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Friday, September 13, 2013

Europe Trip Day 10: Vienna

June 3rd was our last day in Vienna. And yes you guessed it, cool and drizzly (you are really catching on). Don't worry, sunny skies are in our future.

We first decided to stroll through the Naschmarkt, an outdoor produce and gourmet goods market with a small amount of crafts and such as well. There were cheeses and breads and beans and soup mixes. And more vinegars that I've ever seen in my life.

I'm not even sure what some of the fruit/vegetable were. I'd never seen them before.

Check out how ginormous these lemons were. I put my lens cap there for perspective.

The market is near the Opera which was perfect for us to stop in to make sure when the Opera tour times were for that afternoon. 

Next we found the Dorotheum, Vienna's Auction house, tucked away on a pedestrian side street in the Hofberg area. There were 4 floors of fancy antique furniture, decor and other interesting items like some musical instruments and even a car. I love looking at this kind of stuff, especially the furniture. Alas none of it was in my price range.

We didn't see anything about no photos allowed so I naturally started snapping away and in one of the rooms someone working there said we couldn't so at that point I had to stop but at least I got some photos first.

Next we made a quick stop by the Hofberg Palace complex so I could get a few photos we couldn't get on the first day in Vienna. Let me tell you it was super windy.... I thought I might blow away, it was THAT windy.

After that we headed back to the apartment to have lunch there and relax a little. We had the chicken and salad and hummus from the previous day that the boys had picked up.

Then we left to head to the Opera tour which was around 2pm. The tour is 45 minutes long. FYI - The only way to see it is either by taking a tour or seeing a performance.

The Vienna State Opera tour first goes through hallways and large rooms to give history of the building and the Vienna Opera and the most famous singers, directors and performances. With about 300 performances per year (operas and ballets), this is one of the busiest operas in the world. There are many beautiful chandeliers throughout the tour.

The final part of the tour is when you go into the theater. All the decor is red and gold and there is a chandelier there too.

While we were there, workers were building and working on the set for that night's performance, a sold out ballet. I would have totally loved to see that! There are standing room only tickets sold just before every performance but you need to wait in line for several hours for a chance at those.

Our next stop was Oberlaa bakery for pastries and chocolates. The rain had picked up at this point and luckily it was right near a subway stop. I put this on our list and knew we couldn't leave Vienna without going here after the reviews I read. It was very hard to decide what to get, everything looked sooo good.

The vanilla macaroon was the best tasting macaroon I've ever had.

Chocolate cake was also delicious.

Megan and Keith had some vanilla cake, rhubarb strudel and chocolate cake.

We went into H&M and a couple other shops nearby to kill some time before dinner.

Wouldn't want to mess with us, would ya?

Then we had dinner at Cantinetta La Norma which we read about in the Rick Steves book. It is really small, maybe 6 or 7 tables so it fills up and unfortunately a smoking restaurant but those things aside it was fabulous. Really wonderful authentic Italian food. And we got to use and hear a little bit of Italian because let's be real Italian words (and accents) sound so much better than English and German.

We ordered garlic breadsticks.

And garlic soup for appetizers. I think Ive said this before but garlic soup is a big thing over in Europe at all the Italian restaurants and you'd be a fool not to try it.

Apparently we were so hungry we forgot to take photos of the actual meals because I can't find them in my files even though I swear we did but I assure you they looked and tasted wonderful. I had ham and pea risotto, Megan had rigatoni and Eric and Keith had the spaghetti piccante (spicy spaghetti) they oh so loved when we were in Italy.

Then we headed back to the apartment to pack up our things to get ready for the journey to Prague the next day!

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