Thursday, October 22, 2015

2015 - Eastern Europe Day 09 (Vienna)

Today, we head to Vienna in the morning and explore the city for the next few days.

Looking back, Salzburg is a small town and it is easily doable in two days although you would need an extra day if you want to do the day trip that we did (Hallstatt, salt mine, and ice caves). Everything is easily walkable as long as you stay near the river. We stayed just past the mountain at Star Inn Salzburg Zentrum. We had no issues with the hotel. The staff were friendly and helped coordinate our car rental. Towels were changed daily and the room came with one free bottle of water. The room had no tub though, just a shower, however it did have a thermostat. Personally, no issues suggesting the place but you may want to be a bit closer (save yourself a 10-15 minute walk). Note that everything closes at 5:00pm, so you need to plan accordingly.

Large door in Vienna.
We took the 10:08am train to Vienna this morning. When we arrived in Vienna, the girls saw some migrants at the train station but I didn't see any since I was just watching the bags above ground, but it seems like that isn't an issue anymore. While they are still here, it wasn't preventing travel as it was before. The train was 10 minutes late to arrive but we arrived in Vienna by 12:40pm with the train ride was roughly two hours long.

Me next to an art exhibit?
Local transit is by validation again, buy your ticket and make sure that it is stamped in case you get spot checked. After we dropped off our luggage at the hotel, we went to Cafe Einstein for lunch at 2:00pm. We ordered the grilled turkey breast, Balkan plate, and the lumberjack. The food was good, no issues with what we had. Cost has been around our usual 10 € per entree price. We also ordered the Sacher torte and apple strudel. They were okay desserts and our first dessert of our trip at a restaurant. Food arrived quickly and they do have an English menu although it was brought out to us on an iPad and they have free WiFi. If you are a guy, make sure to come with the need to pee and check out the urinal here. They have an endless runner where you control your race car with your urine by hitting certain points of the urinal. Cost us 42,50 €.

Grill turkey breast with vegetables, rice and a fried egg (yes, that's herb butter).
Lumberjack (roasted potatoes, bacon and onions).
Balkan plate (beef, pork, chicken, sausage, mushrooms, green peppers and onions with spatzle).
Sacher torte on the left, apple strudel on the right (with A LOT of vanilla sauce).
After lunch, we went to the St. Stephen's Cathedral and decided to go up the south tower which is the highest tower and cost 4,50 € to climb up the 354 steps to get to the top. Once up there, you will be delighted by the nice views of the surrounding area that you will see since it is the highest point in the area. However, it is not open and you are indoors, so you are limited to the few windows that are up here. The climb is via a narrow stone stairwell, so be prepared for this since it is pretty narrow and spiral shaped.

St. Stephen's Cathedral.
St. Stephen's Cathedral.
Climbing back down, we wandered the area and ended up at Glacis Beisl for dinner. We ordered the liver, smoked bacon, goulash, and crackling stuffed dumplings. The mains were a bit more here ranging from 8 to 20 €. The smoked bacon was nice, the goulash was okay, Allison liked the chicken liver. Avoid the crackling stuff dumplings. For some reason, we thought it would still be crispy inside, however they were very soggy and remind us of Chinese BBQ pork buns. Cost us 50 €.

Beer #10.
Smoked bacon with A LOT of cheese.
Crackling stuffed dumplings on the top left, goulash on the top right, and liver on the bottom.
Crackling stuffed dumplings.
It being Sunday meant that a lot of shops were either closed or close early, however, there are a lot of pedestrian only streets which is nice for tourists.

Vienna Opera House.
Tomorrow, we visit Schönbrunn Palace.