Saturday, November 17, 2012

Vienna Day 2: Naschtmarket, die lichter und das Cafe Central

This morning the One Who Speaks Russian and I got up early (read ten-thirty), made ourselves breakfast and ventured out into the cool, crisp air of Vienna. There was sun! I spent quite some time marvelling at this, and also at all the amazing stately buildings and modern shiny ones we were walking past on our way up the main shopping street to the Ringstrasse. Our plan was to walk around there and see all the main beautiful building sights, but then we saw a shiny golden dome away from the main areas and decided to go and see what that was.

It turned out to be a beautiful classical/Art Nouveau building with a lacy, leafy metal dome, and then that led us on to the Naschtmarkt. This is a long market bounded by two main streets that goes on and on, with fruit and vegetables and spices and meat and knickknacks and antiques and scarves and chocolate shops. We got chili hot chocolates and wandered, marvelling at the range of everything (there were fruits I'd never seen before, as well as durian/jackfruit wrapped in plastic so it didn't stink up the market). I got an entire kebab for three euros, which I thought was incredibly cheap, but by this time we'd done quite a bit of walking and my lower limbs were complaining.

We retreated to the hostel for a nap and a nanowrimo session, and I played with the lockers in our room and giggled (these lockers are amazing. They have inch-depth buttons that poke out, and if you push them in they just come out again and the locker doesn't lock. If you push the button with your key card between the button and your thumb, however, the RFID chip inside the key card does something and THE LOCKER LOCKS. These lockers have been sent back from THE FUTURE).

When it got dark we ventured out again, and saw a vintage tram trundling along that needed a picture taken of it. It looked like it belonged in a museum, but it was happily carrying people and advertisements on the main line alongside the modern ones. We took the U-Bahn Underground train to the centre of the Ringstrasse to meet The One Who Speaks Russian's friend, and walked past amazing buildings and fairy lights and three sets of horses and buggies, complete with old-fashioned lamps in the carriages and drivers with top hats. We then scrutinized the coffee houses and decided on one which was once frequented by Lenin, Trotsky and Freud - the Cafe Central.

It was an absolutely beautiful place to have coffee, with marble pillars curving up to meet each other at the ceiling, incredible cakes and a grand piano. i got a black coffee which was very smooth and not at all bitter, and some sort of hazelnut cream slice with a reproduction of Klimt's The Kiss on top of it. The One Who Speaks Russian was very impressed with her chocolate creme brulee torte thing, and we had a nice few hours sitting in this beautiful cafe, listening to the pianist (who played a song the Hopeful Gardener enjoys playing, and made me a bit homesick) and pretending to be sophisticated Viennese.

Back at the hostel, we listened to the live band in the hostel's bar and planned our day tomorrow. I should probably get some sleep so that I can make the most of it...


1 comment:

  1. A song I enjoy playing? hmmm...Cow Cow Boogie? Mellow Yellow? Ave Maria? lol
    Vienna sounds wonderful - am very envious..


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