Vienna Day 3

Continued from Vienna Day 2.

Today will be my last day in Vienna. I love how this city has been so chill. I love the strong coffeehouse culture here and it will be what I’ll miss the most about Vienna.

I didn’t have too much lined up for the day so I had a late start at close to noon. Time to get going.

False alarm. As soon as I got out of the door, I bolted back to my room to apply some sunblock. It’s crazy sunny outside.

Back to the ring road around the city center.

I shall eat and drink there. No, not Hertz.

Sitting here outside at Cafe Swarzenberg. It’s been open since…..are you ready? 1861! Yup, that’s 150 years.

Time to contemplate some more. Unfortunately, no world changing thoughts were written today.

The Wiener Melange is my favorite.

Goulash with beef, fried egg(this one sold me), and dumplings. Goulash is popular in several of the European nations that I visited this time around. I had to give it a try and it was very good.

Starting to get filled up with the lunch crowd.

The Weiner Melange here was incredible. One of the best cups of Joe I’ve ever had in my life, serious.

The cafe got so crowded that a couple asked to share the table with me. I happily obliged. The wife had a case for her cigarettes. Seems redundant to me. I thought that the whole point that cigarettes came in a carton was so that it didn’t need another carton?

While sitting, I saw something poking out down the street. Made plans to take a walk in that direction to check it out after I finish my coffee.

Lots of posters here on their bulletin board next to the restroom. I love how they are all very good quality posters and not just off centered black and white copies that you see often in the US.

Condom dispenser in the restroom. Surprised to see this in such a fancy and established place. I do like the art work though, reminds me of Hokusai’s style.

The interior. Wonder if it looked similar to this 150 years ago.

Two mk1 TTs next to each other.

This is what I saw down the street. St. Charles’s Church. There is a reflection pool in the front, but I didn’t think to get a good photo of the church with the reflection. I don’t think my lens is wide enough for it anyway….sour grapes.

The weather was excellent again today so there were many people just sitting outside enjoying the sun. I decided to sit down on a bench and enjoy the weather as well.

Chilling out while listening to this accordion street musician jam out. He was really good. In fact, he was so good that I gave him an Euro and after I left the church plaza, I found myself still humming along to his tunes long after he had stopped playing to take a break.

Saw this modern art walking to my next destination. It was pumping out all sorts of music.

Found the speakers.

I believe that this is some sort of WWII memorial as there was the date 1945 on it.

Long walk…

Finally there, Lower Belvedere palace. It now houses an art museum. The slightly crooked photo is annoying me but I was too lazy to rotate and crop.

I did go into the art museum, but unfortunately, no photos were allowed. I saw an exhibit by Hans Makart. There were some stunning pieces in there. Look up Venice Pays Homage to Caterina Cornaro. Now picture it being 20 plus feet wide in size! Other than that, I learned that Makart died from syphilis when he was in his mid 40s. Someone visited the whorehouses.

Upper Belvedere Palace, both literally and figuratively. It looks down upon Lower Belvedere. It also houses an art museum.

The palace garden was pretty small compared to Sch├Ânbrunn Palace’s gardens.

I stuck my hand through a hedge to get this photo of an area enclosed by hedges on all sides. Weeds and random plants grow rampant in here. How dare they not upkeep an area that only oddballs like me would think of looking.

This raven was two toned. Odd.

Looking onto Lower Belvedere from the garden.

Relaxing. Despite the smallerish garden, it was rather peacful. The scales aren’t so overwhelming and it was not crowded over here.


Taken from inside Upper Belvedere looking out onto the garden. Again, no photos allowed in here, I had to sneak this one in. But, it was a photo out of the museum and not of an art work inside so I felt like I was only half cheating. Unlike Italy, where every single museum I went all the guards were dicking around on their phone, every single guard in Austria are very professional about doing their jobs.

Looking out onto the front pond of Upper Belvedere.

What do you know, restoration job.

Beautiful, especially the heavy construction equipment on the left side of the photo.

After Belvedere, I ended up pretty far from the subway station so I had to take a long walk. Not only was it a long walk, it was also an unpleasant walk. This is what I saw for about 15 minutes. In fact, I took a picture of this area when I was on the train coming into Vienna and made fun of it for being ugly. No place to hide from the sun, no traffic calming devices, and no interesting people or shops to look at.

