On Boxing Day I took a much-needed break away with my cousin Valerie to the picturesque beauty that is Vienna.
Being one of those people who love organising and planning things my task (more like my sheer joy) was finding and putting together our activities for the short trip.
As soon as we got to Vienna we purchased a travel pass from the airport that gave us 48 hours access on all forms of transportation in addition to a bus pass that allowed us on the buses not cover by the Vienna Card.
We stayed in the Leonardo hotel in Westbahnhof, which was nice but a lot smaller than we both thought it would be. Nevertheless, the staff was incredibly helpful and polite throughout the duration of our stay.
It seems where we stayed was fairly close to the city centre where most of the touristy attractions are located. Armed with a list of places to go to (thanks to my handy researching skills and the November issue of the ASOS magazine, oh and a Vienna booklet produced by the hotel), we were ready to pound the pavements of Vienna with a great enthusiasm.
As soon as we landed we decided to freshen up a little and begin our quest to find some food and the Riesenrad (Giant Ferris Wheel). We took the local tram and they were interesting to say the very least...I'll never complain about London trams again! Once we found where we were going we stumbled across Wintermarkt (their equivalent to our Winter Wonderland). We looked around a little but most stalls were closed or closing. Plus hunger was slowly creeping in on us and the increasing eagerness to get on the Riesenrad had taken over so we paid and headed to a small room that had wall art of various famous Austrian figures. Being on there was breathtakingly beautiful and it allowed us to get a full view of Vienna. The pod in front of us had a couple we were having a private dinner with wine and candles. The romantic in me couldn't stop gushing at them. I tried to sneak a picture of them but alas I failed to get a decent one before their pod moved.
In Wintermarkt there were various food places and we found a cool concept place called Rollercoaster Restaurant. The vibe of the restaurant was very interesting the food however not so much. It was mediocre at best. I think it most likely suitable for a kid's party but it filled the hunger so mission accomplished!
Like I have already said the food on the first night was a little disappointing so we will move on from that. Breakfast the next morning was nice but a little on the unnecessarily pricey side for a simple eggs and Wiener sausage.
As a self appointed hot chocolate connoisseur, I kid you not, I actually believe there is something in Austrian hot chocolate. Something that us Brits are missing, if anyone find what it is please send it to me tenfold, thanks in advance!
In the evening the original plan was to go to Donautum Wien for dinner but unfortunately it wasn't meant to be because it was fully booked up. We did manage to find a nice alternative about a 5-minute walk from the hotel called Freiraum. The risotto was melt in the mouth beautiful and it had my favourite things in the world (okay, maybe second favourite after pasta) prawns with pumpkin seeds.
It seemed like most of the main museums are located in MuseumQuartier so we decided to start our day there. When we got there we went into the museum shop where you could purchase tickets. The helpful man who worked in the shop showed us the different options and we had a read of some of the booklets. As my cousin isn't that keen on museums I wanted to find something that we could both enjoy. In the Leopald Muesum they had a African inspired exhibition and a Sarah Morris's exhibition called Falls Never Breaks, it was definitely an odd experience but more on that later. The exhibition at Leopald was really striking. We managed to sneak a few pictures before we found out we wasn't actually allowed to.
Now about this Sarah Morris exhibition, I was super excited initially and based on the booklet I thought it would be a mixture of fashion portraits, 3D visuals but what we actually got was A BLOODY EMPTY ROOM WITH A PROJECTOR showing a hybrid of a film/documentary. To say I was disappointed is an understatement. I was extremely confused about a lot of things:
1. Why there was no one else there?
2. Why was it pitch black minus the light from the projector?
Generally, the Austrian people are friendly and very helpful when we felt clueless as anything about exactly where we were going. Although one thing I found strange were their tourist guides, they weren't as polite as you would think they would be. And weirdly enough, considering they are meant to be in the service of making you feel welcome they might need to work on their definition of warmness.
Love,Gemma Ama x