So Vienna was beautiful, damn. I am suffering from a loss of Christmas vibes now here in Finland, no snow and so so grey and somehow the whole December has been far too busy for me to really let Christmas sink in. So that’s why I’m extremely glad I got to spend a few days in Vienna because was that place Christmassy! Yes. I was there only for four days so not long at all, definitely SO much left to see and do. Well it’s a good excuse to go back.
The first thing you’ll notice are probably the buildings. They are so majestic and beautiful. It is extremely hard to find ugly houses. Everything is so decorated and pretty that it’s almost blinding. The whole city feels somehow very… European. In a high-class, historical way.
And then the Christmas markets, one of the main reasons we went there. Some, like the one in front of the town hall seen below, are super crowded and that takes some of the glam away. But they are still pretty. And you can find so many smaller ones around the city. They sell basically quite the same things: gluhwein (like hot wine with christmas spices), waffles, chocolate things, lots of amazingly done ornaments, candles, just to name some.
And there are christmas lights, EVERYWHERE! Funny that even when it’s dark, it doesn’t feel dark because of the hundreds and hundreds of different kinds of lights hanging above the streets. One downside, having been in this glittery christmas wonderland makes Helsinki feel a bit lame.
One night we visited an amusement park (that also had a christmas market) but we only went to this ferris wheel, one of the oldest ones in the world. It was built in 1897 and was the world’s tallest for most of the 20th century. I thought it was so cool but needless to say, if you’re afraid of heights like my mom, then it’s probably not for you, also knowing its age… 😉 But I loved it, the whole place really had that old time feeling and the aerial views were so cool.
Vienna is famous for its horse carriages that drive around the city. Being such a lover of animals, I of course had to go and greet and pet them when I saw them standing somewhere. They were so nice and calm and lovely and so soft!
Vienna is also the city of cakes and cafes, the Sacher cake itself is from Vienna. You can find all sorts of cakes with very reasonable prices, I mean here in Finland you’d have to pay twice the price of a piece of cake than you do there. And they are big enough too! Too often in cafes the cakes are so small at least in Finland. As Justin Bieber would say, what do you mean? That small piece of cake doesn’t satisfy my needs. But in Vienna it does.
Original food culture in Austria is uhm, how should I say this, very meat-based with its wieners and schnitzels and steaks. But luckily there are every possible ethnic food places you could imagine! For example, on Naschtmarkt, one market place, they have super duper good falafels and so many types of different hummus! It was heaven. And also all sorts of dried fruits and spices, really reminded me of Istanbul or Israel.
As I said, there are lots of pretty buildings but there are also equally lots of palaces. Loads of them. So much that at some point, you don’t really know what palace you’re looking at, it’s “just another palace.”
Vienna felt very classy, very traditional, like a piece of history that really wants to cling onto its roots. But if I’ve discovered something while traveling, it’s that very few places are entirely what they first seem like. They can prove to be the opposite or something better or worse or something like you imagined but not in the way you imagined. Some of my friends ask after I’ve come back from somewhere, “what did you like about the place?” And so often I cannot give a proper answer. Like this time, is it because I love history? Or because I appreciate and admire old architecture? Or because I just happen to love beautiful things?
I don’t know. That’s why i feel like I need to dig a little deeper, and like so so often after a trip, get the feel that I need to go back.