Vienna Tour: Last Day

On my last day in Vienna, I got up at the crack of dawn to visit Schoenbrunn, the emperor's royal palace.

I arrived in the misty early morning to see the grounds before the tour buses arrived.

The only ones out and about at this hour were the recruits from the Austrian army, who jogged quietly and efficiently around the castle.

The gardens were perfectly empty, windswept, and immaculately groomed. The flower beds were planted with red and white stripes of begonias to resemble the colors of the Austrian flag.

I tried to imagine what it must have been like to live here as a prince or princess. I'm not sure I would have liked it. A beautiful home, but a life with little freedom.

Since I don't have the problem of being a princess trapped in a castle, I was off to my last interview with Manuela who suggested we meet at the Brunnenmarkt in the 16th District. She told me that this multi-cultural district is very popular among many young artists and designers in Vienna because the neighborhood is lively and the rent is still affordable. We had a great interview (which I will be sharing soon), and then I returned to Vienna's old city for a few more treats before I had to catch my train.

The lovely Cyrille of Sisters Gulassa told me that Trzesniewski was somewhat of a Viennese institution, and recommended that I try their fun mini sandwiches with a Pfiff - a tiny mug of beer. I love the retro look of the waitresses' bright yellow uniforms.

At Trzesniewski, it works like this: you go up to the bar and choose a couple (or a plateful) of their open faced sandwiches which are topped with all sorts of different spreads - ranging from egg salad, mushroom, red pepper, tuna, onion, whatever you can imagine. I ordered spicy pepper and egg salad with cucumber.

These simple looking sandwiches were a true taste explosion - so good! The cold little Pfiff is the perfect beverage to complement the flavors - a wonderful afternoon snack in the middle of Vienna's downtown. Thank you Cyrille for your great Vienna tips!

My last stop was Cafe Diglas, which Noelle of Pink Bathtub Designs recommended (thank you Noelle!) Cafe Diglas is nice because it has all the classic elements of the Viennese Kaffeehaus - red velvet seats, marble topped tables, uniformed waiters - yet a very relaxed and airy atmosphere.

Notice the tiny espresso cups hanging from the chandelier.

This is where I wrote my stacks of postcards from Vienna, while sipping a hot chocolate made with whipped and ice cream. The rain drizzled outside, the cafe guests chatted, and the tall waiter was kind enough to leave me in peace as I dashed off postcards like a mad woman.

I loved the Old World charm of Vienna, and I was happily surprised by its modern urban flair. Heaven for art, culture, and food lovers - Vienna, I will be back!


p.s. During the next two weeks, I'll be sharing lots of new artist and designer interviews - from Vienna and elsewhere, so stay tuned!

p.s.s. Thanks to Penelope for sharing this on Illustration Friday!