Weekend in Vienna

Surely there's no better place to sip wine and nibble schnitzel on a Friday night than the Weingut am Reisenberg. Seated high above Vienna, it takes a subway, a bus, and an uphill climb of 300 meters (whatever that means—we're too busy learning German to learn the metric system, too) to get to your table, which just means you'll feel you deserve every bite of Rösti you devour. Austrians sit around casual picnic tables with friends or strangers. Sounds of laughter fill the air as the sun sets over the city. The waiter speaks with an unintelligible Viennese accent, but it turns out all he's asking is whether you like your food. Ja! Es hat sehr gut geschmeckt! A dog wanders over from a neighboring table, and all of a sudden you're making friends and getting recommendations for where to live. You'll probably drink too much wine, just so you can prolong the night, gazing over this incredible town that already feels like home. Then you'll stumble down the hill to the bus stop, laughing all the way, and kiss in the street like teenagers.


And why would you spend a Saturday morning anywhere else but the Naschmarkt? Already bursting with produce and international flavors on weekdays, on Saturdays the market explodes with stands selling everything you can think of. Also with tourists. Why not sit for a while and eat breakfast? No need for a restaurant recommendation—just wander down the aisles until you see plates full of delicious things. It shouldn't take long, and in the meantime you can gawk at people eating sushi and/or drinking beer at 10am. Then you'll sit at high stools, eating something revelatory involving feta and the freshest eggs you've eaten, people watching, and trying to figure out the difference between a mélange and a cappuccino. Once you're full of breakfast, you can wander through the market without wanting to buy up every gram of hummus, giant ravioli, and cheese...almost.


And certainly there's no better way to explore the city on a sunny afternoon in August than by bicycle. You can walk down the hill from your apartment to the closest CityBike station, and after a quick swipe of your credit card (even an American one!) you'll have a bike, and the city is yours! Whip down dozens of paths and lanes designated just for you, the Viennese cyclist, merrily ringing your bell at the pedestrians dawdling in the bike lane. You'll find your way to the Danube Canal (Donaukanal), where you'll ride right next to the river, past boats, past little fake beaches complete with sand and lounge chairs and tropical cocktails, past locals with fishing poles and hoodlums with spray paint. One quick hill to get you to street level, and you can find the Ringstrasse, planning picnics in every park and pilgrimages to every ancient building.


These days, these weeks, these precious few moments, these firsts, you know that these are the ones that will stay with you forever, once you've moved away and moved on. So you'll hold them fast, cramming them full but finding room to breathe. And you'll happily end your weekend curled up in bed with your love, watching a classic and surrendering to sleep accompanied by the comfortable sound of his laughter.


  1. How wonderful that you feel that happy in Vienna! May many, many more memorable "firsts" follow the ones you already had.

  2. What a lovely description! Sounds like you're having a blast in your new home!

  3. My heavens! What a blog! Mine came with music in the background.......
    Loved every word, every image, every bit of humor and pathos!
    And I shall read it again and again.
    Vienna is for lovers, no doubt.
    And for lovers of lovers which we all are.
    Excuse me, while I go read it all again and find myself in Vienna......

  4. Beautiful! Loved reading this...and then contemplating the miserable failure the City Bike program would be in Houston. :)

  5. WOW! I am incredibly jealous of you. Of course, you both deserve all of this happiness!


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