Hi.

Welcome to my blog. I will be documenting my life in the Netherlands daily.

I'm a Chinese-Canadian from Toronto, Canada. 

3 Days in Vienna

3 Days in Vienna

*Warning: This is a super LONG post with many pictures*

Okay, so before I start forgetting things about my trip, I should probably start blogging about it right now. My friend Lera, had an issue with her flight back home, so she decided to visit Vienna for a week. I decided to join her for 3 days, since it was so close, and we wanted to see each other anyway :) It was very last minute. I was hesitant because I don't like to do things like this very often, but Ric encouraged me and I just booked my ticket for the next morning. My flight was at 10am, so I woke up pretty early. I booked my ticket around 4pm, so I was frantically trying to pack and pick up things I needed for the trip, which was not much to be honest. I literally just brought a tote bag with me as hand luggage.

The flight was quick, about 1.5 hour :) and I didn't need to show my passport both ways there and back for some reason :\ which was kind of strange, but made things so much faster. Even though I didn't have much sleep, I didn't feel that tired when I arrived.

The Vienna International Airport is quite small. We decided to meet up at the airport, take the train to get to our Airbnb, then head out to explore! Our apartment was great. It was literally in the centre of the city, right across from the Votive Church. This church is massive and absolutely stunning in person. The photos do not do it justice. Every time I look at it, it feels like a dream, like an image from some unknown fairytale, haha.

Most of my photos are taken with my camera. It was very warm and sunny... 30 degrees celsius every day. I did not bother to bring my DSLR with me, even though I do regret it. I had a great time either way and was able to capture many photos. We walked all day because everything was pretty much walking distance. My health app says I walked about 16-17km each day :D which is great, since we had quite a bit of dessert :p

It was pretty difficult for us to take selfies :p It would either focus on the church or not :\ I've known Lera for over 8 years and we don't really have any photos of us together.

Here is a glimpse of what the interior of the church looks like. I'm editing a video of everything, so I'll share that at the end of this post once I am done editing it. I have over 50 clips to look through and edit, so it might take a while ><

I love the details in old church buildings, something that isn't really done in the 21st century. There is so much time and craftsmanship. After walking around the church, we decided to get some gelato nearby. We went to a place called "Gefrorenes" and their gelato is legit. The flavours are very true and fresh. I do not recommend their cones though, a little styrofoam-like. They change up their flavours daily - I know this because we went every evening :p I would recommend their kiwi, pear, strawberry, sisi amandel, and Lera would recommend their grapefruit for sure :) I wasn't able to try all their flavours, but I'm sure you won't be disappointed if you choose your favourites.

I saw an article online 1-2 months ago about the most beautiful libraries in the world. The Austrian National Library was one of them, so I definitely wanted to go see it. It was absolutely stunning! They also had these large atlas' displayed under the tables. Unfortunately you were not able to touch anything. I really wanted to open up the books.

The ceiling was beautiful, most of the library was painted. The important books were all very detailed and encased in glass.

Many places closed at around 5/6pm, so there was only so much we could do, in terms of entering the actual buildings of places we wanted to go to. We saw the palace to the Sisi Museum from the outside, but they were about to close, so we weren't able to go in.

Then we decided to explore and walk towards the St. Stephen's Cathedral. We stumbled upon a grocery store, a rather expensive looking one, filled with a ton of luxury chocolate, jams, juices, fruits, etc. Lera and I were talking about the Charbonnel et Walker chocolates from the UK. Then we spotted them on a shelf! Of course we ended up buying some :) They're quite difficult to find back home in Canada... probably more expensive as well.

