Sorry that I’ve been A.W.O.L for the last few days – I’ve been preoccupied by playing tourist and mischief-making around the city with my boyfriend Jack (Master of Camerawork – check out his videos here) who arrived on Wednesday bearing Cadbury’s chocolate and all the clothes I forgot in Dublin when I left.
This is the first time in five days I’ve donned a pair of tracksuit pants and eaten a bowl of cereal after 10 am – I’ve trawled the city as if I were on a long-weekend city-break, eaten my weight in baked goods and taken enough pictures of glasses of wine to fill an entire album. After much deliberation on what to include in this post, I’ve decided that autumn at Schönbrunn Palace and the Saturday Naschmarkt are of utmost importance when considering a little break in Vienna.
So this incredible site in the 13th district of Vienna used to be, I suppose, the summer holiday home of the Habsburg monarchy, who ruled Austria until about 100 years ago (I do listen in Cultural History class – hurrah!). The grounds, which extend about one square kilometre in every direction, honestly need the most part of a day of exploration to fully allow you to bask in the various rose gardens, orangeries, fountains and obviously the palace itself. Because we had spent the morning and afternoon shopping and eating Zimtschnecke (‘Cinnamon Snails’/Danish Pastries), we made it to Schönbrunn at about 4pm, which in Austria means one hour before complete darkness. No matter – the lighting actually turned out to be perfect for a few snaps and I quite like walking around at dusk in the freezing cold, layered up to the ears in woolly delights.
Unfortunately this time we didn’t make it into the zoo (the oldest in the world), the maze or into Queen Sisi’s bedroom (phwoar), but golden evening walks are always a bit of fun nonetheless, made all the better by accidentally wandering into endless family and/or Bollywood wedding pictures.
Located in the 6th district and operating since the 18th century, the Naschmarkt (‘Nibble Market’) is basically a massive food and fresh produce market, offering all sorts of sweet and savoury treats (and, on Saturdays, a whole myriad of antiques and vintage finds as well). It’s almost impossible to move smoothly and uninterrupted through a place like that, or keep any clarity about what it is you actually want. Conversations are kind of like, “Ooh! Let’s come back and get frozen yogurt later. And chocolate croissants. And JUICE? The fresh juice? And hummus. Perfect. To go with the crytallised fruit”. Vendors wave their wares (!) at you from all angles and it’s all you can do not to emerge out the end wearing an entire stuffed weasel round your neck and gnawing on a massive homegrown turnip.
So, after pottering through a mélange of interesting things – some edible, some inedible, some questionable – for the best part of the afternoon, we eventually trekked back through Mariahilfer Strasse and off for an evening of skirt-twirling (mostly just me), Ferris wheels and wine-infused chattery (which is also of utmost importance when in Vienna – a glass of Grüner Veltliner is a must on a cool Autumn eve):
So there you go – an incredibly long update on my four days of my Holiday at Home. It’s actually quite a fun idea – obviously there are still lots of parts of Vienna I haven’t yet seen, but sometimes it’s such a treat to act as a newly arrived visitor and drink in the beautiful sights of the city, even if it’s for the second or third time.
Well, until next time, ciao!