Saturday, April 13, 2013

St. Stefan's, oddities, back to embarrassing basics

Quite some time ago, a bit over two decades back, in fact, I used to wake up almost every day the same way:  instantly alert, ready to go, my body almost trembling with energy and the need to expend it.  Today, for the first time in all those years, I had a small hint of that energy when I finally got out of bed after noon.  I hope to recapture it all before I go home. 

Most of the remaining daylight today went to wandering Vienna without a plan.  The city certainly affords many lovely urban views. 

Click on any image to see a larger version.

Lunch was at a random restaurant down a side street, a place that turned out to specialize in potatoes (mains) and apples (desserts).  This odd little eatery was full of people speaking German, which is a good sign, and featured in two different places the large and strange Ms. and Mr. Potato.

My lunch was also odd:  potatoes with "green cheese and herbs."  The "green cheese" seemed to be a variant of cottage cheese. 

Though it was reasonably tasty, it was also huge, so I did not come anywhere close to eating all of it. 

Down the nearest main street from the restaurant, yarn bombers had struck.

A little farther along, and part of St. Stephan's came into view. 

Directly across from this majestic gothic cathedral stood this modern building, making clear the dual nature of Vienna as both picture city and global city of commerce.

Did I mention gothic?

Not just on the outside, of course.

Five euros buys you a ride on a small lift to the top of the main cathedral (not the tallest tower).  From there, the colored tiles of the roof are clearer--and definitely large.

The view of the side of the cathedral is if anything better from above than from below.

For no good reason, I rather like large bells, and this one, in the tower you get to visit, was quite nifty. 

The views over the city also did not suck.

Outside, the weather had turned a bit brisk, so the working horses were under their blankets and, yes, ear warmers.

Gelato is everywhere!

No, I did not have any; the potato still owned my stomach. 

I would absolutely have gone into the Die Fledermaus Discotheque, had it only been open.

Did I mention lovely churches appearing down streets?

Or a fountain materializing at an intersection?

The sky was lovely today, but somehow very different from the Florentine and Venetian skies I saw. 

Frequent readers of this blog will know that I love movies.  I've watched a few on pay-per-view while here just to scratch that itch, but I decided to indulge myself this weekend with one or two English-language films.  Given how much wonderful art I've been seeing, I felt it only appropriate that I choose something representative of the great art of America, so I found myself in a Viennese theater watching this soon-to-be-classic. 

In 3D, no less!

Yeah, I'm not proud, but I went there.  I also had a grand time with the silliness of it all. 

Exiting the cinema, what should I find to its left but...another lovely old church. 

Of course.  A fitting counterpart indeed.

Tomorrow, I have no clue what I'll do--which is how I wake up almost every day on this trip.  I quite like that.


David Drake said...

Dear Mark,
It strikes me that the 'green' was in the sense of 'unfinished' cheese, which hasn't been pressed, smoked, and aged.
You know, I think that was actually the healthiest meal you've ever mentioned on your blog?
as always,

Mark said...

I agree about the use of the word "green." As for healthy, I've simply stopped mentioning most meals, but most have been on the simple, healthy side.

Anonymous said...

For most gelato, try Zanoni and Zanoni... I got addicted to their hazelnut gelato when I was there.


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