I took this photo on the way home from the airport. I tried the truffles with Ric. They're not our favourite. It tastes quite good at the beginning and the after taste it quite nice, but not really my kind of chocolate... sorry Lera! :p

The cathedral was under construction on one side. It was still beautiful though and definitely worth the visit. It's near the centre of the city with all the shops, where you'll find many gelato stalls and shops. Since things close early, we usually walk around the city until around 7/8pm. We either get gelato or eat some store bought fruits and cheese :)

DAY 2! Friday July 1, 2016
Leopold Museum, Cafe Central, Sisi Museum, Churches, Danube River

Our first stop of the day is to see Gustav Klimt's work at the Leopold Museum! I didn't even realize I could see his work here. Everything was so last minute, I completely forgot about one of my favourite painters >< We ended up spending 3/4 hours here... which meant, we needed to move fast to see other things -.-

This is a reproduction of one of Klimts' works. The original was destroyed.
"Medicine" (1900-1907) for the University of Vienna - Gustav Klimt

There were also letters from Klimt, to his lover, Emilie. From Dresden to Vienna, 1906.

Many of you might recognize this lovely painting. I love the colours and the use of gold flecks, in certain areas of the painting. "Death and Life" (1910/11) - Gustav Klimt

Then I discovered Egon Schiele, a protege of Klimt. His work was quite beautiful and stood out. You could definitely tell the influences from Klimt's work. Most of his later work are quite dark, but his sketches are beautiful to look at.

There will be more videos/photos in my video later... there's too much to post on here.

We went to Cafe Central for lunch. The exterior is quite nice, but the interior was even more beautiful! They had a lot of desserts displayed in the front, just as you enter into the restaurant.

We ordered the vegetarian goulash, with mushroom and I believe potato? I'm not sure. It was delicious though and quite filling. But we couldn't leave without having dessert, so we shared :)

Top: Sisi Punschkrapfen (rum pastry, candied violet)
Bottom: Unknown name (orange-chocolate, coffee mousse cake)
I would honestly come here just for the violet, rum cake. It's delicious! It has the perfect consistency. It's not too soft or hard, there is a perfect balance and the flavours go so well together! I'm craving for it already. The other cake wasn't as good, but looked beautiful.

Are you salivating yet? :p

Then we headed to the Sisi Museum :) There was a Silver collection just before you enter the actual rooms of the palace. It was an exhibition of all the dining/tableware of the palace, including glass, jelly moulds, and accessories. Unfortunately, photos were not allowed inside the actual museum :(

This is one of the many rooms, with the dining accessories and centre pieces. There were literally thousands! It's insane. They had a gold and a silver room... o.o

Now imagine this at the centre of your dining table. Sure heck, covers our whole table.

It was already after 5pm when we finished walking around the museum. We decided to explore the city. We saw this church in the distance, so decided to go inside. The church had a beautiful name! It was called "The Lady of the Snow".

There's beautiful architecture all around, so there's never really a dull moment in this city.

Then I saw this beauty in the distance and had to get close! The entrance is stunning :) This church is called, "Maria am Gestade" opened in 1414.

After taking many photos, we decided to walk to the Danube River. It was very hot and sunny, resulting in some minor sun burn... especially Lera, poor Lera :p We saw a cute fluffy white dog!!! and saw some graffiti along the river.

The water did not look clean at all, but there were many people outside because of the nice weather. Many people sunbathing on the grass and walking their dogs.

The stroll was quite long and my legs were starting to get tired. I could also feel my shoulders getting burned by the sun :p We decided to walk back to the apartment. I saw another church on the map, so we decided to go take a look. Unfortunately it was closed, but I saw a beautiful horse sculpture :)

We stopped by for gelato and sat by the Votive Church. I got orange and pistachio. It's 3 euros for 2 scoops/small cup. It was more than enough for me.

Look at the beautiful light reflecting from the windows. The clouds were also dream-like.

DAY 3! Saturday July 2, 2016
Naschmarkt, Vienna State Opera, Cafe Central, Secession Building, Art Nouveau Walk

My last day! :( It was also the warmest day, while I was there. We decided to get up a little bit earlier, just so we have time to see the flea market and get to the opera in time for the guided tour. I didn't get much sleep, since I have this lingering dry cough. Lera lent me some Buckley's cough syrup, which was absolutely disgusting, but it did help. Apparently the Netherlands do not carry drowsy/non-drowsy medicine, which I found interesting.

