Everyone from Vienna told me that I should go to the Naschmarkt on Saturday morning - so I did.
The market stalls were filled with glowing rows of fruits and vegetables marked with charming, hand-written chalkboard signs.
The atmosphere of the morning market was relaxing and abundant
and I found many stands with fresh herbs
fresh Turkish and European breads
Lots of outdoor cafes were serving breakfast
so I chose one that was offering Turkish-Austrian vegetarian fusion food. I had Viennese coffee and fresh pressed orange juice served with Turkish bread, honey, butter, feta cheese, tomatoes, olives, cucumbers, and a chili herbal scrambled egg and vegetable dish. It was a delicious combination of salty, sweet, and spicy goodness.
Afterwards I went on to the Kunsthistorisches Museum - the Museum of Art History - where I was impressed by the classical architecture, fountains, and gardens on the outside
and completely blown away by the decorative architectural elements on the inside.
It is difficult to convey the scope of this building where every inch of the surfaces seem to be carved, painted, or gilded.
From the domed ceilings
to the elaborate stairways
to the floors of inlaid marble.
The rooms full of great masterworks were impressive
and I had my fill of oil paintings by Duerer, Holbein, Rembrandt, and Bruegel.
There was so much to see, it was overwhelming. One could spend days looking at the collections of classical Greek, Egyptian, and Medieval art.
After being surrounded by the smotheringly rich artwork and architecture, I needed a walk, and I ended up at the Volksgarten where I saw brilliant orange flowers
and pretty floating lotus blossoms.
The chairs were set up for people to sit in the sun around the rose garden, but I suppose the cloudy skies kept them away.
I remembered that Valerie told me the day before that Cafe Central was perhaps her favorite Kaffeehaus in Vienna. Almost immediately after having this thought, and without really looking for it, I turned a corner and suddenly Cafe Central was there. I decided that it was fate, so I went inside to look at their incredible selection of cakes and pastries.
I spent some time looking at these gorgeous tiny creations,
and after some deliberation, I chose a lemon meringue tart with red currants
which was served with care by a pleasant waiter in a tuxedo. I also ordered an elegant coffee topped with whipped cream and a cookie. I love how coffee in Austria is served on a silver platter with a doily and a little glass of water. It makes having a cup of coffee an event!
This little lemon tart was one of the most beautiful things I have ever eaten. Sweet, citrusy, creamy filling with a crunchy base. My taste buds were in heaven. I honestly felt emotional about this tart - it was that good. Viennese pastry chefs are true artisans.
Cafe Central was also lovely inside - warm, soft light, painted arched ceilings, almost like being inside a cathedral. A cathedral of cakes, tarts, and coffee!
In the afternoon, I visited designer Patricia Vincent in her studio, who was very warm and welcoming. We laughed and talked - and did what the Viennese do best, we went to a cafe! I'll be sharing the interview I did with her next week.
Tomorrow: we'll visit the Leopold Museum, the Belvedere Castle, check out young street musicians, and stroll the city with Merisi.
Thanks for joining me!