After a good night's sleep, I was up early and ready to get some breakfast and head to the airport. I didn't get to take a picture of this the day before, but in this hotel the elevator was glass on all sides, and went up through the staircase. I thought that was pretty neat.
For breakfast, I first checked out the hotel offerings. It wasn't included, but for 6 euro, I thought I would at least scope it out.
Here is what I found:
It didn't really do anything for me since there was a lot of meat and a lot of muffin type items. Instead, I asked the front desk guy what he would recommend, and he told me Mauri. I took his advice and headed there.
He was right, or at least everything looked good. I knew there was no way I would be able to taste everything, but I did look at all the cases filled with delicious looking sweets and sandwiches.
After looking and looking, I made up my mind. I went with a croissant with cheese and cafe con leche.
Before I knew it, it was time to head to the airport to catch my flight to Vienna. Why Vienna, to ask? Because in an effort to "kill time" before a conference I am attending over this way, I decided to join a group trip, and it starts in Vienna. I thought getting there a day early would give me some time to relax and also get a feel for Vienna. I have never been to Austria, so this was definitely a new experience for me. I was flying on a German airline, and the lady checking me in actually seemed confused (possibly shocked) that there was an American passenger. I guess not to many Americans fly Airberlin from Barcelona to Vienna. She even called another guy over to take a look at my passport, and I know enough Spanish to understand that she was talking about there being an American on the flight. The flight was cheap, so that is why I booked it!
Before boarding the plane I bought this drink, which was almost like a smoothie, but a thinner consistency.
Bye, bye Barcelona!
I was really surprised on the flight to find that they offered turkey OR cheese sandwiches. It was really good because it had a spicy mustard.
I loved that this airline showed US TV. I watched an episode of Cheers and one of Friends. I think I was the only person on the plane laughing hysterically. They were both great episodes. When they ended, the flight picture came back on the screen and I realized we were over Italy, and should have been over Venice. So I peaked out the window, and sure enough, or at least I am almost certain, there was Venice down below. Yes, I could be completely wrong, but it does look like Venice to me (maybe because I wanted it to be Venice).
The total flight was just over 2 hours, so it wasn't far at all. I thought it was so cute when we exited the plane that they gave us heart shaped chocolates.
Well, I guess I in Vienna now!
I picked the NH Wien to stay in. In case you can't tell, I am a fan of the chain. I know what to expect, and no matter what town I am in, if I am in an NH hotel, I get the same service and the same feeling in the hotels. I also collect points with them, which helps.
I swear I only booked a regular room with 1 queen bed, but when I walked into the room I was greatly surprised. I had a very large suite. There was a sitting room area and a nice sized desk.
I had a small bar/kitchenette area.
Then I had the bedroom area.
Plus there was a good sized bathroom with entry from the front hall and the bedroom. It turned out it be a good thing because I planned on getting some work done this night and staying in a the hotel a little, so resting in a nice size room was great.
After resting a little upon my arrival, I did head out to try and find the Naschmarkt. Here are a few pictures from when I was walking around trying to make sense of the map and find the market.
I stumbled upon the Aquarium/Zoo and was intrigued to see that the side of the building was a rock climbing wall. What a great use of space!
If only I had more time!
See, even all the way in Vienna, Japanese food is popular.
How could I resist taking a picture of this!
And then, there it was. I had finally found the Naschmarkt. Check out all of the pictures I took of the lovely food vendors. Lots of dried fruits, cheeses, dried fruits stuffed with cheeses, produce and meat. Oh, and of course candy and baked goods.
They even sell clothing around here.
Yes, I did come back and buy some of these.
Olives! Lots of olives. The guy gave me a sample and of course thought it was hilarious that it was one stuffed with a hot pepper. Then he gave me another and told me it was not spicy. I am so stupid that I fell for it. Nope, it was spicy! Only was the fourth sample not spicy. That was when I gave up and just bought something.
Spices! This area smelled the best!
For coffee, I think.
Then I found the seafood area. No idea where the fresh stuff comes from, but it seems they had quite a bit of it.
Here you can see the long aisle of restaurants. If I thought I could find my way to the hotel in the dark I probably would have sat down and had dinner there.
This was a cheese store I found, but after waiting for some time, I gave up and left. They were really busy. Everything looked good.
On my walk home I found this fun looking Italian place.
Then I spotted this. I was amazed to find a vegetarian restaurant, and it was packed.
Obviously I had to give it a try. My entree came with a salad, which was probably a good thing.
Then I had the mango "duck". I was thinking about this dish, and then I asked a gentleman (who spoke English), and he recommended this, so I gave it a try. Boy am I glad I did. It may not be traditional Viennese food, but it was really good.
That was it for my first day in Vienna.
So, are you curious what I wound up buying at the market? I thought I would get a few things, mostly to have in the room for breakfast the next day.
Caramels (for dessert...not breakfast!)
Cheese, which was like feta, and way to big a piece.
Dates and figs stuffed with cheese
Dried honey apple, which was really, really good, and made a nice snack.
Lastly, a poppy seed roll. I am a sucker for anything poppy, so I couldn't pass on this.
More of Vienna to come! I'll be joining up with a group tour next, so that should be interesting.
QUESTIONS: Have you ever been to Vienna?