Tag Archives: Ringstraße

Re(Wien)sited

Momma and I decided to spend a weekend in Vienna after considering many other European destinations. I would get a chance to revisit one of my favorite spots in the world and show my mom around, trying to get her to understand why I love Vienna so much. My mom and I arrived a little later than expected (only 40 minutes) due to a flight delay and yet our hotel had already given our room away. So at midnight they carted us over to the “nearest” hotel, which was actually a 20-minute cab ride away. We ended up in a part of town that I wasn’t familiar with, but Momma, always looking on the bright side, said what a wonderful opportunity it would be to get to know Vienna better. I am just bummed that I wasn’t able to see Diana, my ex-roommate, on the only day we would both be in town. 😦

Walking the Ring: Momma at Parliament

Needless to say, we didn’t get up to much on our first night in Vienna, but the next day we had big plans. We started out by walking the Ringstrasse, one of the first things I did when I arrived in Vienna over a year ago. Our first stop was the University to see the blank walls where Klimt’s famous paintings would have been. Nothing to report there. Then we continued along the ring to the Opera house stopping at all the famous buildings along the way. We even dropped by IKI for a quick hello. From there, we cut north to Stephansdom and may have done a little shopping along the way… By lunchtime we were hungry for some Wienerschnitzel and ate at the restaraurant near Ruprechtskirche. Best Wienerschnitzel I have ever had! It was so tender and delicious! After lunch I took Momma down to my old neighborhood. We revisited my dorm, grocery store, hang-out spots and my favorite ice cream parlor, Tichy. I’m not sure if I have mentioned this before, but Vienna has these ice cream balls that are to die for. The Eismarillenknödel, a mouthful in more ways than one, is a ball of vanilla ice cream with an apricot mousse center rolled in shortbread cookie crumbs… Yeah, i know. Other varieties include the Himbeereisknödel (replace the apricot with raspberry and the shortbread with chocolate cookie crumbs), the Schneeball (replace cookies with crumbed, hard white marshmallow) and one for which I cannot remember the name, but that’s because it was coffee-flavored. Ick. Here’s a picture of three ice cream balls at Tichy. I wish I could replace the coffee ball with a Schneeball. Oh well!

Ice Cream Balls at Tichy

The next day we made sure to be up early so we could get our museum on. We took my beloved U-bahn to the Museums Quartier. First stop: The Leopold Museum. The Leopold is one of those places that makes you realize why you’re an art history major, or at least that’s what it did for me. I had been looking at countless fragmentary, dusty white corpses in Roman museums for months, which is all well and good. I love me some ancient Roman art, really I do. But the artworks I have been studying are creations of the state with a predetermined message independent of the artist’s agenda. It’s ancient propaganda. It’s fascinating. But I hadn’t seen anything so infused with emotion or so personal for a while. Schiele makes you feel what he felt. And I cried. So maybe this is why I am an art history major, not why you are.

At the Leopold with a Poster of Schiele

Next stop on the museum schedule was the modern art museum across the platz, which looks like a big, black, blocky scar in the MQ. One of the best parts of this museum is its video collection. There were some Nan June Paik, Richard Serra and William Wegman pieces. All lovely, but the pride and joy of the MUMOK is Andy Warhol, who appears as a glittery ghost in a double life-size poster inside the museum. Ick. I have never loved Warhol, but I gave him a fair chance and watched quite a few of his videos. Sad, I still don’t like him.

Mom & Me chilling on a MQ bench with MUMOK in the background

After the museums, we wandered over to the Burggarten and paid Mozart our respects while mowing down on some Käsekrainer. Boy, do I love Austrian food! Lucky us, the Genussfest in Stadtpark happened the same weekend we visited! Recalling old memories of eating topfen on olive bread with Andrea, we strolled the paths through the park tasting, tasting, tasting. What else would you do at a taste fest? The weather was lovely, the food was delicious. 🙂 Since I was feeling a little nostalgic, I drug Momma to Hohermarkt for gelato. Even though I’ve had authentic gelato continuously for almost a year now, the gelateria am Hohermarkt still holds up.

Still running high on nostalgia, we ate dinner at  Centimeter. Momma ate Schnitzel and I ordered Holzfällerknockerl. (No, I’m not just making up words.) Unfortunately, I didn’t bring my Tupperware and I had to leave the left-over goods on my plate destined for the trash can. Never again! That used to last me five meals for goodness sakes!

Radlers at Centimeter

The next morning I finally gave Sissi her due and visited her museum. She has some gorgeous dishes and dresses, but a sad life. If you don’t know who she is, look her up. She is famous in Austria, but very few Americans have ever heard of her. Shame. As a goodbye, Mom and I ate lunch on the Graben. Mmmmmm Würstel.

Mouth watering...

I will miss you Vienna, but rest assured; I’ll be back. Vienna is one of the best cities on the planet.

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All Things Viennese Part II

On Saturday Andrea and I woke up early to go to the Naschmarkt down the street from our dorm. It’s a huge outdoor vegetable/food market and on Saturdays it’s also a flee market. They had tons of fruits and vegetables, even ones I’ve never seen or heard of before! I think Aunt Louise would have brought home suitcases full of antiques if she had been there. I wanted to buy a used accordion, but decided against it. Andrea and I ended up sharing a pastry that wasn’t very good at all.

That afternoon Andrea and I met up with Andrew to go to a typical Viennese cafe, Cafe Central. Apparently the poet Peter Altenberg spent a lot of time writing in this cafe. They even have a papier-mache statue of him there! I tried to knock out a few typical Austrian things by ordering an Austrian coffee (gross!) and Kaiserschmarrn, which is a dessert made with torn pancakes and plum compote. After coffee and dessert and a few hours reading my book The Unbearable Lightness of Being, we met up with Billy and did a little sightseeing on the Ringstraße, the large street that encircles the inner city.

Pretending that I enjoy Austrian coffee.

Pretending that I enjoy Austrian coffee.

On Sunday it was warm and sunny so we went to the Stadtpark to lay out in the sun and read our books. We had dinner with most of the people in our prgram. I ate Bernerwurst, sausage wrapped in bacon! That night we used the projector in our dorm’s basement to watch Kung Fu Panda. I would recommend it; it was very funny.

Today Andrea and I decided to do a little church tour after class. We visited the Minoritenkirche, which is the Italian church here in Vienna. We also went back to the Ringstraße to visit the Votivkirche, which is my favorite church so far here in Vienna. It’s right next to the University of Vienna and all the college students were sitting in the grass in front of the church. We didn’t get to go inside because it was closed. We also tried to visit the Michaelerkirche and the crypt below it, but you can only enter the crypt at a certain time during the day and we missed it. We might try to go back later this week.

Afterward Joseph joined us at a cafe to do our homework. This time we had a typical American drink: Milkshakes! Yum!

P.S. I realized that there is a limit to the number of pictures you are allowed to post on Flickr, so I won’t be posting any more photos until May. Sorry!

votivkirche

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