Travel Bug Tales: When in not jaywalk...Part One!

Looking through.....Upper Belvedere Palace, Vienna.
As promised my darling readers, here is the first part of my mini-adventure in Vienna last week! Some of you who may have been following my blog might know that I have a good friend called Judita, and having missed her since her last trip to London, I went along to Vienna to visit her.

Like a little cuckoo clock, Vienna felt structured with Austrian propriety but relaxed at the same time...every object, space and person seem to know their own place within an antique puzzle. The metro arrives on the dot of time the display has pin-pointed without fail, but yet locals lie watching the sky on a Friday afternoon within the colourful lego block benches of the Meseumsquartiers. So, what would a girl who is not exactly the image of propriety be doing in such a city as Vienna for 4 days....I hear you say! Well, for the first two days I spent my time wisely getting lost in a new city, as you would do if you were May of course! Now one of the places I ventured off to find was the baroque styled Upper Belvedere Palace, which is the home to the world largest Gustav Klimt collection and just opposite the tram stop of Sudbahnhof. [In the 3rd District of Vienna and located at: Prinz-Eugen-Stra├če 27, 1030   Wienn] The palace was enchanting, as walking through the gold gilded side gates to see an impressive cream tiered structure with green tops transported me into a world where fairy tales danced with pride, despite the heavy presence of tourists. day dream of fairy tales was quickly shattered when an old Austrian gentleman shouted angrily at me in English to 'Get off the grass!' whilst I badgered other tourists to help me take a photo....not quite the handsome Prince that I was expecting to meet at an enchanted palace I must say! Still in good spirits and slightly amused that I managed to upset the locals on my first day in Vienna, I apologized to the elderly Austrian gentleman who accepted it with a mighty huff and walked briskly away. Then looking through my camera I discovered that I did take care to stand where the ground was barely covered in grass, and decided I had to be a better rule abiding tourist, since I did not intend to be banned from the city quite so soon!

Walking behind Upper Belvedere Palace I met an impressive view of a structured landscape garden guarded by mythical half-woman half-lion statues, but before I could take more photographs like a good tourist should, it began to rain and so I abandoned my efforts in haste to run across the street to a little blue Greek cafe. [More information on Upper Belvedere Palace: and its history:] I only realised that the locals were staring at me with their jaw almost dropping when I got to the other side of the street, but since I did not know the reason....I went straight into the cafe to escape the rain, melting into a lovely afternoon of jotting in my trustworthy notebook and reading whilst enjoying a made-up version of Mocha, some chicken soup and a beautiful glass of red wine which Vienna is famous for. Later when I recounted my daytime adventure to Judita, she explained that it was illegal to cross the street without a zebra crossing in Vienna and if a police officer was present I could have got into trouble for it! By then I started to wonder if I would accidentally run riot through the streets by my second day in Vienna and asked Judita what she thought, so she sweetly took a moment to think and calmly replied in all seriousness; "May, I think the Austrians would either love you to bits or hate you! But I think this city needs you!" I laughed...and for that moment I was quite proud to be a bit like the famous British Marmite! [For an interesting BBC article on Brits 'jaywalking' around the globe: click here]   

My tram experience in Vienna......

A view from the tram......Vienna.

Sudbahnhof tram stop for Upper Belvedere, Vienna.

Towards Upper Belvedere Palace......Vienna.

Outside the Upper Belvedere Palace gates......Vienna.

Right before being shouted at for stepping on grass.....Upper Belvedere, Vienna. 

