How should we describe the time we had in Vienna? Crazy, lost, painful, amazing. Those words could sum up the entire experience, but for your sake, I’ll delve a little further into the details.
One of the first things we notice when we arrive in Vienna, is that you can access the rooftop of the establishment we will be staying. We instantly make plans to enjoy our breakfast there the next morning.
NO Such Luck! for the two of us. We wake up extra early just to beat anyone else who may have had the same idea as us. “On account of weather” the roof was closed and the door locked. We are determined to not let that setback ruin our day.
We start off towards Naschmarkt which, fortunately for us, is only a short walk away. The colors of the market when you first enter are entrancing. I didn’t even realize until we left that I forgot to take photos, because I was too busy gazing at all the booths. Don’t worry though, I did snag a few of the food sections.
Such a variety of fruit, vegetables, and every type of olive you can imagine is available here.
Some that we have never seen before and unfortunately those were the ones without name tags so that we might properly identify them! Naturally we renamed them- for Science’s sake.
We come across a bakery serving a wonderful assortment of vegan goods. Nothing makes us happier than vegan food and travel. Nothing.
After limping through the market on my gimp leg with my knees smarting in pain and filled with fluid and my Austrian Ibuprofen not quite doing its job yet, we head off in the direction of Brass Monkey. We plan to sample their coffee and look over the rest of our plans for the day.
Only one problem, I (MaLynn) must admit that I am nowhere as good a map reader as Maria. Especially when I’m going by Mapquest (we’ve warned you of them before) directions and she’s actually looking at the street signs. So, we walk about a mile past where we should have turned to get to Brass Monkey. Needless to say, Maria is not happy with me or my happy-go-lucky attitude at the moment. We proceed down the street. Not completely lost, not completely found.
After about 50 steps she has remembered again that she loves me and we make our way to the next item on the agenda: the Jewish Museum (Judenplatz).
The walking boot is making the “walking” part of this day very difficult, so we decide to sit and have some bier and fries while I prop up my legs and hope the knee swelling reduces a fraction before we continue to Judenplatz.
Best idea we have all day! The most delicious beer we’ve ever had along with crispy wedge fries and a house sauce to die for. Although they did overcharge for a couple squeeze packs of ketchup, we give this place an A+. Okay, A- on account of the ketchup.
The fries and beer are a lovely enjoyment before the horrible disappointment that is Judenplatz and its sister museum, Judische Museum der Stadt Wien. It may sound weird or creepy, but the Holocaust is grotesquely fascinating to us. The horrors that occurred and the genocide of the Jews is something we hoped to get an in-depth view of, especially considering Austria’s role in WWII. Plus we just love learning.
However, once we entered and thoroughly explored both museums we discovered history was not the main exhibit. Not once during all that we read through at the Jewish museums did we see anything that historically pertained to the war. It was mostly the personal history of Jews that had lived in Vienna.
We spot St. Peter’s church on the map and decided to sneak in, ignoring posted signs that no visitors are allowed that day. Who takes the time to obey signs anyway?
We slipped out just as quietly as we had gone in, like a couple of drunks with vertigo in a wind-chime shop. We’re still working on our ninja skills.
We are forced to grab a cab to the famous Swing Kitchen vegan restaurant. We have been fantasizing of trying it for months. This joint is in NO way a disappointment. We ate until we burst, then we ordered food to take and eat later. Gluttony and all that jazz.
I really can’t express how happy I was wandering the streets of Vienna all hours of the night with Maria by my side. Even when we were lost after dark in a seemingly sketchy place, we just kept trekking on, pretending that the brace around my leg and camera around my neck didn’t make us look like easy targets. And somehow, our pretending became reality and our cheesecake from Swing Kitchen was enjoyed with the utmost pleasure on the bus to Budapest the next day.