Are you as excited as I am? I mean, I am pretty darned excited. But I did tell you all that I was coming, so you probably have been holding your breath – impatiently awaiting the first post from this amazing European city. You can exhale now. You were turning blue.
I just arrived two days ago, so I haven’t done too much. And, for those who don’t know – I interned in Vienna two summers ago – so I already know the city fairly well and don’t feel overwhelmed to do touristy things immediately. In fact, a big part of the excitement for my return has been spending time with my friends who live in Austria.
You know the first episode of Gossip Girl? The one where the whole Upper East Side is a-twitter with the return of Serena van der Woodsen, but the viewers haven’t seen her yet and don’t know much about her? There’s just a lot of suspense and quick cuts of people whispering Serena’s name and looking around? Don’t lie. You know what I’m talking about.
Well, Charlotte, my good friend who lives in Vienna, with whom I am currently staying, told me that my return reminds her of that first Gossip Girl episode. Obviously, I am flattered. Though this is definitely overstating my relevance to much of anything at the Vienna International Center. But the analogy was too flattering and amusing not to share.
Moving right along . . .
It’s been raining today, but even the rain, Vienna’s charm comes shining through.
Vienna is famous for its coffee culture. Purchasing even one small cup of coffee is enough to allow you to sit for hours without being disturbed, watching the world go by (or doing your German homework, as the case may be).
I ordered my usual melange – an espresso with foamed milk and cream. It comes on a darling tray with a sweet little glass of water.
Of course, I went to Cafe Sperl. One of Vienna’s most renowned coffee houses, rumor has it that it was Hitler’s favorite. I felt very Viennese sitting in there, sipping a melange. Except for the fact that the place is a popular tourist destination. But we can ignore that. That were enough actual Austrians in the cafe to make up for it.
The Cafe Sperl decor has not changed for at least a century. High ornate ceilings hold epic hanging lamps that illuminate small marble tables below, while a few unsmiling (but not frowning) waitresses serve up coffees and pastries. As usual, my photos do not do it justice. I feel like Serena would have better photography, no?
I also ordered some Apple Strudel. Because, you know, it’s Austria. And while I love Cafe Sperl, I wasn’t that impressed with the strudel. It wasn’t as crispy as I wanted it to be. And I know from The Sound of Music that strudel is supposed to be crisp. (“Cream colored ponies and crisp apple strudels.” Duh.)
Oh, and one other thing. My birthday was a few days ago. I am officially in my late twenties now. More important than my age though, below is the sweet watch I received as a gift from my darling BF. I have been majorly coveting a two-toned watch. I wear a healthy combination of gold and silver jewelry (yes, healthy), so the watch will coordinate well. Plus, BF knows I love pink – so he deliberately selected Rose Gold, as opposed to normal gold. It’s really not that pink though – just has lovely pinkish undertones.
Anyway, it’s late. I am jet-lagged. So I am off to bed. But, dear readers, I am on the look-out for some darling Austrian grandmother to teach me how to cook famous Austrian delicacies. So keep reading, and eventually some will pop up for sure.