Sunday, September 15, 2013


Gee, it didn't rain all day today, just in the morning.  We had sunshine all afternoon!

We started our day with a very early wake up, and decided we'd take advantage of our early morning time by doing our  laundry.  Handily, there's a washer right downstairs.  We did laundry the European way......wash and hang to dry:
Our old fashioned clothes dryer:

Even though it was raining and windy this morning, we decided to keep with our original plans to visit the Naaschmarkt today.  Can't waste a good travel day!  We walked over to the nearest tram station, bought our 3 day pass, and hopped on the tram.  This journey required a line change, and was a little confusing for us, but with the help of a nice guy at the transfer station, we managed to find our way to the market.

The Naaschmarkt is a permanent covered market, with another area for temporary vendors in a plaza at one end of the market.  The permanent market section is full of interesting food vendors--many cheese shops, fish sellers, deli's, and produce stalls.  There are also a few souvenir/gift shops and many, many restaurants.

The permanent part of the market:

As usual, we enjoyed looking at all the offerings, even stopping for a few samples!  Some of the deli cases had us almost drooling, with their yummy looking variety of goodies like olives, stuffed peppers, cheese, etc.  There were 3 "lanes" of stores and stalls to wander up and down, and I don't think we missed anything!  We did stop by a booth selling all kinds of paprika, and i bought some for that goulash I'm going to be making for David!

Finally we came to the part I was most looking forward to--the flea market!  It was really quite wonderful, with a huge variety of items and vendors.  Some vendors had, literally, piles of old clothes and shoes on the ground, and others had nice tables loaded with wonderful antiques.  I really enjoyed looking at the old silver items--especially the sterling table services; beautiful, but a little over my meager budget  There was even a booth with nothing but antique and vintage door and furniture hardware, and I wanted it ALL!  

Here are a few pictures from around the market

Wish I could have brought all of these cuties home--thought of you, Matt!

We must have spent a couple of hours looking at all that wonderful junque!  I didn't buy anything, but it was soooo much fun to look and dream!

Now for the very best part of the day!  We were both just "blown away" by the beautiful architecture in this area.  Both sides of this avenue were lined with amazing buildings---dozens of them, as far down the street as we could see. We both said this was, by far, the most beautiful street we've ever seen.  Yes--that includes Paris!

It was very hard to get decent photos, but I tried.  Here are a few shots of the area:

 This Art Nouveau beauty was our favorite, it's called The Majolika Haus, and was built in 1898.   The pictures really don't capture it, but it's the best I could do  

Close ups:

Detail of a balcony:

After spending a bit of time admiring (gasping, ooohing and aaahing!) those wonderful buildings, we walked back towards our tram stop.  We came to the KarlPlatz, a big square with a park and pond/fountain, and the Karlskirche.

Karlskirche, or St. Charles Church, completed in 1737:

The interior of St Charlses was in the midst of a very large restoration project, which was started in 1996. There was scaffolding set up in many areas of the church, as you'll see in these photos.

Looking toward the altar:

The altar:

 A small side chapel, complete with it's own beautiful dome:

Ceiling of the dome in the small side chapel:

 Looking back towards the pipe organ and main entry:

In addition to the scaffolding set up for the renovation, there was also a temporary elevator which we could ride up into the main dome over the altar.  It went up about 2/3 of the way, then we walked the rest of the way to the very top of the cupola on top of the dome.  It was very interesting to see the painting up so very close.  While the lower part of the church features a lot of marble decoration, the upper parts of the dome are "faux" painted marble, which we would have never realized looking at it from below!  Here are a few shots of the beautiful dome:

This is the very top of the cupola on top of the dome:

 Fresco--just a small part of the beautifully painted dome:

 After we came back down from the dome, we sat for a few minutes and looked around.  Even the church pews were just beautiful:

The seats and backs of the pews are inlaid wood!

After our time in Karlskirche, we walked over to the very beautiful Votivkirche, or Church of the Votive.  It's an amazing church, with two very ornate spires.  It is so huge, that it's hard to get a picture of the entire church unless it's from far away.  Here's the first view we had of the church, from our tram stop a block away.  Notice the "advertising" on the scaffolding--a very common sight:

The Church of the Votive was built in Gothic style, completed in 1858.

A few shots from around the exterior. 

Notice the tile design on the roof:

 This is one of the side entrances:

 It's very easy to see which areas have been cleaned!

The interior was also undergoing a large restoration also, so it was difficult to get pictures.

Beautiful vault, with painted ceilings:

 Sunlight streaming through the stained glass windows:

 Pretty detail around the windows:

By now it was almost 6 pm, and we'd had a full day of sight seeing--all within a 5-6 block radius.  What an amazing and beautiful city this is!  

We took the tram back to our neighborhood, and had planned on stopping by the supermarket on our way to the apartment.  Hmmmmm-stores close early here in Vienna, and they'll be closed tomorrow (Sunday) also.  Oh, well--guess we'll have to eat out tonight, I really didn't want to cook, anyway!

We looked at the neighborhood map given to us by Chris, the nice young apartment manager, showing some good restaurants right around our apartment.  We picked one of the restaurants serving traditional Austrian food, and set out to find it.  Gee--all the shops and most of the restaurants are closed already, and it's only about 6:45!

So we chose the first "nice" restaurant that we came to that was open, and we really lucked out.  We had a very nice meal, and the service was wonderful.  We did have a bit of difficulty with the menu--of course it was ALL in German, and we didn't understand a word of it!  The nice waiter helped us out, and his suggestions were great.

Chicken in Paprika sauce with Spaetzl--it was really good!

A very traditional Austrian dish--boiled beef with vegetables. It was served with boiled new potatoes, applesauce and fresh grated horseradish, and it was deeeelicious!  

Add a couple of glasses of really good red wine, and it was a wonderful dinner.

By now it was dark, with a pretty moon out--maybe we'll have good weather tomorrow!  It was a lovely walk to the apartment--much nice than last night in the pouring rain!

Tomorrow in Vienna:  Who knows--maybe a visit to a palace?

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