Thursday, 12 November 2015

cafe culture

Vienna - Sunday 25 October
After doing my Leonard Cohen book review this weekend I am totally taken with his tribute to Lorca: Take This Waltz Play it below and feel transported to Vienna and that haunting rhythm of the Viennese Waltz . . .
And so back to our wonderful whirlwind break in Vienna - our Sunday started with a baronial style breakfast in our fab apartment
followed by our first siting of an Otto Wagner work - the nearby Stadtbahn station
so we got to grips with our u-bahn, s-bahn and bus route
and were soon out in the leafy autumn suburb of Liebsing to see the amazing Wotruba Kirche
magnificent and totally unique and the light played around the inside spaces
and I have to include this one because a 2 minute walk behind the church and this countryside opened up - we were right on the edge of the city - incredible!
a last walk around the Wotruba's magnficent creation - reminding me of our gritstone edges at Stannage and Higger Tor
the view down to Vienna from the church was also amazing
Next we headed back down to the bus stop but missed the bus between stops (and they were every half hour!) but surprise surprise, the driver had spotted us and was waiting at the next stop!!  
Back in the city and we passed the famous Secession Building
and had the best of lunches in the wonderful Cafe Sperl - a real gem find after our disappointment that the Naschmarkt wasn't open on Sundays.  Ancient with high wood panelled walls and regulars filling up the reserved spots bit by bit as the afternoon wore on. We loved the local flour dumplings - a bit like spätzle - with egg and ham - totally delicious.  As was the pumpkin soup and the mushroom omlette.  Great coffee - we discover that melange is the one to order - being closest to the flat white that we all love.  Great breakdown of Viennese coffees here
We even had piano accompaniment which included a blast of The Third Man theme tune (more on this tomorrow) - to much amusement from us
Then we wandered into the streets
and soon spotted Otto Wagner at work again - his magnifcent Art Nouveau style Majolikahaus

Loved the whole diversity crossing signals thing in Vienna - there's a whole series of them but it was a bit dicey stopping in the middle of the road trying to capture them while they stayed on green!!
By now dusk was setting in, as we'd had the clocks go back last night and lost an hour of daylight!  So we headed out to Vienna University of Economics and Business
for a romp through their programme of new architecture
spotting the Zaha Hadid Library and Learning Centre
and the Peter Cook building
and then on to the old fairground that is the Prater
and we were suddenly in that magical world of barrel organs and glitz - just brilliant
although nothing could have prepared us for the LIVE horses merry-go-round!!!!!
and it wouldn't have been a trip to Vienna if we hadn't been on the big wheel of Third Man fame - constructed in 1897 and still going (slowly) round
Vienna twinkling below
a sprinkling of magic
And even now the day was not done!  It was onward and upward and cocktail hour beckoned
By some fluke of magic, we managed to bag one of the only two booths in the world famous American Bar by Adolf Loos where we managed to idle away a happy two hours soaking up the atmosphere (and the cocktails!)
Such an incredible place - steeped in architectural history and so much a part of Vienna
But finally it was once more onto those night streets
(and here comes an admission from the blogmaster - I can't remember who designed this amazing doorway ....  answers in the comments box please . . .)
and to our dinner date at Cafe Beisl for amazing traditional Viennese fayre
followed by a real gem of a nightcap next door at a real bohemian late night cafe bar  Cafe Hawelka a Viennese institution - buzzing with life and chatter and the best ever cakes
and we like to think we relaxed and blended in with the locals
And it was finally a walk home to our own little street
and sleep

To read all about Monday in Vienna just click here!!

Or if you'd rather start at the beginning of our wonderful seven city holiday by train then click here

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