It's been a while and for a change I think I'm not posting another recipe, but a little travel report of a wonderful Christmas market weekend spent in Vienna.
We went over the last November weekend and were greeted by an overcast cold and grey Vienna, which was beautiful nevertheless - it's a friendly little capital with stunning buildings (especially beautiful in the dark hours as lots of them are lit), great for foodies and a wonderful array of Christmas markets.
On our first day we wandered a little aimlessly around town, visited the Stephansdom, which dominates the city skyline as there are only very few other tall buildings.
For lunch we had a massive (and I mean massive!) Wiener Schnitzel in the traditional and well known restaurant called 'Figlmüller' - the Schnitzel was bigger than the plate it arrived on!
Afterwards we walked quite a bit more around town and soaked up the atmosphere, visited the Christmas market near the Dom and had some tasty Glühwein before heading to our accommodation in Josefstadt.
The next day was as grey and misty as the first one, and after a breakfast we headed for Schloss Schönbrunn, the summer residence of the Habsburg family, where we went on the Grand Tour and learnt lots about Austrian K&K history with Maria Theresia, Franz Joseph and Sisi.
After having walked through the grounds up to the Gloriette where we stopped for a bit of warming up with hot drinks and back down to the palace again, we spent the early evening at what became our favourite Christmas market in the courtyard of Schloss Schönbrunn, enjoyed some hearty food followed by sweet treats, hot alcohol and bought quite a few bits and pieces at the lovely stalls.
Then we went for some obligatory Sachertorte at the 'Eck' where, fortunately, we got in without any of the queues we saw over the following days, before heading home via another Christmas market we discovered near the Hofburg.
On Saturday, after our breakfast at our usual haunt 'Cafe Raimund', we explored the Naschmarkt, which was advertised as a flea market in our guide, but we felt was far more about food and cheap junk, so went to rest our feet in another one of the lovely Cafes around town (Cafe Museum) where, while we sat inside, the sun even peaked through the clouds.
Then we took a tram to the Hundertwasserhaus (above), a rather different apartment building, and headed over to the Prater here we got on the famour Riesenrad (Ferris Wheel) just around dusk, which was a perfect time to enjoy a view over the Austrian capital.
On our last day, after breakfast as usual, we took part in a guided tour around the Staatsoper, which burnt down nearly completely during the Second World War, but was rebuilt shortly after the end of the war in its original style.
Madeleine, our tour guide, made this a diverting fun hour and a bit giving us a lot of insight into the workings of this cultural gem of Vienna.
Following the tour and before heading back to the airport for the evening flight home we stopped in this fantastic little Cafe, just opposite the opera house, for some fortification with typical Austrian pastries.
We had to wait a bit as it's a small and very popular place, but the taste experience was definitely worth it.
We can wholeheartedly recommend Cafe Gerster's cakes and ambience - we enjoyed a delicious Klimttorte (top) and Marillenstrudel with warm custard (bottom) for our final tea time treats.
Summary - Vienna is definitely worth a visit, we loved it in November, found the people to be really friendly, the food yum and the Christmas markets perfect for a weekend trip.
Servus und bis mal wieder, gemütliches Wien!