The apartment was at the 5th floor (as I remember) in an old building in Wieden neighborhood. The big balcony was the best part, a kind of spacious terrace to relax on during a night chat. After working for some hours on Friday morning, I have managed to leave the house after many monologues: I hate to travel alone and in that day I was not in the mood of self discoveries, but, somehow, decided in the end to visit Naschmarkt (at my friend’s recommendation). Picture me walking on the large avenues, entirely with the head in the sky, amazed by the balconies and the statues everywhere around, smiling to beautiful people and encountering blue eyes hidden behind dark hair. This gave me some courage and, after wandering along the stands of the market, I have stopped to eat the best hummus ever. It is quite fascinating to visit this kind of markets in Vienna as they are more a mix of different places to eat, diverse cultures and gastronomy.
Following the avenues I have ended in the gardens of Schloss Belvedere. There was an exposition of Klimt, but I wasn’t decided to visit the palace itself so I’ve just roamed around the garden, letting me be amazed by each statue from the fountains and the beautiful view of Vienna’s center from above.
The next stop was the beautiful church Karlskirche, but not before refreshing at the fountain in front of the Heroes’ Monument of Red Army.
Getting to Karlskirche I couldn’t stop thinking about the majestic building when, suddenly, the smell of weed hit me. Don’t get me wrong – I live in NL, but as much as I am traveling in Europe I understand how horse-glasses like Romania is. Vienna seemed to be not so different from Prague, Copenhagen or Barcelona, people smoking weed in the open air without fearing of being imprisoned. In front of the church a lot of youngsters with skateboards were trying to make the best scheme and tourists trying to take the best shot, myself included.
The day ended after a stroll in the old city center, many beers and seeing old colleagues. But all of this not before enjoying a beer on the fake small beach on the bank of Danube Canal, right in the city center.
Being back in the apartment we had to recharge the batteries for the Donau – Auen park, planned for the next day. After we’ve wandered in the woods of the park (about which I’ve written here), we stopped for food and drinks on Donauinsel – an island on Danube river, the home for many restaurants and green area, where people seem to have a lot of fun and are able to relax in the big, connected city. The metro station is right on the bridge above the island which is giving a gorgeous view over Danube and the small mountains around Vienna.
The next and last day was a short one in which we’ve visited the picturesque neighborhood of Grinzing. The weather wasn’t that good, but this didn’t stopped us to take the bus right up on Kahlenberg.
The area is known for vineyards and wine tasting, but due to the rain we didn’t search much around, so we had lunch at a nice restaurant, in an old building with a large courtyard. The food was pretty good, I had some potatoes with bacon, they were cooked exactly as we cook “peasant” potatoes in Romania, so it was somehow a perfect lunch, being able to speak Romanian again after so many time.
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As a conclusion: Vienna was a pleasant discovery, after some years avoiding visiting it due to the impression of an immense city. If you are visiting you should try at least once to eat in the markets around the city, on a terrace placed in the street, drink some unfiltered beer and relax on the shore of Danube. And don’t be afraid in traveling with the public transport: it is purely perfect!
Tip: if you forget to buy chocolate don’t worry about the price in the airport, there’s a Spar right before entering the check in area. The price is at least 5 times less compared with the one in duty free.