Austria

Category

Cakes, Palaces and the Genteel Life

Cakes are in mouth-watering abundance in the cafes here. The origin of the famous Sachertorte is claimed by 2 coffee places: The cafe in the Hotel Sacher (which claims to ship all over the world) and the nearby Cafe Demel. The latter is not attached to any hotel and thus easier to infiltrate. Another plus-point: The cakes that are on display are visually pornographic. But pleasure can be found in other things: in the length of hair, or in the sheer largeness of a building. The pleasure garden is found in Schoenbrunn Palace, beautifully symmetrical in accordance with the Enlightenment beliefs. Swarming with tourists sweating in the mid-day heat, I...

The Blue Danube

Many guests at the hostel are using Austria as a springboard to travel to the rest of Eastern Europe – Zagreb, Prague, Bratislava (a mere 2-hour train ride away). The weather is hot, hot, hot, but at least the humidity is down. There is of course, the hazard of having the hostel lying just behind the massive shopping street, though it does make a very interesting walk. So I went a little crazy looking at the prices (and not buying) and rejoicing that they were way more manageable than Scandinavia. It is a city that I’ve not quite experienced before: expansive, baroque, so elegant and such a cultural mecca for those who...