A couple of weeks ago my youngest daughter suggested that we go to Vienna. She is on a three month sabbatical with time on her hands, I’m not working, and her brother speaks German. So we decided to go.

(Today I actually found an email from February – Andrzej asking if we could go to Vienna to see the Kubin exhibition. I had totally forgotten. So this trip was totally serendipitous. More about Kubin in another post; do not worry.)

Wiener Schnitzel: a recurring theme

The last time I had been in Vienna was in 1965, on my way to Poland. I could remember very little. Except that it was very grand and imposing and that the hotel we stayed in was fantastic, as opposed to the one en route in France. Ah. I also dimly remembered being taken to see St Stephen’s Cathedral. So I was intrigued to go again. After all. This was the city my paternal grandmother had known well and had often talked about it nostalgically. My paternal grandfather’s penultimate wife was Austrian. More about that later too.

We went by Wizzair. A first for me. The first hurdle was how to pack. They don’t let you take very much. Or you pay extra. I decided to pay extra. This was not necessarily very wise. I didn’t really need all that much stuff, but anyway, I can now visualise how much I can take next time- if there is a next time.

It was an early start. I went from Victoria to Gatwick. Andrzej joined me in Clapham and we met Marysia at the airport. Everything went very smoothly despite all the horror stories I had been warned about. Security was quick. The plane filled up quickly and left only a little bit late.

We arrived in the afternoon absolutely ravenous. Our airport breakfast had taken the edge off our hunger but only just. We fell onto a snack straightaway at the station (we had clevery caught a train from the airport) and then got a taxi to our flat.

It was a wonderful surprise. On two floors with a rooftop balcony and fabulous view. Air conditioning. Air conditioning. Air conditioning. I have to repeat it. It was so exciting and so welcome !

Our Air B and B. It doesn’t look exciting but it was big. And clean. And air conditioned. Luxury in the heat we encountered

We went for lunch. See first photo. It was the nearest place we could find. Ver small, very local, very sweet. The owner was a singer. She put on a cd of her jolly traditional songs. (We didn’t know she was the star until later.) She fed us the most delicious but enormous schnitzels. We left over half. She kindly wrapped them up for us – we had two more breakfasts out of them! We laernt to share our meals thereafter!

And then we hit the city.

The tram stop was just outside.

The last stop on the route to the city centre was the Opera House. Very grand as you can see. Very similar in style to Lwów Opera House. Much bigger of course but with not nearly enough perspective.

The Opera House
The founders of the Austrian republic after the end of WWI
Parliament building. Unfortunately a lot of the facade was boarded up.

Evening was beginning to draw in. It was still very warm but the light was beginning to fade ever so slighty and the sky was becoming the most beautiful blue.

We delved into a passageway.

impressive, eh?
A beautiful passageway

Built between 1856 and 1860

Ferstel Passage

By this tyime i was desperately thirsty. We eventually found a bar.not brilliant, but we quenched our thiest. And then we stumbled on this. The americal bar. the mosaic lamp above the awning is very pretty. And the drinks and service were much more pleasant.

Our last port of call. The American Bar.

Here endeth the the first day!

Have you been to Vienna?

6 comments on “Vienna

  1. Basiu – I have very fond memories of Vienna, though it is many years since I visited. Reading your blog, has inspired me to plan a trip!

    Liked by 1 person

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