Friday, October 18, 2013

Reliving Vienna

Oh, hey, would you look at that...The federal government is open. So my meeting in Vienna is on! However, due to funding constraints, the meeting was delayed by a day so the team did some more preparation and met with interested parties.

After the prep meeting, I went back to the hotel to change and then I walked over to Cafe Sacher for a Weiner melange and Sacher Torte. Along the way to the cafe, I heard (but didn't see) a drum group performance, followed shortly afterwards by what I'd swear was an opera singer letting loose while traffic buzzed around her. Her voice echoed from somewhere I couldn't identify, like she was around the corner of one of the majestic buildings that seem to be commonplace here.  

Anyways, I'd picked Thursday instead of Friday for the torte because I thought the line would be shorter. And it wasn't so bad. Since I was alone, they seated me fairly quickly at the bar. For some reason, I'd remembered the torte as really dense and almost nonporous. This time around, it seemed a little dry. But that was just the cake part. The chocolate icing was probably what i'd remembered, and it was still as rich as i'd expected it to be. Here's a recipe for Sacher Torte.


And while i'm making a conscious effort to slow down and "just be in the moment", the best I can manage is to eat a forkful of torte, then type a sentence of this update into the notes app on my phone that I dare not let connect to the internet while in international data roaming mode. Then I take a sip of coffee. And repeat. Yeah, that counted as a sentence just so I could have another bite sooner. Pausing to collect my thoughts, I'm tuning in on the music. I realize it's U2's Running to Stand Still somewhere between the lyrics "Talk without speaking / scream without raising your voice" and "she is raging / she is raging / the storm blows up in her eyes." That song was followed by some hip loungy stuff that I'd never be able to pick out of a playlist.

On the wandering up Kärntner Straße towards the St. Stephen's Cathedral, I heard an accordionist playing hava nagila. Check it out:


Followed shortly after by a TARDIS sighting here:

It's much bigger on the inside than it looks.
Made my way up to the cathedral and then headed back to my hotel. Along the way, I grabbed a bratwurst in a baguette and an Orange Fanta. They just taste better in Europe. Then I also picked up some "erdbeer and himbeer gelles" along with some Mezzo Mix and a big, yet cheap (0.99 euro) bag of Haribo gummi bears. I'm totally reliving my previous time in Europe with all this food. 

So, I figured that I might as well hit Schnitzelwirt (Neubaugasse 52) for my last dinner in town. The last time I was there, on my solo trip to Vienna back in 2002, they were advertising Schnitzel the size of UFOs. And they are still big. Along my walk, I'd stopped into about three bike shops to see if any of them carried this new-fangled smartphone mount for bicycle handlebars, called the Finn bike mount, even though it's made in Austria (not Finland). No luck, and apparently at this time you can only order it if you have a European delivery address. Boo.
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