Monday, December 22, 2008

Vienna Wonder Land

Dear Vienna,

I think I love you.
You melted my heart one cold night in December.
I came to you all alone and I was a little scared.
But you made me feel comfortable and special.
You wowed me with your glimmer, class, and eloquence.
You're people were a little shy at first, but only because they are so humble. Urban sprawl in Vienna? Not a touch. Your streets are traffic free and your sidewalks are wide enough to berth 5 fur coat covered Russian babushkas at a time. Your city is spot less. I don't believe there is a word for spray paint in the Austrian German language. Your metro system is user friendly, clean and concise. In fact, I only needed it to get from the airport to my hotel.Your city is easily accessible by foot (as long as you like enjoy walking, but come on people, this is the BEST way to get to know a city).

Allow me to premise the aforementioned with the fact that I absolutely LOVE
* Art Nouveau
*Gustav Klimt
*Shiny Gold Things
*Strong Coffee
*Tall Austrian People
*Extravagant Christmas Celebrations

I checked into my lovely 60 Euro a night pension tucked away on a semi busy street near the university. It was the afternoon so I figured I'd make the most of it and set out to wander until sundown.

The first thing I came across was, Sigmund-Freud Park.

Magnificent buildings! Like the one being restored with the lovely Sony Ericsson propaganda to cover up the nasties. But this was only the beginning of my jaw dropping and neck

It's easy to get distracted from the hardcore tourist attractions when you have coffee and pastry temptations on every corner. Upon arrival I had to have an inaugural Cafe Melange - half espresso, half hot milk topped with foam and the quintessential Apfelstrudel - a strudel filled with with apples, sugar, roasted bread crumbs, raisins, cinnamon.

Christmas time is magical in Vienna. There are Christkindlmarkts, both large and small found in almost every nook and cranny in the city. Locals and tourists alike enjoy conglomerating here for a steamy mug of gluewein (mulled wine) and to browse the artisan nick knacks. Such as baskets. Sausages. You know you want one.

I was constantly distracted by bright lights, cute expressions and tasty treats! Bon Bons? YES!

Inside the Christmas markets, a made to order doughnut stand.
Rent-a-bike? Hell yes!
Administrative Office?
Coming from California, I didn't actually believe people still wear furs these days. Russian tourists apparently still do.

Turkish mezes at a farmers market in Vienna. I bought just about one of everything, fresh bread, and a bottle of good Austrian wine and had my self a feast one afternoon.
I love polar bears.

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