Thursday, February 28, 2008

Wien- The Cultural Tour

Oh what to say of my Anniversary weekend in Vienna... Well I got really sick. My fancy and expensive celebration meal seems to have brought about sharp hint of food poisoning to my saturday night slumber while Kris managed to get tonsillitis. Nevertheless, we were completely enchanted by this perfect little city.

One of the first places we visited was the highly recommended Cafe Sperl which has the unfortunate (and now secret) fame of being Hitler's favorite haunt as a young chap.
As the entire menu was in German, we had what we assumed was the "Cafe Sperl Breakfast Special" which for about 7 euros got us a pot of coffee with some warm milk, sugar, a basket of rolls and some very good jam. Kris got a slightly too sweet strawberry while I got lucky with delicious orange marmalade.
Café Sperl
Gumpendorfer Straße 11
A - 1060 Wien

Next we walked on over to the seriously awesome Natural History Museum. I don't think this museum has been updated since about 1897 but therein lies its charm. Each room is filled to the brim with stuffed animals, rocks, minerals and other weird and wonderful things.
I would highly recommend the Naturhistorisches Museum. Apparently every child in Austria comes here at least once with their school. It was only 3.50 euros for us "students" and was really worth the walk around. The museum's pride and joy is the Woman of Willendorf, a little carved statue from the paleolithic era of some importance... and even though I studied it in college I couldn't tell you what that importance actually is... There's also the gorgeous Nautilus Cafe set in the middle of the museum surrounded by some pretty intense architecture. They offer pastries, loads of Japanese ice tea and a pretty kick ass Goulash
Naturhistorisches Museum
Burgring 7
A- 1010 Wien

I can't imagine a more impressive library than the Nationalbibliothek. It's straight out of a Disney movie. You expect the statues and globes to start dancing and singing at any moment. But I have to say that the woman selling tickets definitely gave us the evil eye when we flashed our US college ID's for the slight discount... mean old bat...

The Österreichische Nationalbibliothek
1, Josefplatz 1
A - 1060 Wien

So I don't really like chocolate cake. Yes i know- please don't hate me. But it's usually too rich, too dry or too gooey or just plain headache inducingly sweet. But the famous sachertorte from the Sacher Hotel is just about perfect. Based on a secret recipe developed in 1832, the sachertorte is a moist chocolate cake with an apricot glaze topped with a crispy melt in your mouth chocolate ganache. This 36 step cake should be enjoyed with a simple hot chocolate.
The Sacher Hotel
Philharmonikerstraße 4,
A-1010 Wien

The Morning training session of the Lipizzaner horses at the Spanish riding school was adorable. And i don't meant to sound condescending, but I don't get to see horses everyday and these ones were so full of character. Apparently they're born black and then turn white with age which makes for really cute fowls and, as Kris informed me, provides a wonderful metaphor for this inspiring dialogue from the movie "Crimson Tide":

Capt. Ramsey: Speaking of horses did you ever see those Lipizzaner stallions.

Hunter: What?

Capt. Ramsey: From Portugal. The Lipizzaner stallions. The most highly trained horses in the world. They're all white?

Hunter: Yes, sir.

Capt. Ramsey: "Yes, sir" you're aware they're all white or "Yes, sir" you've seen them?

Hunter: Yes, sir I've seen them. Yes, sir I was aware that they're are all white. They are not from Portugal; they're from Spain and at birth, they're not white; they're black. Sir.

The Spanish Riding School
1, Michaelerplatz, 1
A- 1010 Wien

On the next edition of the Flying Quiche in Wien: The Third Man, a cry in the night and walking through graves .... stay tuned!

But first- a completely illegal video from inside- so cute!



  2. My mom emailed me giving you crap for wearing a hoodie in Sperl but commended you for knowing how to hold a teacup
    You win some, you lose some... ;)