A Viennese Coffee House
When we docked in Vienna, we were greeted with an overcast and rainy day. Our morning walking tour of central Vienna proceeded in spite of the rain. We sloshed past the Opera House, the Spanish Riding School, the Lipizzaner Museum and many other sights.
By the time we reached St. Stephens Cathedral and its spikey towers, our guide Peter knew we were drenched and chilled. He suggested we visit a Viennese coffee house.
What a treat! We found Gerstner's Coffee House not far from Stephansplatz. We learned that Viennese coffee houses provide small food dishes like sausages as well as desserts, cakes and tarts. Unlike some other café traditions around the world, it is completely normal for a customer to linger alone for hours and study the omnipresent newspaper. Along with coffee, the waiter will serve an obligatory glass of cold tap water and during a long stay will often bring additional water unrequested, with the idea to serve the guest with an exemplary sense of attention.
Pictured above is the light sponge cake pastry with a raspberry and cream filling and a light dusting of powdered sugar on top. We all enjoyed the wonderful pastries and delicious coffee. To the right, other patrons eagerly peruse the selection of pastry delights.
In the afternoon, Esther, Marilyn and Stew visited the Schonbrun, the Baroque palace on the outskirts of Vienna which was the summer residence of Hapsburgs. The palace was finished under Maria Theresia in the mid-eighteenth century and totals 1441 rooms.
That evening, they attended a delightful classical concert of music by Strauss and Mozart presented by the Vienna Residence Orchestra. Unfortunately, I was feeling "under the weather" but was able to rebound by the next day.
Bill, I enjoyed the photographs and accompanjing comments with history of the regions and structures thrown in very much. Thank you. I was naturally envious of your time in Budapest, which became a source of several days visits on many trips to negotiate successful business in pipeline pumping machinery to move natural gas from an African source to Hungary with the then heavily controlled Communist Government. I throughly enjoyed the restaurants, people, and their opperatic performances in the evenings. This was in the late 70"s and the Russian army was in control, but not in view and kept to their camps outside of the City, except the officers showed up to take the best seats at the opera house to enjoy the music and performances. It was an experience that I was fortunate to have and brings back fond memories with your photos and descriptions. Thanks. Tom
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