BAM. Dessert plates for your face. Now with 50% more nipple. (My personal caption for this dessert plate is heard u were talkin shit.)
Okay, let me back up. On our second-to-last day, Mom and I decided to check out the Hofburg–there’s a lot of stuff in there, including the Spanish Riding School, but we chose to walk through the imperial apartments, which also included flatware. Lots and lots of flatware.
It was all worth it when we came upon this duck squeezer, though.
Other highlights of the Royal Crockery: this surprisingly modern-looking set of coffee cups. Where can I get some?
Also, dolphins were everywhere. Well, “dolphins.” I am in love with the artist’s loose grasp of porpoise physiology. (“They look pretty much like a duck-fish-dragon, right?”)
Along with the coffee cups, I’d like some of this toile china. I never have guests over, but I can pretend!
The imperial apartments themselves were either off-limits for photographs or I just didn’t find anything compelling. No photographs from the Sissi museum, either. I don’t quite get the Sissi devotion, really, other than the assassination thing–aside from a small note near the duck squeezer (see above) that she enjoyed consuming “raw meat juice.” I want to know less about the Sissi that was sewn into her riding costume and more about this meat-juice fanatic!
Anyhoo. After exiting the apartments, we circled around to the back of the National Library; there was some construction going on, and the Hofburg is big, so we got a little lost trying to find the Schmetterlinghaus. (That’s the butterfly house, but I think you’ll agree that it sounds cooler in German.)
Well, a lot lost. There was a lot of walking, and we lost some time retracing our steps. After a few wrong turns and an encounter with a Ukrainian protest against Russian military intervention, we finally made it, though! Why the butterfly house? Well, four years ago when we went to Germany, we visited the butterfly house on Insel Mainau, so why not? Maybe we’ll make a thing of it.
It was a fairly warm day and, of course, the Schmetterlinghaus was even warmer and humid to boot, so our visit was brief. I always enjoy butterfly houses, though. Take my word that it was very pleasant and peaceful, and I didn’t step on even a single insectoid resident.
We took a break with some sparkling water and a sandwich to share. Sparkling water is all well and good, but I must admit that I’m happy being back at home and not having to specify whether I want sparkling or still when I get water in a restaurant. And it even comes out of the tap! I don’t think they believe in tapwater in Austria.
Oh, yeah–I don’t think I mentioned it before, but Pingüino came on the trip, and sometimes he rode in my purse to see the sights. He had a lot of fun!
After our brief repast, we hopped on a city tour bus–which was, frankly, kind of a ripoff–and rode around the inner circle of the city for a bit to see the parts we hadn’t encountered while walking. Like, for instance, this great statue of Goethe, Master of Lounging.
We eventually got off the bus near the Albertina so that we could see some art, because I’m pretty sure we’re both legally contracted to visit at least one museum per international trip. It was interesting enough–there were some famous Dürer pieces, and Mom and I were startled to learn from a bust of Napoleon that he apparently looked a lot like Paul Newman.
On the way back to the hotel, we hit up a food truck and got some pretty dang good handmade bao. I also had my second encounter with cucumber-flavored soda, which is just as weirdly sweet as I remember it being. Anyway, it was a nice break from meat slabs! The rest of the evening was taken up with relaxing, calling home, and more reading. (At this point I started A Tree Grows in Brooklyn for the very first time and was entirely charmed. Francieeeee!)
Finally, here it was, our last day in Vienna the last day of our trip. Before the trip I’d been emailing an internet friend, Vienna resident, and fellow Toastie Ida so that we could meet up for coffee, and we finally did at the gorgeously art-nouveau Cafe Rüdigerhof.
See? It’s Ida! Hi, Ida! We had melanges and talked about healthcare and the Viennese devotion to two things: indoor smoking and their dogs. Not pictured is the kaiserschmarrn with plum compote that I
wolfed down daintily enjoyed.
Ida had to head to work, but first she kindly walked us past some more lovely buildings to the Naschmarkt, so that we could find it again later. (The Naschmarkt is huge, but never underestimate my ability to get lost.) Since it was still a little early for lunch, we headed over to the nearby Mariahilferstrasse for some clothes shopping.
I bought some rad clothes, which you’ll see in upcoming outfit posts. I definitely did not purchase this jacket, but we had a good laugh over it. Apparently the Central Valley (my home region) is a fashionable place to be from when you’re in Vienna?
We eventually circled back to the Naschmarkt, where Mom and I both stared longingly at all the amazing cheeses, sausages, and vegetables that we couldn’t take home. But cheese???
Mom was a little less impressed with the white asparagus, which has been her mortal enemy since she was a small child. It does look a little…uncanny.
I didn’t make any purchases myself–just ate everything with my eyes while Mom bought some dried lavender and other spices. I’d love to go back to Vienna and just spend a week lurking around the Naschmarkt, because everything looked incredible. Eventually, though, we had to tear ourselves away to head for our airport hotel and get an early night’s sleep for our early-morning flight. Our joint flight to Frankfurt and then our separate flights to San Francisco and Seattle were a bit arduous, but it was also nice to be going home.
Final Weird European Graffiti tally:
10. Me too, buddy. Me too.