Saturday, May 26, 2012


I sleep well tonight for a change and wake up refreshed, ready to go to the supermarket on the corner and buy provisions.  I have to put one Euro to take a cart so I opt for the free basket.  Reading labels is very challenging.  This is one of the few times in my travels when I don't know the language.  I can empathize with immigrants everywhere. I stand in line to pay but I have no bag.  Must pay for a paper bag.  The little things one needs to learn.  Sugar? sugar?  I end up buying powdered sugar.  Never mind.  I can still use it in my coffee.  I forget the paper filters.  Coffee grounds drip all over the carafe, the counter, my cup.  Fudge!

Mom and I take the tram and go to the Opera in Karlplatz.  Thousands of tourists have gotten there before us.  Holy Moly!  Men dressed in 18th century costumes peddle opera tickets.  We sit for early lunch at the Opera Cafe and then walk to the Albertina museum.  Impressive building where an exhibit of Klimt's drawings and a Monet to Picasso show call my attention first.  The drawings are not what I had hoped.  Must go see the paintings soon.  We like the gift shop but everything is frightfully expensive.  Time for coffee and torte: Cafe Mozart stands across the street next to Hotel Sacher. Mom and I loiter hoping for a table outside.  There is a fierce competition between three young men and a family.  After ten minutes or so I spy a couple leaving and run over.  Is it true?  Did I really get the table?  I fear any second now the waiter will tell me it is reserved.  Waiters, sales clerks, are kind of surly, not exactly friendly.  Is it because I don't speak German?  Anyway,  I do not eat a sacher torte however; I have a Mozart torte.  Delicious!  Crowds mill around.  People-watching must be my favorite sport. 

We walk around some more and take the tram back so mom can take a nap but we go the long way and it takes us an hour to return.  I thought the tram went around and around the Ringstrasse but it doesn't really.  Live and learn!  After a well-deserved rest we venture out again to go to Holy! Moly! (really, that's the name of the bar/restaurant on the Danube Canal) the water.  We descend the stairs but there is a wedding and we sit outside for some Prosecco.  No dinner here.  All the tables are taken.  Go up the stairs, walk and walk (mom is not happy) and after a long search I find the restaurant I wanted to find: Greichenbeisl.  Open since 1447.  Yes, 1447.  Originally a neighborhood eating house where Greek and Levantine traders ate and stayed, later frequented by Beethoven and Schubert and Mark Twain (according to Time Out Vienna).  A quaint outdoor space besides the old building where we have venison and lamb chops. 

Walking back to find the tram stop we pass by throngs of young people drinking and shouting I don't know what.  Lots of drinking outside and smoking and yelling.  Must be Saturday night.  Tomorrow we'll go have a gelato on Schwedenplatz.  At home the Eurovision contest has everyone on pins and needles around here.  At least my mother.  Why don't we know anything about this in the USA?  I suppose because the US is not in Europe? 

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