Vienna was the first city I visited in Europe. That was in 2006 when I attended a consultative meeting. Last weekend, I went back to Vienna. I was so thrilled to be back, to experience the splendid sights and sounds of this great city.
How did I begin my journey, you might ask… Hahaha I rushed to the first Starbucks outlet in Schiphol airport and ordered a Java Chip Frapuccino! Pathetic? Who cares? I miss the familiar… So to capture the moment, my ever reliable camera started flashing…
Then off I went… The plane lands in Schwechat Airport in Vienna. Deja vu… I remember this place, it was much wider now, and less crowded. Then the hotel service met me to bring me to the hotel. I couldn’t believe it!!! Im going to ride a car!!!! Yahoo!! (Note to reader: I came from bike land. So pardon my excitement..)
I was then brought to my first hotel, Hotel Bosei, a four star hotel about 30 minutes away from the airport. Wow, I said, as I entered my room… I had my own bath tub! Hahaha, Im getting really irritating.
I might be giving you the wrong idea. This trip was a lot of work. They locked us in these great hotels, fed us with real good food, but made us work, work, work, round the clock for three straight days. But honestly? I wasnt complaining….
The next day I moved to an even better hotel, the Hotel Schloss Wilhelminenberg. I have been here two years back in one of the formal dinners we had. But this time, they decided to house us here. My, my, my… Im living my dream to stay in a castle! Well, it was really a former castle…
We had the benefit of the most spectacular city view of Vienna. You dont believe me? Then see for yourself..
It had the most regal staircase I have ever seen. I love using this staircase, leading to the lobby. I felt like a Disney princess!
Okay now, enough of the hotels… I think I convinced you enough to believe that I was living the life in Vienna.
I didn’t have so much time to move around the city. So during my free time, I took a bus city tour leading to the Giant Ferris Wheel in Prater and to a Heurigen dinner at the Vienna Woods.
Why the Ferris Wheel? Simple, I wanted to see Vienna from the top!
With the sunset light covering the city.. Perfect!
I was in the tour bus filled with old people! So funny… When we arrived in Prater, I swear this is the loneliest amusement park I have ever seen! But I was there to take photos. And I was happy with my shots.. More sights at the Prater amusement park.
Great views… I was satisfied with our first stop.
We then on headed to the Vienna Woods for our heurigen dinner. It was on the other side of the city so it took about 30-45 minutes to get there. In the Vienna Woods, there were lots of wine taverns hidden amidst the greenery, with their own mini vineyards, producing their own wine. The typical Viennese tradition was people could bring in their own food and enjoy these with the wine in the taverns. For our purposes, though, we, or should i say, they (coz Im a non-alcoholic) were going to taste the wine and eat meat, meat and meat! Plus, a Viennese musical show with operettas and waltzes and live music. The Viennese version of the pub, or in common Pinoy parlance, the beerhaus!
Potatoes, sauerkraut and meat, meat, meat! The starfished shape on top of the heap is the real Vienna Sausage, baby!
Here was the mug of wine.. I dont remember ever seeing wine served in a mug. I told you it was a beerhaus!
Only in this beerhaus, the live show was the waltz
And there was a cello.. That was the end of my stint with Viennese culture..
But the highlight of my stay was high afternoon tea or coffee. What would a Vienna trip be without a cup of coffee and a sugar overload?!
So before I left for Utrecht, I needed a serious coffee break..
I wanted a Wiener Melange, a typical Viennese coffee concoction. I couldn’t get enough of it… I had two!!!! And for a recreational coffee drinker like myself, that was a milestone!
What went with my Melange? That was the next logical question.
While going through the menu, I was looking for a simple danish or tart to go with my coffee. I asked the server for recommendations. She said we have a strudel with cheese and raisins, with a little vanilla sauce. I said, okay that sounded simple to me. And then this came…. My eyes were about to pop out with excitement! I savored every bite! And took so many photos of it, in every angle imaginable.
All in all… Vienna took my breath away.. The second time around…
For Vienna city tour needs, visit www.viennasightseeing.at
This city tour cost 65 euros, including a free ride to the Prater, a Heurigen dinner, free ticket to the musical show, pick-up and drop-off to your hotel. Lots of old people will ride the bus with you. But if you need serious alone time, this will be fun!!!