The garden behind Upper Belvedere Palace, Vienna.
The other quite British thing that I did was to have a cup of Earl Grey tea when I went to meet my friend Anka for some cake in a cafe in Vienna, and I must admit that it was not the only time I ordered Earl Grey during my trip. Many people claim not to be able to function without a good cup of coffee, and having a great fondness for tea I simply just love it....there is nothing better than a good cup of tea to drown away any stresses of life and lift your spirits on a cloudy day! In other words, I would use almost any excuse to get a good cup of tea no matter where I am, even if I happen to be having a slice of cake named after Mozart in a foreign city like Vienna! I did try coffee and the local cuisine, which will also be featured in Part Two, but one of the restaurants we tried that is worth mentioning was the highly recommended Motto in the 5th District of Vienna (entrance is hidden on an unsuspecting side street). Though not strictly Austrian but mixed with a fusion of Asian and Italian, the food was quite scrumptiously yummy...especially my 'variety chicken' which is named so because you get one piece of chicken that is grilled with another piece that is fried....and the restaurant was filled with locals meeting for a meal, so table booking is advisable. The food menu did seem a little limited in one A4 page, whilst drinks carried on through the pages, and it is not really a place for budget meals, but if you would like a nice quality sit down meal with service then it is a good place to try. The decor was definitely interesting in a bizarre sort of way, as halfway through the meal I noticed some purple baby dolls and purple hands hanging from the ceiling to match the purple chairs, mirror-top tables, purple sofa and purple curtains......even the toilet door, ceiling and walls were completely tiled in mirrors! So going to Motto for dinner became an experience in itself....especially when I accidentally opened the door to the wrong toilet, because the dimly lit mirrored hallway and mirrored toilet doors were distinguished only by the distinctly marked male or female torso!

Tea and cakes with Anka......Vienna.

Motto restaurant (5th District), Vienna.

Judita and me having dinner at the very purple Motto restaurant, Vienna.

Mirrors everywhere at Motto restaurant, Vienna.

The dazzling Opera by night......Vienna.
After dinner at Motto, we ventured back into the city center to sample some of Vienna's night life and went to the recommended Sky Bar near Stephansplatz metro station (on the 7th floor, accessible via a lift and overlooking St. Stephen's Cathedral: The bar was busy for a Thursday night, visitors looked like well dressed professionals and the two singers with the live band made it a relaxing place to be in after a long day. But I must admit I was not impressed with the view at 7 floors up, as you could only see the top of the Cathedral and not much else. Drink prices are not for the budget conscious in Vienna, but rather comparable to London drink prices. Not knowing more than two words in German, and being in a German speaking country I somehow felt like I needed to try a beer, so I casually pointed out Becks to the waitress....only when it arrived with the little bowl of flavour coated peanuts did I realise it was actually a non-alcoholic beer! So day one in Vienna concluded in the following terms....Vienna = 1point and May = 0point!

Sky Bar....7 floors up via lift entrance.....Vienna.

Judita and me at Sky bar (7th Floor), Vienna.

Macaroons anyone?

Vienna's very own shopping Oxford Street near Stephansplatz!

Stephansplatz (St. Stephen's) Cathedral by day....Vienna.

Colourful Lego block benches at the Museumsquartiers, Vienna.
On day two I met up with a friend for a pot of Earl grey at Halle Cafe, which is part of the Motto family, within the Museumsquartiers of Vienna and had a lovely stroll around. By nightfall it was time to put on some red lipstick and a party dress, then off we went to Hotel Sofitel's bar on the 18th floor overlooking the river []. Booking is advisable, as management likes to run on the policy of a personal quality service to ensure every one of their well dressed guests are taken care of properly and that it never becomes too crowded with a strict door policy. The decor is grey-ish-ly minimalistic for the reason of not detracting from the all round view, except from the yellow autumn leafed ceiling, and the staff were very attentive. The night view of Vienna from this 18th floor bar was really pretty....and as we watched the little lights twinkle into the night with a drink and lovely conversation time seemed to melt away......

My pretty Judita! 

Time to get snapping whilst waiting for the metro....

The Bar of Hotel Sofitel on the 18th floor overlooking a lovely view of Vienna.....with the lovely Dora and Judita! ^_^
All in all my first two days in Vienna went well without any major disasters and I gradually learned a little more about this antique puzzle-like city. Please do stop by again soon for Part 2 of my mini-adventure in Vienna, and also some inspiration for a 1920s I shall be doing a vintage 1920s birthday bash this year! Have a fabulous week my darlings!

Until the next time,
May xx

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  1. Wow! looks like you had a lot of fun! Love the photos!!!! Especially the one with you eating the macaron in the window display:)



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