Saturday, June 03, 2006

Friday, June 2nd, part 2

Well, it seems blogger.com is working again, so I will try to update with my remaining posts.

After I left "matzah island," I went to Zum Schwarzen Kameel" for lunch. It wasn't as crowded as the evening before and I managed to find a small table. I ordered a melange (a mixture of espresso and milk) and got two small sandwiches from the counter: a smoked salmon and a tuna salad with egg. I was just relaxing after walking for three hours when a woman in her mid-60s started talking to the waitress just next to me. After a moment, I realized the woman wanted my table, but the waitress repeatedly told her "when it's free."

A few minutes later she sat down at my table to wait. I continued to drink my coffee and read the paper. Within a minute of finishing my meal she asked me if the table was now free. I didn't want to fight her for it, so I decided to have dessert elsewhere.

I walked to the Aida conditorie opposite St. Stephensdom. It's a rather gaudily decorated chain of pastry shops with a pink and brown decor, but it was recommended in the guide books as being rather good. I found a small table and ordered a milchkaffee (basically, a cafe au lait) and an Esterhazy Schnitte (a dessert I'll be making for my mother's birthday party. I wanted to see how different it was from the recipe I made before (they used raspberry rather than apricot glaze).

Then it was off to the museums. I went to the Leopold Stiftung in the Museumsquartier to see their collection of early 20th century art. They have a big Schiele collection, but I also enjoyed seeing the works of several other contemporaneous artists I hadn't heard of before.

I took a break for another milchkaffee and Topfenstrudel mit Vanille Sauce (basically, a cheese strudel) and then I decided to find the post office to send some cards. I went to one off the Naschmarkt (a big open-air market) and when I came out, it finally began to rain (it had been threatening rain all day). When I reached the end of the Naschmarkt I was surprised to find myself in front of the Vienna Secession -- the museum built by the advocates of Jungstil. I went in to see the Klimt frescoes and was amazed and awed by them.

I made my way through the rain back to my hotel to get my umbrella, change, and go to dinner. After much searching (there's not many options between cheap pizza and expensive restaurants), I found a nice cafe called "Servus" on Mariahilfer Stra├če, near the Neubaugasse u-bahn station. I ordered the Spargelrahmsuppe (cream of asparagus soup), Kalbrahmgoulasch (veal goulasch with potato gnocchi) and for dessert, tea with Sachertorte and schlagobers (chocolate cake with whipped cream). As I expected the Sachertorte was too heavy and dry for my taste, but I couldn't visit Vienna and not try it.

By the time I got back to the hotel it was getting late, so I just washed some shirts and went to sleep.

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