Sunday, August 23, 2015

Some Different Things in Vienna

Unusual site in Vienna

Saturday was the opening of Mariahilfer-strasse pedestrian mall. It’s the largest shopping mecca in downtown Vienna with all the usual big trendy chain stores, including United Colours of Benetton, which we see in every city we’ve been to, and never go in to. Crews have been noisily working on the mall since we’ve been here. Lots of balloons floating around, a zip line which I’d never seen before, two climbing walls and that’s just in the three blocks we walked! All free as far as we could tell and the ages of children doing both were quite young. Bands of musicians of course and scores of people which is why we ducked down a side street for a sushi lunch, crowds aren’t really our thing.

A much quieter Sunday in the Museums Quarter, locals and tourists having breakfast and lunch. I had my first wiener schnitzel, it was house made and good but when I asked in German to take away, the waiter thought just take it away, not take home, again. Looking up the words in translate now! Writing in my little red book I carry everywhere, thanks again Ivan. This is the second or third time of happening and I’m not going to let it happen again. The salad was superb as well so I’m really missing out on good food for later. My fault entirely but frustrating too, okay enough whining… The restaurant is called Corbaci - Look at the tile work on the ceiling, better picture on the website than what I could have taken I think. We’ll be back and I’ll use the correct words for take away next time.

Hear Me Roar Human! Actually she's yawning.

Lexi and I sometimes “argue” she does something bad and I yell no. At night these days she wakes about 04:00 and wants to play. I do not know why, perhaps first light. She sleeps on my legs most of the night quite peacefully, moves when I do and we both like it. The other night we had a round of “no’s!!!” and she took one paw and swatted me in the head! Didn’t hurt but she is becoming more of a pill and discipline problem. Hah, we made an appointment at the Vet’s today for tomorrow to get her nails cut, a kitty pawdicure. Maybe that’ll slow her down some.

Appointment was ignored by the vet and he/she had four people in the waiting room when we went. They weren’t taken in while we were there so I finally went to the desk, behind a door and asked. She said to call first so she could say how many people were waiting. There was a husky dog, quite small, beautiful white blue eyes that had a permanent look of curiosity about him. A cat meowed the whole time, not ours. Mom and daughter brought sandwiches and drinks so I figured the wait was going to be long. We just carried Lexi home again, unboxed her and she looked at us like what was that all about…

We cancelled our trip to Budapest, Hungary. The flat we chose had air-conditioning but the taxi to/from and doing any touring in this heat would have not been enjoyable. This heat wave (a couple of weeks ago from this post) is amazing and not in a good way. It’s affecting all of Europe and not due to leave us for another week or so. Debilitating for those without air conditioning which we thankfully have and is not very common in most parts of Europe. Peter has been escaping to a mountain lodge in Styria where they get amazing views of the night sky, away from the City. It takes two hours and forty five minutes to get there but he says it’s worth it.

Yes, folks, that's a sail boat, bent out of shape on top of a hotel... why?

With all the research done on rollerstuhl taxis, taxis with ramps for wheel chairs, I compiled a list of companies we’ve used or were going to in Hungary. They certainly vary widely in price but part of that is due to distances of course. I will say that every one we’ve used has been prompt, drivers are caring and nice, with the exception of one, well you can’t win ‘em all. Problem is, while they have air conditioning it mainly stays in the front and doesn’t filter to the back where Bruce needs it most. Most are a type of van with no wide opening windows in the back either, which was another consideration in cancelling Budapest.  

What is this? We figured it was for the ducks easy in and out of the pond.

Monday and I’m off to do a shop before noon. One of the Indian restaurants we’ve been to before was open and I stopped in to get some lamb/spinach curry for Bruce especially, although I enjoy it too. Waiting outside with a bottle of sparkling water a woman came up to the table and started the usual speech/imploring to give her money. She is nicely dressed, pregnant and I gave my usual response of I don’t speak German, she kept on so I gave her my partly used bottle of water and left. As doing so the waiter was outside and wanted the water bottle back. Okay faux pas there I would guess and if I go back perhaps he won’t be as friendly. In Germany you pay a deposit or pfand on some recyclable bottles, not here, but perhaps it’s different for restaurants. 

We went to the Naschmarkt on Saturday, very busy, crowded but lovely. For those in Vancouver, think Granville Island. Here is a website that describes it well.

I didn’t realize it was so close, a ten minute walk, although we’d passed it several times by taxi. You see Vienna has many one way streets so it’s easy to get confused about location from the starting point of the flat. 

Chose Indian food for our lunch and it was excellent. Will definitely go back maybe on a less busy week day. Didn’t see a whole lot of fruit and veg but so many restaurants, likely we missed parts of it. Lots of Turkish influenced foods like dried fruits, nuts, teas, hummus and vendors were yelling out to the crowd for attention to their unique products. Saw a tiny dirndl and a tiny sweater, hand made with sheep and goats on it. 


Bought yummy hummus after trying all the vendor’s types and olives - RED olives! Hmm, makes me wonder if they’ve been dyed and reading this article found out they are! They are called Cerignola grown only in a specific area of Italy. They have a unique flavour that is extremely tasty.

Restaurants in the market vary from very up scale to casual dining and it seems all nationalities are represented. It’s an obvious meeting place for people and some were very elegantly dressed. Areas were under construction so walking through with the crowds was a bit difficult but of course everyone managed patiently. Warm sunny day but not too hot so it was a pleasure to be out and about.

We’ve today, Saturday before flight on a week Monday decided to stay another month here. We haven’t seen much of Vienna and feel short changed by not spending more time. This is due to the heat wave and the broken elevator several times. Peter is happy, he likes us, we’re happy. Peter also wants to take us on a wine tour, show us more of Vienna and I can’t agree more that we can explore this wonderful City further.

Cheers, Bev, Bruce and Roaring Lexi Cat

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