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The Symphony of Vienna

So we are off on another train heading to Budapest before we start our Intrepid Tour through Eastern Europe. This part of our trip should be a little more off the tourist path and include a bit more exploring.

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Vienna is one classy place. I gave into temptation and we started our few days with a visit to Hotel Sacher for Sachertorte. This cake exceeded my expectations. The apricot liqueur glaze used was amazing. The combination with the dark chocolate ganache was excellent. The liqueur was sweet and intense and was what made this cake so delicious... Without it the cake would have been mediocre at the best.

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We saw the opera house and went to the Naschmarkt. This place was quite touristy and not the type of market I was expecting. It was a permanent market rather than stalls set up everyday and had more restaurants than fresh food stands.

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Dinner that evening was at a nice establishment that was renowned for its schnitzel. Sadly it was a disappointment compared to the schnitzel we had in Heidelberg. The schnitzel was crunchy and tender but was lacking flavour and seasoning. Lewis had beef cooked in broth. This dish was impressive with all the condiments that went with it and I definitely had a bit of food envy. The dish came with egg dumplings at the bottom of his bowl and the meat vegetables in a pot. He had further condiments and potato to put on the top. The broth was complex and had amble flavour. The meat fell apart with a spoon it was that tender and soft. It was an dish that seemed simple but required a lot of skill and complexity to get the flavour balance perfect.

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The next day we did our own mini tour to see the inner ring which used to be the city walls. Most of the important buildings are built on this ring. The palace was incredible and rivalled Chateau Versaille in its size and impressive stature. While walking we saw plenty of horse and carts taking tourist around. This added to the feeling of stepping back in time that you sometimes get while walking through old parts of cities. We also stumbled across old ruins on our walk that the castle was built on that had been recently dug up. It was pretty amazing to see how advanced the design and technologies were from that time.

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That evening we had booked for a concert of Mozart and Strauss famous pieces in the concert room in Haus de Industrie. It was both of our first time listening to classical music and we loved it! The small group of musicians were really into the music. It was a pleasure to watch in the intimate setting for a couple of hours.

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Pre-concert dinner was hot dogs made with Käsekrainers (like a cheese sausage). The hot dog was a little different as they are pressed in the grill to heat and toast the bun and make them flat. It also made them more delicious due to the slightly crunchy bun. We also discovered a delicious cookie ice-cream nearby. The ice-cream itself was delicious and tasted like custard and we could have just eaten that by itself. The cookies were what made this sweet treat spectacular. They were crunchy and had a delicious hazelnut filling in them which swirled through the ice-cream. It was so good we had seconds!

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Our final day in Vienna was actually spent out of Vienna in a small wine making region called Wachau Valley in a wine tasting bike tour. The area is amazingly beautiful! It is more of a white wine producing area than red but even the whites were rather outstanding. We biked over 30km for the day and half of that was the tipsy ride home to the train station. ..Needless to say it was a comical trip home.

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Our day started with a walk up a hill to the castle ruins where King Richard the Lionheart was imprisoned. The castle ruins was awesome to climb over and of course to sit in a window and feel like a princess in her castle. The view from the top was breathtaking.

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It showed the town Dürnstein, the vines and the river running through. Dürnstein was renowned for their apricot products. We tried chilli salted apricot kernels and apricot gummies...the gummie lollies were so good! We tried a shot of apricot schnapps with half an apricot in it, a local speciality. The apricot had been infusing for over 4 weeks in the schnapps to get to the perfect flavour. The schnapps was delicious and the juicy alcoholic apricot topped it off. It was beautiful.

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Along the bike ride to the vineyards I stopped to trial some of the grapes (It was a grape grazing tour after all). The grapes were deliciously sweet to the point that they nearly tasted of icing sugar. The grapes would have been a Riesling variety, the main type of wine made in the area. Apparently this season has been quite poor due to the large amount of rain. The few black grapes I managed to find were my favourite. .. not as sweet as the white grapes but they had a more intense flavour.

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We started our wine tasting just before our BBQ lunch. We were taught a little about wine tasting. .. about smelling and moving it in your mouth. Lewis was taken off to learn about how the wine was made by the old lady that lived in the house. Needless to say he understood nothing she said in German. She obviously took a shine to him as she didn't even ask anyone else if they wanted to learn about it.

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After 4 glasses of wine I was beginning to feel it and we were given a shot of schnapps to finish our lunch. This time it was the walnut type which tasted like Christmas due to all its spices. It reminded me to much of cough mixture and I couldn't stomach it especially after all the wine.

We continued on to our next vineyard where we had another three wines to try. They were just as delicious as the first lot! This place also had walnuts falling off the tree, they were delicious and great to eat with the wine. By this point I would definitely have been DIC'ed at home for even attempting to bike, thank goodness we had bike paths! Overall it was a memorable fun and beautiful day in the countryside.

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Our time in Vienna was beautiful. The architecture, the shows and the food adds to the lavishness of the area.

More news after our Intrepid Trip. Xxx

Posted by chellebelle 01:14 Archived in Austria Tagged vienna palace cake wine bike sausage Comments (1)

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