Thursday, April 19, 2018

Danube River Cruise - Vienna, Austria: April 18, 2018


This morning we arrived in beautiful Vienna, Austria. Spring was in full swing with tulips in full bloom and Viennese citizens and travelers sunbathing in the park.

Johann Strauss
Our daily Viking bus/walking tour took us to a few of the Viennese highlights such as the Ring Road, outside St. Stephen's Cathedral (Stephansdom), the Hofburg Palace grounds, and the windows of the  Spanish Riding School's winter stables. We were always on the outside of the highlights trying to look in. Fortunately, we have visited Vienna before.


The shop windows and shoppers in Stephansplatz were far more interesting. Stephansplatz is the square in front of St. Stephen's Cathedral. It is also the geographic center of Vienna.


After the tour, we stayed on to visit the Museum of Applied Arts with its collection of Sucessionist/Art Nouveau art and furnishings. They had a very cool exhibit in which you wear Google Glasses that allow you to do a virtual-reality walk through a simulated Gustav Klimpt painting.

A shop's doorway

As in California, legal cannabis shops are a relatively new development and still seem a little shocking.

In Vienna Dan and I ate at a typically Viennese restaurant recommended by the local guide.
Plachutta's (www.plachutta.at) specialty is Tafelspitz. Tafelspitz comes to the table in a large copper saucepan. It is sirloin beef boiled in beef broth with root vegetables, and various dipping sauces. If you are novices like us, the restaurant walks you through the steps of eating Tafelspitz. First, put ladleful of beef broth into your bowl for your soup. Second, spread marrow onto a slice of toasted black bread and eat it with your fingers. Last, from the pot take some meat and root vegetables and put them on your plate. Pieces of meat can be dipped into the provided sauces. My favorite sauce was the horseradish with apple sauce. Plachutta boats that "Emperor Franz Joseph made boiled beef very popular by declaring it his favorite dish." It was good, but I wouldn't declare it my favorite dish.

Next stop: tomorrow morning we will wake in Bratislava, Slovak Republic

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