On our way to the flea market, we spotted a Japanese grocery store! They had this cute Pikachu curry powder!!! :p They also had Dragon Ball Z Ramune (kind of like a sweet sprite? not sure how else to describe it).

The Naschmarkt is basically a farmer's market. They have the flea market at one end on Saturday's. Look at these cute bowls! They also had a watermelon bowl :p

I kind of wanted to get this, but it was very heavy :\ So adorable!

Lera bought this beautiful carousel/egg! It plays this classical song, which I do not know the name of :( After the market, we walked to the Vienna State Opera. You can't go inside the building without buying a ticket for the guided tour. You can of course purchase a ticket to see the opera though.

Our guide was quite funny. Apparently the movie; Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation was filmed behind the stage. She asked if any of us saw it. There wasn't really a reaction, so she was like, "I guess the movie didn't do so well then, because not many people have seen it." I've actually seen the movie and quite liked it :) I also learned that the opera house was bombed 5 times during the second world war.

We decided to go to Cafe Central for lunch again :) We wanted to try the Viennese Apple Strudel this time. We really needed some fruit. Their croissant was pretty good. It was light and fluffy on the inside, but flaky on the outside. But, I loved their teacup and saucer... I wanted to take it home with me. I couldn't find it on the Demmers Teehaus website :( I was hoping to find it at the airport, but nope -.-

The apple strudel was pretty good, but I actually prefer the traditional apple pie or a Dutch apple pie. I like a thick chewy crust :p The Viennese apple strudel has a very thin flaky crust, with mostly apples. Yes, we ordered the violet, rum cake again because it's that good :p

After lunch, we headed to the Secession building, where Klimt's "Beethovenfries" painting is displayed. The secession building is beautiful! There were little turtles holding up the pot of the plants :p

The frieze illustrates human desire for happiness in a suffering and tempestuous world in which one contends not only with external evil forces but also with internal weaknesses.
— https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beethoven_Frieze

It was painted directly on the walls, in 1901 and weighs 4 tonnes :o

After taking many photos and over 20 video clips of the painting, we decided to do the Art Nouveau walk. The walk is basically looking at Art Nouveau buildings :) but we had a bit of trouble looking for the area, so we just walked around the city. We saw this beautiful church, called "Karlskirche" (Karls Church). It was next to a university.

Apparently the Art Nouveau walk was right next to the Naschmarkt XD Not sure how we missed it, but oh well! Now we know :) These buildings are designed by the famous Austrian architect, Otto Wagner. 

Our favourite building! Unfortunately, we couldn't go inside the apartments.

There is a small Otto Wagner museum next to the Karlsplatz station, so we decided to walk there :) After visiting the museum, we took the bus home and had more gelato :p

I had to wake up early in the morning, around 4am to get ready to leave for the airport. It was sad, leaving Lera, but we had a great time :) I'm glad I decided to join her trip.

I spotted some nice tea tins at the airport. I didn't buy anything though. I was hoping to find their teacups.

IMG_7527.jpg

However, I did end up buying this cute drink :) It was kind of expensive... like 4 euros :\ but I wanted the bottle XD at least it was tasty :)

Bye Vienna! You were good to me and welcomed me with beautiful, sunny weather :)

Ric picked me up at the airport! yay :) and here is the same photo of us trying the truffles XD

*Side note: The streets and bike lanes are SUPER WEIRD in this city. They actually do not make any sense. Just a precaution :) Sometimes their crosswalk is on the right side of the bike lane, next to the road, which is different than the Netherlands. Sometimes the lanes cut off and abruptly end :\ You'll find yourself walking across train tracks, because it seems like the only way to get to the other side.

My memory is not the greatest, so I tried to blog about significant things. Please let me know of any spelling mistakes, as I am trying to finish this blog post as soon as possible. I'll applaud whoever finishes this blog post in one sitting :p haha.

Shrimp is expensive.

Does Vanilla Extract Exist Here?