Monday, September 7, 2015

More Vienna, yes, we are still here ...

We did the shop together, nice since the bike takes all the weight then went directly to the Museums Quarter (MQ) for a pomegranate drink, yum, while we waited for the Leopold Wasser restaurant to open at 12:30 for a grill cooked burger which we shared. Bruce’s appetite is back with the cooler weather! Yeah! 

We watched people and dogs but being Monday it wasn’t too busy there. Nice to get out into the sun and air and enjoy good food, burger was wonderful. Home and a cleaner is cleaning the area around the elevator, he pushes the button for it to open and Bruce isn’t quite quick enough before the door closes or tries to with Bruce caught in-between. Cleaner shoves the door open, we get to the fifth floor and door won’t open. I pried it open with my fingers to get us out. Now the damn thing is broken again. Contact Peter and go through the usual. He said they used substandard parts when putting it in and now they are worn out, as with many in Vienna. Well it’s a major problem for us for sure! 

Days out for lunch, shopping but not really any sight seeing, pleasant days though. I need to take some pictures of the detailed architecture here, works of art, just hanging out over doorways and windows. Here's a start ....

Went out for brunch on Sunday and after had an ice tea each, served in a mini-carafe with lemon, orange and mint. Vienna does know how to make interesting drinks! They will use any fruit like pomegranate and rhubarb and many contain herbs like basil, mint and spice of ginger. You saw the picture where they used roses on a previous post. Very inventive and some are tastier than others to our palates of course I appreciate the inventiveness of their making. 

Street "art" or graffiti, you decide.

On the domestic front I got a long awaited hair cut. Bad cut in Germany, tried a correction which made it worse, and needed another when I came to Vienna. Stopped in a shop up the road from the flat and he’s booked out for a month so make an appointment anyway for now. Get another hair cut to last me over and it’s worse than both German ones! Ugh, should have known I’d be in trouble when she asked me AFTER the cut if my hair was naturally curly or a perm. Who perms these days anyway? Well, now I have a good cut and feel better and have another appointment for trim before going back to Freiburg.  The fellow is truly so very good it was a great stroke of luck to meet him! There are very many hair and personal services in the neighbourhood we are in, difficult to choose who is going to be the best to engage and for what. Example the worst haircut at the shop also gives the best pedicure, obviously by different people, different skill sets. I truly live by my mother’s rule, “if you can’t say something nice about someone then don’t say anything at all”. So I won’t give a bad review to the first “stylist” she’s young and just needs better training. 

We breakfasted out, I had scrambled eggs with vegetables in, asked what vegetables and the waitress said, what ever they had on hand. Well there were chopped carrots and peppers, green onion and while I’ve never had carrots in my eggs before it was tasty. Did the shop, went back to the MQ for an iced tea, a British couple moved tables because of cigarette smoke, I don’t think they’ve been here long, it will become an annoyance to them. On the way back to the flat smelt the grilling hamburgers so stopped for one to share. Quite a warm day but a breeze so nice to be out again. 

Back down to the Naschmarkt market around 11:00 a.m. on a weekday and it’s quite quiet, easier to move around and see more. It’s such a fascinating place for us, and you know how we do like markets, kids in a candy store would describe us well in markets. So many different fruits, vegetables, example black potatoes, and a multitude of other things, spices from all over the world, teas, fish and meat. 

Much of it is Turkish so there are many falafel stands. We bought more hummus, the stall owner is very liberal with his samplings. In fact, most are and some yell Stop! at their stalls to offer you something. They will ask where are you from and the ruse often works! One fellow, large bloke was dining at a seafood restaurant and they gave him a bib after he spilled on his shirt. This big, almost mean looking fellow, wearing a bib! We had Indian food again, jumbo prawns for me that were some of the best I’ve ever had. Bruce had lamb biryani, the rice was spiced so wonderfully.

I liked the presentation.

This is the mini-sweater and dirndl I mentioned in the previous post.

Picnic supper tasting very small amounts of things bought at the market, pomegranate seeds, messy, more on that in a bit, hummus, avocado, stilton cheese, dried lingonberries, a feast even after lunch. I don’t think you can commonly get lingonberries in Canada. I have a Polish friend who loves them. 

To eat the pomegranate, we looked for videos on the web to see how to seed and every one said the juice stains as item number one. Operation pomegranate: we took the top off and scored the outside which allows you to peal the layers out and fairly successfully get the seeds out except, I popped one, juice everywhere, wall, fridge, my favourite top, which I should have removed prior. Seeds are yummy though and reportedly good for you so was worth it I suppose. 

Saturday and our local artisan market is on. But firstly I decided I wanted new glasses, not really needed, as such, but wanted a change, ones I’m wearing have a small scratch on the lens and I’m just tired of the frames. There is a nice looking glasses shop up the street so went in to “just to” try on frames. A while later I have new glasses, well, not yet in ten to fourteen days while the lenses are being built. Small change in the prescription, left eye weaker than the right but here they are, drum roll please, go to Marken, they are called Gotti, the light blue ones. I’m very pleased!

A stop at the Mexican food shop yields green tomatillo salsa and taco chips, then on to the artisan market. 

What caught our eye and intrigued was a leather belt, more the buckle actually and then I went into the shop to find handbags, beautifully, made in the Czech Republic. Walked out of there with wallets for both of us and a handbag for me. Bruce gave me the bag and wallet as an early birthday present! Thanks Love! They are of a fine quality leather and etched and coloured in beautiful designs. Bruce says he doesn’t think he’s owned anything more beautiful, admiring his wallet now, as I write this. 

Then I spotted some unusual earrings in the next shop and bought them and a ring to match. Packaging is in small boxes with handles on top, lovely too! 

Whew, a lot of money was spent today but we both know that when you find something that is unusual, hand crafted, the bonus is you are helping to support an artist, you fall in love, true love, buy it because you’ll always rue not doing so. 

We’ve both experienced that before, mostly over non-utilitarian items, for me it was a tiny hand thrown pot, so thin light shone through on Granville Island, by the time I thought I had to have it it was gone and the artist wasn’t showing there anymore. For Bruce was a kimono, hand stitched and large enough to be a wall hanging on Salt Spring Island. These things, while beautiful and wanted were impractical. What we bought today is more practical, we can admire and wear them daily so, again, supporting artists, and using the product daily is a win-win. Off the old soap box once again.

We’d stopped for lunch at a favourite restaurant which is in the atria of a pre-school and many other offices of which I don’t know about, mostly arts according to the brochures seen. There was a hoard of people dropping off bottled water, clothing, diapers, all manner of things and all at once it seemed. The street was overloaded with cars and truly swarms of people seemed to inhabit the area with the goods they brought. At first we didn’t know what was happening, only that Bruce couldn’t get by a van to get to a slope in the curb. Watching, since we had no choice, I think they had organized a relief mission for the thousands of Syrian refugees who had crossed into Austria last night, bused in from Hungary. I missed a taped interview that happened while we were there, in English too, being more worried about getting Bruce out of the well meaning fray. I’ll try to find a link to the story for more information, didn't find that particular one but many people are helping out.

A cooler Sunday with wind and we’re out fairly early so have breakfast in a glassed in solarium at the Leopold Museum. We don’t drink a lot of coffee in restaurants but may remedy that since Vienna is said to have the best coffee and having had one it truly was.

I tried sitting or reclining on the blue blocks everyone uses in the MQ but I’m too short and kept slipping down, they don’t work for me…  go to the bottom of the page to read about the design and function of the furniture. Being short or PQ vertically challenged is a disadvantage most of the time, well there are worse things for sure.

Cheers, Bx2 and Lexi Cat

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