The next stop on my grand tour of Europe is Vienna because it was relatively close to Prague, and I didn’t need to hop a flight there. I took a train in and a train back. It’s slightly better than Amtrak, but somehow feels more chaotic when boarding. I guess it’s just the number of people boarding at one time it feels that way. Vienna is a very cultured city. It was the seat of power for the Hapsburgs and AustroHungarian empire. There’s operas and ballets, but of course I didn’t do that. I was there to walk around, see the sights and explore the museums.
The Sigmund Freud museum was interesting but out of my wheelhouse. Wasn’t sure if there was a consistent theme or if it was about his own life. Feels like he was a complicated man who asked us to look inwards, and looking that way is difficult. Wonder how he came up with it. Didn’t seem like there was much of his early life there. Certainly focused on his family. I don’t think I would attend this museum again, but it definitely makes me think about how ideas are transmitted and we think. It was 14 euros and I consider that well worth it.
I got lunch at Gasthaus Rebhuhn. It was incredible. The beer here is gifted, it was orange without being over or under powered. I had an unfiltered wheat beer called Ottakringer. I also got the Viennese Schnitzel which was amazing. The breading is similar to popcorn shrimp. It came with potato salad (once again it’s a gift) and a light salad. The salad hit the spot since the Schnitzel was fairly heavy.
Next I was on my way to The Hofburg, and I got distracted with a science fiction exhibition at WeltMuseum Wien. It was an art exhibition and sorta cynical. Gave me a couple new things to look up. Decolonization was a big term which as I understand it seems to mean accepting and considering the different ideas. It’s certainly a noble cause, but I think it’s something that people will latch onto without doing any good or join a protest that accomplishes nothing. I learned about an interesting movie called “The Intersection,” it’s about how to live more in harmony with nature and how our technology hurts us. I can’t get over how funny some of the props look, and I want to learn more about this movie.
Other than the science fiction exhibit, I enjoyed the armory and historical musical instruments. They even had one that you could play and see inside of. It was interesting to look at the wear patterns on the keys. I liked looking at some of the crazy armors and giant feathers.
The rest of the exhibits were from around the Austro-Hungarian empire or from their colonies. It’s crazy how far the trade lines stretched. They were working on returning things taken from their colonies which is a noble effort. Although I think it has to be balanced with the documentation effort and ensuring what was learned is not lost. The most interesting thing was some of the Pacific islander masks apparently they were used once and then destroyed, until they were sold to the European traders. Overall, a really nifty museum.
After that I was exhausted and parked myself at Addicted to Rock, a gin and burger bar. I had a radler which is just a shandy. Apparently that’s looked down on, but they are forgetting the number one rule of drinking: don’t make negative comments about someone’s drinks. It’s a hot day and that hit the spot.
Afterwards I went to the naschmarkt which was a large outdoor farm market with a lot of food. I saw some wild things.
I got a late start and hung out at the hostel in the morning. I need some time to decompress and relax. It was super busy yesterday.
I went to the Ottakringer brewery and did a tour. It was the beer that spoke to me the most and I had first when I arrived. Today the tour was free because they were running a special event. The tour was really good, but the machinery wasn’t running because they shut down brewing over the weekend. I got a couple free beer tokens and had some amazing beers here. I really like the unfiltered zweikel beers. They’re so fruity.
Afterwards I checked out some palaces and was like this is way too opulent. How can any one person need all this? (Doing one bagging on this trip has really changed my perspective on stuff in this day and age, by that I mean I need a lot less things.)
Afterwards I was totally beat and broken down by all the walking that I went back to the hostel to relax for a couple hours. I ended the night getting some spatzle and apple strudel. It really hit the spot. It’s a heartier Mac and cheese. I also tried some schnapps and that really elevated the strudel. Hazelnut schnapps are something else. I still don’t understand schnapps overall, but it’s really good as an after dinner drink.
On Sunday I got a late start as my legs still hurt. I left my stuff at the hostel and visited a cafe next door. I got a cappuccino and a Vienna sausage platter. It was served with fresh shredded horseradish and mustard. The horseradish was divine. I want to grow horseradish and garlic next year. I ended up getting 2 chocolate desserts cause I’m on vacation. Both were excellent.
Afterwards I ended up sitting in a park near a church watching people for a while, and enjoying the day. Vienna has honestly been really nice. I enjoyed the museums and food. The people are nice. The public transit is really good and will take you all over the place. There’s options to do a lot here. Anyways, here’s a list of things I would like to do if I ever get back to Vienna.
- Catch an Opera or Ballet
- Visit the clock museum.
- See the imperial plates museum. There’s a secret napkin fold that I would like to see in person.
- Lay around in a public park.
- Visit the Mozart museum. The Amadeus movie was wild and it would be really cool to learn more about the people involved. I know it was heavily dramatized.