How can I enjoy my last day in Vienna?!
Vienna Travel Blog› entry 38 of 51 › view all entries
June 18th, 2009 – by: jenn79
But the funniest memory I have of eating out with Chris - a proper Austrian - is the pronunciation of Austrian dishes. I'm laughing just thinking about it, but to have someone look you in the eye and offer you "a schnitzel" with a straight face or perhaps "a knudle" I about busted out right then and there and still have tears in my eyes retelling it 6 months later. There is something oddly inappropriate sounding when it comes to their food! Everything sounded like a pick-up line!!! What does one do when being offered A KNOODLE!? Tell me!! Because I couldn't keep a straight face at ALL.
Having gotten home at around 1am last night and for some reason not sleeping well, today was a very, very late start. I think the lack of caffeine starts to show on day 2 despite me not noticing anything except the sheer lethargy in the mornings! I get ready by around 11am and manage to get my butt oudoors just before noon. I'm turning over in my mind what I might be destined to do today. So many options - I spent the night drawing on my Ubahn map where stuff was in case I needed to make last minute decisions. Here are the things that I would have liked to get accomplished today: Kaiserapartments in Hofberg, Schoenbrunn Palace and gardens, Nacshmarket to see the food/bustle, Mariahilfer Strasse to do some real shopping, UNO City to visit my 3rd UN HQ in the last 2 years =), Hotel Sacher to get my hands on a chocolate torte and finally the Prater and Ferris Wheel with Chris.
I threw up my hands and blew this popsicle stand. I had 6 hours and was so exhausted by the thought of all there was I almost stayed in the hotel entirely. I thought it might have been better to go to Prague so that I wouldn't have to deal with the disappointment of not seeing everything. Made my way to the most important - the Kaiserapartments, first.
Finally - something close to the U-Bahn! The Hofberg palace is basically right above the U-bahn at Herengasse station, YAY! Considering these places take hours to walk through, it helps when you don't expend so much energy FINDING the actual place! =)
This is a pretty cool exhibition and I'm sure there is plenty more to this place, I didn't even see the gardens outside I was in that much of a rush to get all that stuff done today.
Afterwards had to decide what to do.. really wanted to go to the shopping area but was getting increasingly tired and the thought of lugging all the souvenirs around made me cringe. =(
Went to UNO city in Vienna since it was a few stops past the hotel so I would get back and rest easily. Chris told me it was a bunch of buildings dedicated to the UN. Yay, I wanted to go and see and maybe take a tour! I've been to and toured the NY and Geneva UN offices - whoo! Vienna is the 3rd most importand HQ and I think the 4th is in Nairobi.
I arrive at 2:08pm and the lady tells me there are only 2 tours a day - one at 11 and one at 2pm. WOW.. I wasn't devastated or anything, just really like.. wow Europeans just are constantly proving how little they like to work! I believe the NY office has a tour every 15 minutes, and if you're about 5 minutes late for the tour they will literally have someone walk with you to the guide. Same with Geneva. But in Vienna, no, just 2 a day and if you're like 7 minutes late you're out of luck. So fine, I go to the gift shop desk (it's literally one circular desk with stuff in cases. It's quiet and nobody is staffing it. I wander over to the UN committee of women desk to ask if they're gone for the day, they assure me that someone is there - probably in the bathroom or something.
On the way to UNO City, the stop before (Donauinsel) was aboveground and I caught a glimpse of a beautiful river-looking thing. I thought I'd stop off and take a couple of pictures. Is this the Danube?! I think it might be, there is some funky story of the Danube being cut and therefore creating this island. Poor River! =( But it's a very pretty blue and there seems to be a carnival-like atmosphere on the shores, not to mention a freaking suspended bridge between the two strips of land that you can walk across.
After this, I went home and petered out. I really wanted to go to the Naschmarket and another shopping district and the Hotel Sacher to get that chocolate Tort and also the Schoenbrunn and then finish off at the Prater amusement park but I am sooo exhausted!! My legs hurt, my skin allergies are bad in this climate for some reason (it's very very hot today) and I just want to REST!
After another unrestful nap just flipping about, I decided to man up and make my way into the city again. Alright, time to start part 2 of my day. Rushed out at around 7:30 to catch the Schoenbrun gardens before they closed the gates at 9pm.
Schoenbrunn Palace is also a collection of buildings and if at all possible has even BIGGER gardens than the rest of the palaces in Vienna. And there are these old statues there that have been there for god knows how long. And then in the distance, the crowning glory on a hill - the Glorietta. I literally got to the Palace about 22 minutes before it closed and I could have made it halfway to the Glorietta but as with MANY freaking palaces and parks in Vienna - THESE PEOPLE like to freaking LINE THEIR WALKWAYS WITH GRAVEL! I'm a sandal-wearer, and every single step I took, all these sharp pieces of gravel would get into my sandals and I felt like some poor masochist walking down a path of fire.
So I go hobbling along, stopping every 4 steps to clear out my sandals, and I'm getting angry on top of it being super hot today so I'm close to tears I'm so uncomfortable. It takes me like 15 minutes to get to the damn palace and I'm so afraid to take another step as it's so painful that I return walking basically pressed along the hedge where the gravel is thinner and not as easily kicked up. Sorry for the small collection of Schoenbrunn photos, but I paid in blood for these!
Afterwards, stopped off at the Nachtmarket but everything had closed, and was headed back to the hotel to call Chris when I got the sudden urge to eat a BIG WEINER with SAUERKRAUT.
Then Chris and his beautiful girlfriend Lioba take me to the Danube Channel where there is an underground club that is also really chill. Just across the river is another club called the "Tel Aviv" that was JAMMING. There's definitely a very interesting cultural mix in Vienna. Chris tried to convince me to delay my flight a FOURTH time to return and see more of Vienna, and Pearly is asking me to come to Budapest since it is so close to Vienna.. I am soooo tempted, but I think it's time to go home and be a responsible adult... Yes, I think it's time.
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