Status: On Travel. Destination: Vienna
Yes, I was in Vienna and yes I like it.
Because of my work I am often on travel. This time, my business trip was longer than usual, including one weekend on site, which gave me and my colleagues additional time for exploring the city. And believe me - one weekend is not enough.
If you plan to visit Vienna, my advice is to schedule at least 3 days to be there.
Our sightseeing tour started on Saturday late morning from Belvedere Palaces.
The Belvedere’s two palaces – Upper and Lower Belvedere - were built in 18th century as summer residence for Savoy’s Prince Eugene. Together with their magnificent gardens are considered to be one of the world’s finest Baroque landmarks.
An impressive collection of Austrian art dating from the Middle Ages to the present date can be seen in Upper Belvedere. If the weather is good, you can spend some time in Marble Hall and enjoy the spectacular view of Vienna. My audio guide said that I can even see Stephansdom from there.
Unfortunately, that morning, the fog was so tick that I couldn’t even see the Lower Berlvedere – Prince Eugene’s living quarters. Lower Belvedere, including the Orangery (nowadays it is not a real Orangery) is the venue for permanent and temporary impressive art exhibitions.
The 3 hours spent staring at paintings, gathered for centuries, were very exhausting for us and we stopped for a little brake and coffee in The Upper Belvedere’s coffee house – very comfortable place. When we finished with our coffees, I was happy to notice that fog was almost gone. I made few final shots of Belvedere and took North-West direction to Albertina Museum and Opera House.
When we arrived in front of Albertina it was almost 4 o’clock - too early for dinner, to late to wait for tickets at the long queue, but never too late for "Wiener Schnitzel". One quick shot of Albertina exhibition program and we went directly to the restaurant under Albertina Museum called Augustiner Keller.
You do not think that we missed Albertina because of one fired Schnitzel, do you? O no, not at all! Some of us went there on Wednesday after work - then it is open till 9 p.m.
Anyway, after the nutritious lunch, with new strengths, we took one of the main streets towards Stefansdom. Shops were still open so we just looked in and end up at one typical Viennese coffee house with a piece of cake “Saher”.
This cake is another story. I would only say that I have expected more from this famous cake. My dreams for a cake, covered with dark chocolate with a gentle scent of apricots felt into parts. Instead of this I received a regular piece of dry chocolate cake covered with cacao butter which can not be even called chocolate. I though that it was old, but unfortunately, on the next day, when I tried it once again at the famous Hotel "Saher" the taste was the same. According to the legend, the original cake recipe is kept locked somewhere in the hotel. I doubt that somebody will steal it, especially after this person has tried the cake.
Anyway, if you still want to try it, the best place to do this is Hotel Saher just across Albertina museum. I can not deny that the atmosphere in the hotel was cozy. Waitresses were wearing black uniforms with white aprons and small white hats. I was asked for my jacket at the entrance - very polite, don’t you think? And Caffee “Mélange” is something which definitely you have to try.
On Sunday my colleagues went to see Schonbrunn Palace, I spent the morning sleeping and met them in the afternoon. The rest of the day we were circling around Hofbrug and Museum Quarter.
I forgot to mention that we visit Schonbrunn Zoo - one of the few zoo parks where you can see panda. I hate Zoos - they make me sad. I went there because of the Kung Fu Panda.
And of course I have a new cook book about Austrian Cuisine. Some of these days I will prepare something, we will see.