My journey to Vienna was painless. A 55 minute comfortable bus journey took me over the border and into Austria. Getting off at Erdberg station, I took the U-Bahn to Stephanplatz in the city centre. As former centre of the Holy Roman Empire, I had high expectations of the classical architecture and I was not disappointed!
As I was meeting up with fellow blogger and Viennese resident Kirsten (check out her blog here) later in the afternoon, I wanted to take in as much of the city centre as possible to get a true feel for the city. To fuel up before my exploration, I snuck into Schachtelwirt, an Austrian fast food eatery known for putting a twist on local cuisine. I had its famous Pork Knuckle with Sauerkraut and Dumplings. It was a welcome and very filling introduction to this beautiful city.
I started my wandering at St. Stephen’s Cathedral which has housed countless occasions such as Mozart and Hayden’s weddings and Mozart and Vivaldi’s funeral. There was a mass occurring when I entered and it was an overwhelmingly peaceful experience compared to the hustle and bustle of the streets outside.
For my first time on any vacation, I tossed my itinerary to the wayside and decided to get lost in the city. Each corner was a surprise of pastel colour and statues. I passed Café Central where Sigmund Freud, Tito, Stalin, Trotsky and Hitler frequented, climbed up some stairs to St Rupert’s Church, the oldest church in Vienna and completed in 740. I walked alongside the Hofburg Palace and Hero’s square, home to the Austrian Royalty of yesteryear where the horses and carriages were waiting to take tourists around the city.
I walked through opulent galleries with the most beautiful window displays that put London’s Old Bond Street to shame. There was not one segment of the Goldenes Quartier that was not truly beautiful.
Having exhausted my eyes taking in the city, it was time to catch up with Kirsten. As soon as we arrived in a quaint local bar Freud, the afternoon turned thick with cigarette smoke and bubbling conversation over plans for the future and reminiscing about our pre-teen shenanigans. The time escaped us as the Prosecco was flowing which resorted in a fun night of games and singing as we used to do some 10years prior!
Vienna is a beautiful city full of opulence and Central European chic of a classical era before. I really enjoyed spending part of it with Kirsten but definitely felt in serious need for some strong Viennese coffee the next morning to start my Slovak adventures and my final day of my Danube travels.