I spent this (extended) weekend in Vienna, to meet with friends (two of which local to the area) and get a glimpse of Austria’s capital.
With all of us arriving on Thursday afternoon, Thursday was pretty much reserved for some first impressions of town – and of course getting together. The evening also included a culinary introduction to Vienna – with traditional foods and local drinks.
A proper sightseeing tour around the city center did follow on Friday. We had a walk around town, covering the most important sites, made our way to the Naschmarkt (for some snacks), had a stop in a traditional Viennese coffee house (to experience the local coffee house culture – an Einspänner anyone?) to finish the tour off at the Prater amusement park. Here of course a trip on the famous Ferris Wheel, as well as one on the Lilliputbahn, had to be part of the program.
The first half of Saturday was dedicated to imperial Vienna. We made our way out to Schönbrunn and the Schönbrunner Schlosspark (i.e. the park that Schönbrunn Palace is located in). After a visit to both the desert and the palm house, we did skip the zoo and made it up the Gloriette hill for some nice views of Vienna and some good coffee. We did pass by the palace on the way back to common Vienna – and right to a former mental home. Destination was the church of the Baumgartner social-medical center – a masterpiece of Art Nouveau architecture by Otto Wagner. The evening was spent in a wine bar (heuriger) – exploring local wines.
We spent Sunday morning checking out some of the more quiet and less touristy areas of Vienna – lunch was had in yet another coffee house (I wish, I had one of those in easy reach …), before it was time, to say good-bye and I was on my way back to the train station, for the journey back to Germany. All in all a superb weekend with great company, great food and well organized – plus with Vienna a city, that is worth another trip.