Ugh, so hot(it’s probably only 80, but it felt hot), must get some relief.

To the rescue.

Finally. Get me away from this ugly area of Vienna.

Got into the subway and then out again into a different part of Vienna. This area is very much residential and far away from the tourists.

Ah, it’s spelled in German.

Go ahead, let your brain take a walk in the gutter. I did.

This looks to be some old church or iconic building that they were razing down.

Heard someone playing piano from this open window. It was fitting since there’s so much musical history attached to Vienna.

After walking around in a boring residential neighborhood for 10 minutes, I finally got a glimpse of what I came here for.

Hundertwasserhaus, super cool apartment building. It started as Friedensreich Hundertwasser’s artistic concept and was built more as art than building. I wonder how much of a premium in rent it demands relative to the other buildings around it.

London called, they want their telephone booth back….though no one uses them anymore and they are now only filled with porn advertisements.

Undulating sidewalk next to the building. In the 5 minutes that I was here, I saw someone misstep and slip. Form over function baby.

So whimsical, like it came out of a Hayao Miyazaki’s movies. I’d live here.

Alright, that’s enough sightseeing for the day. I have already adapted to the more laid back pace of this city.

Did someone say Kegel? I am such an immature child.

Subway station, under restoration.

Saw this subway poster. Sometimes, I love vandals. But, always hate bike thieves. Fuck them.

After Hundertwasserhaus, I basically just chilled in my hotel room for a while. Read some emails, listened to some music and read some news. Got a taste of my old routine back in Austin.

I walked by this place two nights ago and it was the only restaurant with a waiting line out the door. I walked by it again tonight in search of dinner and decided to get in line to give it a try. If people are willing to wait in line for it, it must be something special, or have a kickass marketing department.

Slow moving line. I think I waited about 20 minutes. The longest line I’ve waited thus far in my whole vacation. Pretty incredible if you think about it since people complain about waiting for 2 hours to get into the Vatican Museum while I’ve waited just behind one single person.

Hmmmm. Randy Moss likes it?

There are three different levels inside. This is actually one of two locations, both on the same city block.

Of course, I am so offensive that they stick me in the dungeon level.

It was actually very nice and cozy down here.

Their own brand of Riesling.

BAM, that’s a lot of food! This is what this restaurant is famous for, a Schnitzel so big that it’s larger than the plate. Mixed salad on one side and potato salad on the other side.

I struck up a conversation with a very nice German couple from Hamburg who sat next to me. They told me that this restaurant is very famous and well known(Est. 1905!), hence the long lines. They came here to Vienna on vacation and this was high up on their list of places to visit. I am very glad I came here, even if it’s by random chance. They also told me that in Germany, there is a saying that if I don’t finish all of my food then it’ll bring bad weather. Then they added that the weather has been terrible all summer here in Europe and that it’s only been nice in the past two weeks. Sounds like an eating challenge!

Found the rest of the plate.

Chow chow chow. This may be a little bit tough as I wasn’t very hungry tonight.

Powered through it. Last bite baby!

Winning. Can’t blame me for the bad weather.

The nice German couple. They were impressed with my eating ability. My friends don’t call me The Eater for nothing.

After dinner and goodbye to my new friends, I made me way through Stephansplatz towards my home away from home. I wonder what all these people are looking at?

Ah, street performers break dancing. It was quite good and entertaining. There was a whole group of them and they’d tag team their performances.

Time to go to work while getting one last hit of my Viennese coffeehouse for a while.┬áIn the 3 days that I’ve been to Hawelka Cafe, not only do the servers know me already, but I’ve also recognized some of the other regulars here. I wish I could continue to come here every night regularly. There is also no music in any of the Viennese coffeehouses that I’ve been to. People talk quietly, and there isn’t the typical loud banging that we hear in the US when the old grounds gets ejected out. It’s just the right amount of noise in here.

A random observation about Vienna. Girls still wear pantyhoses over here in Austria just as part of a normal outfit. Very strange to see as I haven’t seen that in the States in ages. My mom used to wear pantyhose as part of daily wear, and even she doesn’t do that anymore.

Tonight I pack and most of tomorrow will be devoted to traveling. I am going to miss the chill out atmosphere of Vienna. Goodbye until next time to get my coffee fix.

To be continued at French Riviera Day 1, Nice.

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