So here’s the thing. I don’t really sleep even when I’m at home, so just imagine a nine-hour time leap and a culture/language barrier for someone who grew up in a farm town and never fully recovered. For me, pretty much everything more than 50 miles from home is a Dorothy/Oz experience. I am amazed by everything, so you will just have to play along here.
As I mentioned before, the iconic Hotel Sacher is currently having its own brain freeze moment. Major renovation (jackhammers sound exactly the same in German as in English, by the way) and we struggled just a bit to find our perch there. It was worth waiting for – if you stay, you can’t go wrong with the Turandot Suite (remember, we are just across the street from the Wiener Staatsoper) and since I am just a little bit fanatic about Nessun Dorma, it seemed meant to be:
I truly loved this room (a splurge, yes, because will we ever be back in Vienna?) and that was a good thing, since I was mostly awake in it all night long every night while I struggled to catch up to our time zone.
The reward for sleepless nights was, come daylight, the incomparable Viennese coffee. What I would give for a sip of it right now…
Oh, and then there was frühstück. Reason in and of itself to stay at the Sacher. I’m not a breakfast person, but I’m also not completely stupid, and found a way to rally for this:
I never availed myself of the morning champagne table so only now do I notice the Sachertorte alert in the upper left hand corner. Need a do-over!
Oh, and for the wee ones:
Thus fortified, we ventured out. Stores mostly closed, given that it was a Sunday, but lots of window-shopping in the neighborhood
and along the Kärntner Straße. After happening upon the jewel that is the Maltese Church
we proceeded to the main attraction: St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Dizzyingly immense, it defies the casual photographer:
We wandered over to Hoher Markt Square to see the Ankeruhr (Anchor Clock)
and then considered our lunch options. Would you like schnitzel, schnitzel or perhaps some schnitzel?
We passed on the schnitzel.
And we passed on the carriage ride
which may have been a mistake since we walked and walked and walked to find our lunch destination. One of my most fervent Vienna fantasies was to dine at the historic Café Central, famously frequented by Sigmund Freud as well as less favorably remembered luminaries including Trotsky, Stalin and yes, Adolf Hitler.
The interior was just as I pictured it:
We plotted no revolutions, but I did enjoy some beautiful, beautiful soup.
And, of course, there was more Viennese coffee.
Which did not prevent us from heading back to take a much-needed nap in our lovely hotel room, Vienna and all its remaining charms would have to wait, because for the walking dead-tired, that was a wrap for a Sunday outing. To suite, perchance to dream…