Wednesday, June 23, 2010

It´s About the Journey, not the Destination

I woke up feeling somewhat better today and went out and found a laundrette somewhat in the neighborhood. "Oh yes," said the somewhat prissy morning clerk, "there´s one very close to here. Just follow the tram tracks." 15 minutes later I reached the laundrette. I returned an hour and a half later with clean and mostly dry clothes.

After breakfast we headed to the Prater. Wonderful views of Vienna from the Riesenrad, and the weather was definitely improved over yesterday. We even saw a few brave souls in shorts determined to enjoy the first day of summer as summer.

From there we walked through the 2nd district, known as Leopoldstadt, searching for the kosher shop. We finally found it and did some shopping for tomorrow´s trip to Salzburg, and from there I found one of the earliest Jewish-specific Holocaust monuments in Vienna: the collection site for the deportation of Vienna´s Jews to the extermination camps (in a former Jewish school).

On my flight to Europe, the New York Times travel section had discussed changes in the 2nd district, recommending a restaurant. Unfortunately, we found that it wasn´t open for lunch. Instead we ate two blocks away at the Schöne Perle, a rather nice, large, open restaurant with large wooden tables and bright tall windows facing the street. I had a nice (if a rather undersalted) cream of vegetable soup and some penne with peperonata. Several people nearby ordered the Marillenknödel, but I thought that would be far too much food to order for my still fragile stomache.

After that we looked for a new, top-end fashion store, but it turned out to be rather too high end, so we walked across the Danube canal and alongside the canal to Kunsthauswien, a gallery devoted to the work of Friedensreich Hundertwasser. Hundertwasser´s work is somewhat similar to Gaudy, but with a strong ecological overlay. My Time Out Guide rather dismissively refers to his "dubious eco-art," though they justfiably praise the green garden cafe.

I raced to the Staatoper to buy standing room tickets for tonight´s performance of "La Forza del Destino," but not only was there a surprisingly long line for the tickets, but after waiting 25 minutes, I finally noticed the large sign in the front saying "only one ticket per person" (in my defense, I was quite far from the ticket window). I decided to go back and check with Annie and Cherie and we´ve decided to have a more leisurely evening, including buying our train tickets for tomorrow.

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