We are starting to learn our way around town.
Every day Mike and the boys go out exploring while I’m at work, and every day they are finding something new. We’ve learned we can walk almost anywhere in Vienna from our apartment, which leads us past Stephansplatz, through quaint neighborhoods filled with people sipping wine and eating ice cream, down streets with sidewalk cafes and flowers blooming in the windows.
Look, Mommy is wearing a church on her head.
On Saturday we stopped at a stand selling doner kebabs and ayran, and decided it was time for a picnic. Here is Eli carefully carrying his doner across the Danube canal to Stadtpark. We were all extra careful to look both ways since the traffic comes from the left again, and we didn’t want to get hit by anyone riding in the bicycle lanes!
Stadtpark, aka City Park, is one of the zillion public green spaces in Vienna, beautifully manicured with ponds, trees, flock of pigeons, and flocks of … people staring at their iPhones?
Oh yeah, Pokemon Go. They have that here too.
The sun at this time of year doesn’t set until after 10, which means that Happy Hour starts at 6 and dinner is around 8. But at all hours, everywhere you look, there are people sitting outside having drinks. We are happy to find the Viennese do Happy Hour about as well as anyone, since that’s all that anyone seems to be doing in this town! Every shop has a sign posted out front that says “Urlaub,” or Vacation, until August 15th.
Okay, we can roll with that.
Gasthaus Wild is a place Mike found during one of his reconnaissance missions. Next to the train in a neighborhood called Radetzky Place, it’s a little off the beaten track but it turns out, a track well worth beating. We were in search of Austrian Comfort Food and Gasthaus Wild had a mix of all things Austrian and comfort… beer, spritzers, mushrooms, and huge pieces of pork pounded flat and fried to a crisp.
The menu was only in German, cursive German, which made me think that there is still a need for children to learn how to read and write cursive because the rest of the world still does that. We deciphered the drink menu well enough on our own, Mike had a mug of Czech beer called Kozel and I had a glass of Rose, and the boys drew pictures of the tram and sipped sparkling orangesaft while we debated what an “eirschwammerl” was.
Fortunately the waitress was kind and patient enough to help us translate. We ended up not ordering the eirschwammerl, which is some kind of mushroom and egg sauce, but did get “steinpilz” which is another kind of mushroom. The boys each had a kid’s schnitzel with chips, Mike had a huge schnitzel with potato salad (no mayo, more of a fresh potato thing with vinegar and lettuce), and I had roast chicken with rosemary and “steinpilz ” risotto. No pictures of the food because I feel like a weirdo taking pictures of my food, but it was nothing short of delicious and we plan to come back again.
We also plan to do Happy Hour on the rooftop terrace of our apartment building again. There is a nice view from up here!
And a new favorite restaurant. Our first weekend in Vienna. The best part is that this is not a vacation, but our life for the next three years. I’ll drink to that.