We arrive to Vienna late afternoon, flying in from Morocco. When we step outside the airport doors to grab our bus into the city, we are surprised that a group of touts isn't gathered around agressively yelling "taxi? taxi?"
Ah! Yes. It took us a second until we realized that we were back in Europe, and had arrived to the grandiose city of Vienna. We hopped on the bus and headed towards the center to check in to our Airbnb.
Vienna would definitely have not been the same without Bojan, our Airbnb host. When we first checked in with him upon arrival to his cozy apartment, he went over a couple of his favorite things to do and eat in his city. But as we started chatting about life and other random things, the next thing you know, we were sitting outside in Cafe Rudigerhof enjoying some beers and eating schnitzels. He then led us to a bar where we sat until they kicked us out, discussing about how and what we can to do live better, and having a very thorough conversation about earth ships. On our first night we had managed to make a great friend. We continued hanging out and enjoying more interesting conversations throughout our time in Vienna.
The next couple of days we spent relaxing and doing the ‘everyday things’ you miss when you are on the road all the time. We went to the supermarket, cooked, watched movies, took strolls around the neighborhood, did laundry, and worked a bit. Marco even played a pick up game of basketball with Bojan, and managed to almost break his finger. Just like those everyday moments you miss? As a traveler always on the go, it is important to take time to do these little activities (well, minus the jamming of your finger) and not feel like you are missing out on things to see and do. If you are constantly on the go, you will wear yourself out.
But, don’t worry we didn’t miss out on experiencing Vienna. Along with our relaxing days we also enjoyed many beautiful sights around the city. We walked through Vienna’s Nascht Market, we caught the exhibit of Martin Parr’s work at The Hundertwasser Museum, enjoyed the work of Gustav Klimt at the classical Belvedere Museum, we frolicked around in the beautiful Viennese streets, and took a long nap in the gardens of the Schoenbrunn Palace.
How can I begin to describe Vienna other than using words like 'beautiful' and 'classy'? For me it wasn't so much the postcard perfect streets and buildings of Vienna, or the fact that musical geniuses created masterpieces here (although that doesn't bother me either). But the overall lifestyle of the city is what made us really enjoy our time here. Everyone is outside and active, enjoying the many parks across the city and cycling their way around town. Twenty minutes outside the city centre you can find yourself relaxing on the many Islands of the Danube, or just an hour away you can be hiking up mountains. Even though we experienced Vienna during its summer months, we somehow felt that their style of living would still be the same during the winter. A very live-able city that is surrounded by so much history.
Another side of Vienna that we thoroughly researched (we wouldn't dare to miss it), is the food. We ate schnitzels the size of our heads accompanied with potato salads, Kasekrainer's (Vienna sausages stuffed with cheese) laid inside fresh French baguettes, different kinds of strudels, and of course enjoyed coffee at their many coffeehouses. The coffeehouses of Vienna are like entering another world. With large beautifully draped windows, and cozy little nooks, where detailed light fixtures hang from intricately painted ceilings, you never want your cup of coffee to end.
On our last night in Vienna we met up with Bojan and had our last Viennese meal together; a schnitzel and a beer, of course. Although we had planned on calling it an early night, we ended up walking through the streets of Vienna and enjoying different bars in each neighborhood. It was a great ending to one of the most perfect cities we have ever visited.