!!!” is part of his name) was inspired by Dali. I will be taking the subway back towards city center.

Vienna State Opera House. This shall be the first of many significant buildings that I’ll see on my walk.

Now walking around Opernring, which is one of the ring roads around city center. It leads to many significant museums and government buildings.

Natural History Museum. It faces an identical building shown in the photo below.

Museum of art history.

Beautiful weather. Everyone’s out enjoying life.

In keeping up with the theme, the Hofburg Palace is under renovation. The rulers of Austrian empire used to keep winter residence here and now it’s the official residence of the president of Austria.

Taken in front of Hofburg Palace. If you get the reference, please do leave a comment to show off your knowledge. I hope someone gets this one so I wouldn’t have posted a photo of myself looking like an idiot for nothing.

Lovely construction crane.

Enjoying the view of restoration debris netting.

Parliament building.

Don’t know what this one is. Looks important though.

Rathaus, city hall.

Very nice. RS4 Avant. Don’t get good stuff like this in the US.

And they sell wine. Pun pun pun.

Another one of those famous Viennese coffeehouses.

Please don’t run me over.

Votive Church with the obligatory restoration process. Because they are Austrian, free market dictated a huge advertisement for Bank Austria.

Saw this in a bookstore. Is it about whores or is it about flashers? I don’t really want to look it up but would prefer to just keep on guessing. I do see that it’s a signed copy though. I think it may be a photo of the author herself since it’s a semi anonymous author withholding last name.

Found what I was looking for. The couple who I met on the train to Vienna had a Moleskine notebook. I’ve been wanting to get one for myself, and seeing one in action just gave me the impetus to buy one. They are not cheap. 11 Euros for a little pocket sized black notebook!!

It’s about 4pm and all I’ve had today was an sugary pastry and some OJ. Time for late lunch. I am definitely eating a lot less now that I am not traveling in a big group. How quickly my priorities have changed. I am now more concerned with sightseeing and photo blogging in more detail. Makes sense since eating alone sucks. Sightseeing alone is not too bad because you get to move at your own pace, with the major drawback being getting your own photos taken. Not too many pluses to eating alone other than the ease of figuring out that everything on the bill is on yourself. I bet they have dining meetups for single travelers somewhere. Wonder if I should look into that.

Time to contemplate. Or rather, time to start writing down what I’ve been contemplating these past two weeks while I’ve been traveling. Lots has happened in my life this year, and that’s what brought me on this soul searching trip to Europe in the first place. Well, that and Oktoberfest.

Ground pork patty.

What beautiful trellises with vines, I wonder what it is? Oh, it’s just an entrance to an underground parking garage.

Ohhhhh, Ahhhhh. Cafe Central. This one had some serious clientele in the past. Sigmund Freud, Adolf Hitler, Vladimir Lenin, and Leon Trotsky. Thoughts shaped in this cafe(albeit, back then the cafe was in a different part of the same building) changed the world forever.

Apple strudel. Very popular here in Vienna coffeehouses.

As I was walking out the door, I had to be that annoying tourist and take a photo.

Lots of horse drawn carriages all over the city for sightseeing.

Horrible angle into a tight entryway.

The car had some fresh scars on the other side. This could end badly. Fortunately, someone else was guiding this incompetent driver and no new wounds were made today.

OK, I took this photo to the front desk concierge and he didn’t know what it meant. I believe Bonnie is right. The side without the line means it’s a pedestrian area only, and the side with the line means that it’s no longer a pedestrian only area.

Not sure what this is.

After a long walk around the city center, back to Graben.

Remember this guy with dreadlocks from yesterday? They were here again today.

Inside St. Stephen’s Cathedral again today. The daylight didn’t make the photo much better.

A note about the Austrian people. I would describe them as 80% German and 20% Asian. Genetically, this probably holds water as well since Ghangis Khan had invaded into Eastern Europe, which later became part of the Austrian Hungarian Empire. Austrians have darker hair colors than the Germans, but still have fair colored skins. It’s not unusual to see an Austrian with dark hair and blue eyes. They are not as tall as the Germans and their features are also softer as well.

My hotel was getting their internet connection updated today, so when I got back from walking around all afternoon, I came back to no internet. No worries, I know where to have internet with an awesome atmosphere.

My home away from home, Cafe Hawelka. I stayed here photo blogging for about three hours. All these tourists kept on walking in here to take photos of the cafe. It’s kind of annoying. This must be what others feel like when I go somewhere and take photos of everything. Ain’t going to stop me though. What needs to be done, needs to be done, and that is to take a billion photos for my photo blog.

On another note, I am very quickly establishing myself as a regular here in Cafe Hawelka as I’ve already been here 3 times in a day and a half. The waiters already recognize me and know what I typically order. No Iced Toddy for me over here, that’s for my special place in Austin.

Yup, they really do read the newspapers.

I didn’t really feel like sitting down and eating a long dinner by myself, so I decided to just get something to eat at a doner kebab place. I love kebabs.

Every other person who I ran into seems to be eating ice cream or some sort of dessert. Dentists must make a killing here from all the cavities.

Saw this at Stephansplatz. You see how the light is projected at an angle from the top left corner, but yet they’ve adjusted the image to be perfectly square. My OCD self loves it.

Dinner. I am going to miss this so much when I go back to Austin.

To be continued at Vienna Day 3.

1 thought on “Vienna Day 2

  1. Don’t be sad, we have Doner Kebap: Instead cherish all the delicious coffee that just isn’t the same here. What a scenic day! I’m sure Jeff is green with envy that you are getting to be around all those beautiful old buildings. Have a wonderful Day 3 in Vienna!

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