My A1+ German course ended last week Wednesday and the cold marched over from Russia and took up residence in Austria. Temperatures dropped from the usual 4°C to an unrelenting and bitter -15°C and hovered there.
As I am on vacation for a week and a half, I opted to hibernate in my cozy cocoon – sleeping, Skyping with my mom, and catching up on my music videos and my German magazines. I’d thought to take the bus to Burgenland to visit my MIL, which would’ve been a new experience for me as we always drive there, but time kind of ran away from me.
Following the advice of a good friend from home to get out and do something, I decided to join my gfrd, V, and a couple of her visiting friends from England on the last day of their stay. Here’s a pictorial of my walk around Vienna:
Met our little troop at the Rathaus (City Hall) in the first district at about noon with the day’s high temp of a blistery -12°C accompanied by a good stiff wind. Thankfully, I was wrapped up in a fur vest with hood and a suede thigh-length jacket so I was ok. I did berate myself for choosing leather riding boots because the cold just worked its way up through the soles and I soon lost all feeling in my toes.
Yet, despite the weather, folks were having a great time enjoying Vienna Ice World at the Rathausplatz (City Hall Square). Hubby and I have been meaning to get out there but somehow or the other just haven’t made it yet – despite specifically going out and purchasing new ice-skates.
The rink opens up into a path that meanders throughout the square. It must be so romantic at night, gliding along arm-in-arm, past eons old buildings under twinkling Christmas lights and stars! Definitely on the to-do list when he gets back.
We crossed the street to view the Parliament Building and take a few snaps.
And this is about where my fingers defiantly staged a coup. We’d only been outdoors for about 5 minutes and it was so cold we all just said, “Yeah, we’re done. Sightseeing is just not that important today!”
We found a little cafe a block away on Auerspergstraße within which to warm up and regroup our cheer. V enjoyed Linsen mit Speck und Semmel Knödel (lentils with bacon and a bread dumpling) while the rest of us sipped coffee or hot chocolate in the charming little establishment.
After we’d defrosted, one of my new friends demanded chocolate cake to which I responded, “Well, if you’re in Vienna and you want chocolate cake, you’ve got to try the Sacher Torte” and off we trooped to Philharmonikerstraße. Seated in a window seat in the Sacher Cafe, which adjoins Hotel Sacher, we agreed it was definitely a touristy thing to do – but what were we if not tourists; besides I wanted to help make their last day in Vienna pleasant. Personally, I’m not a chocolate fan; however, I firmly believe that it’s only fair to form an opinion on a subject when you’ve experienced the original. Our resident chocolate fiend thoroughly agreed and enjoyed.
After seeing our visiting Brits to the airport and sharing farewells, I headed out to ‘Running Sushi’ in Lugner City on Gablenzgasse in the 15th district with a fairly-new buddy, C, who hails from Germany and speaks fluent German and English. Although I have a few Austrian friends, our schedules rarely allow for frequent meet-ups and often German speakers, wanting to improve their English, tend to shy away from German with me. With C, two great opportunities presented themselves; German practice and a new dining experience.
‘Running Sushi’ is a Asiatic restaurant that offers little portions of a variety of gastronomic offerings – practically everything (sushi, noodles, steamed dishes, pot-stickers, etc) is available. The dishes are freshly prepared and placed on a conveyer belt that cycles through the entire restaurant. We paid a flat fee (about €15, excluding drinks) and simply picked up what struck our fancy and as much of it as we liked. When I chose something new and found that I didn’t like it, I simply put it aside and chose another delicacy. I’ve been to a number of sushi restaurants but this one was unique and fun – I’ll definitely be back. Here’s a cute video posted on Youtube showing the conveyer belt perspective of the restaurant and a few of the dishes I tried.
The cold finally gave way to snow that night. I happen to love snow and was delighted, on the way home, to be able to snap a few pictures of my surroundings covered with a fairly undisturbed covering.