November, 2012

48 Hours in Vienna

Who likes pictures?  IT BETTER BE YOU.  Because I took a lot.

Left Oktoberfest the morning after our third day of getting “piss your pants” drunk en route for Vienna.  The plan was to stop over in Vienna before heading to Prague for a couple of days, but I soon realized that we literally had 48 hours in Vienna and had to PACK IT IN like packing fucking nuts into the mouth of a squirrel… as it were.

I managed to find a fantastic boutique hotel that was adequately fancy for my “high-falouten” tastes, while staying within the range of my “dead-beat loser” budget.  LOOK AT THE DUCK-LEGS LAMP.  That is all I have to say about that.

  

Headed to a restaurant called Gigerl for dinner.  Just so you know, if you go to this place, you should get the like “taster” dinner or whatever the fuck it was, because you get like a three course meal for about like, fifteen dollars, and you can pack your face like nuts into the mouth of a squirrel.

Yeah whatever, spinach pastries and cheese paste.  Cheese paste is like 60% of every European’s diet.

SPEAKING OF CHEESE… in Europe, they have this stuff called sweet cheese strudel.

IT IS THE BEST THING ON THE FACE OF THE EARTH AND YOU SHOULD EAT AS MUCH OF IT AS POSSIBLE.  NUTS –> MOUTH OF SQUIRREL.

Next morning, I was pleased to find that the “complimentary breakfast” at the “high-falouten” hotel I was staying out was basically a luxury buffet with like, mason jars of yogurt and organic granola and like, sea salt butter patties tied in brown kraft paper with twine bows and shit like that.

I was NOT SO PLEASED to find that the “complimentary breakfast” was, actually NOT a complimentary breakfast, and I had to pay 30 Euro for a mason jar of fucking yogurt.

Anyways, once I got over that fiduciary hurdle, I busted out onto the city.  I ONLY HAD 48 HOURS, so I had to do some jam-packery, stat.  Not unlike jam-packing nuts into the mouth of a squirrel, etc.

Here is the first of about A BILLION churches that I saw.  I *think* this was St. Stephen’s Cathedral, that big ol’ main church right smack dab in tourist town.  Pretty nice.  Pretty nice indeed.

  

Arty-est photo-taker ever.

Now, the second component of the plan was to “hook up” with a “walking tour” in order to see as much of the city as possible in the morning, then decide what to focus on in the afternoon.

You would *think* that would be easy to find, you know, in a HUGE TOURIST CAPITAL in Europe.  HA HA HA.  Nope.  Walked around St. Stephen’s square for about an hour… there were tons of guys wearing ornate old Mozart “capelets”, who were trying to convince me to watch the Mozart Symphony… but no walking tours.

So the strategy was to walk around aimlessly.  Here are some arty “walking around aimlessly” photos:

  

Although they are nostalgic and cute… I actually felt really bad for the horses lined up for the carriages.

Alright. Time to get my shit together.  With no walking tour, we decided to actually set a destination and go to Naschmarket, an open-air market with like CHEESE CHEESE AND MORE CHEESE.  So basically, a Natalie paradise.

…well, cheese and mutant fruit.  Zucker Melonens and Jack Frucht!

At about 2 we finally stumbled upon a walking tour.  It was good.  I guess.  Meh.  A little Natalie tip – if you have the choice, get a tour that does not have multiple languages in it, because you have to wait for them to talk in the other languages and shit and it’s TORTUROUS and you keep thinking “… that fucking German explanation was DEFINITELY a minute longer than the English one… I’m getting SCREWED here.”.  It’s very distracting.

Here is a building.

Weathered guy on horse.

SO many outdoor cafes.  Even more than Toronto in the summer, which is A LOT.  AND they were all full, all the time.  I mean, do people have jobs in Vienna or what? 

Here is a cascading sunbeam through a perfect tree onto a park with wonderful people enjoying life.

Here is some chick being stupid.

THEN, I went to the Schmetterling House, which is German for BUTTERFLY HOUSE.  WHAT?

BUTTERFLY HOUSE?  Yes.  Butterfly House.

Except saying Schmetterling House is BETTER in every way.  SCHMETTERLING HOUSE!

Seems like a Schmetterling House would be like, a beautiful paradise of schmetterlings all schmetterling-ing around.  And there WERE a large number of schmetterlings…

…however, little known fact is that schmetterling houses are like 150 DEGREES and about 400% humidity.  I’m pretty sure I sweated out every drop of beer I drank in Germany.  My camera started getting all foggy with schmetterling fog.

Also, most of the schmetterlings are like comotose, floating in pools of apple juice provided by the schmetterling house professionals  in the searing humid heat.  Not as romantic as you would imagine.

Back to aimless walking photos.

   

I must admit even I am impressed with my continuous arty-ness.

SO ARTY!

The day came to a close and I was so tired from my walking around that all I wanted was to collapse.  But I forced myself out for some delicious food – french onion soup and steak tartare at a place called Specht.

HEY DID YOU KNOW THAT IN EUROPE YOU ARE ALLOWED TO BRING DOGS INTO RESTAURANTS?  It’s true.  It’s so true.  It’s so true that my brain exploded with happiness.  This dog was just like, hanging out licking his lips, bein’ awesome.

  

Next morning before leaving on the 11:00 am train, the objective was to go see the Lipizzaner Horses… they train for ten years to be like, “Super Horses”, and every morning they walk from their fancy stables to their fancy training arena and I wanted to see them real bad.

However, I needed to get some breakfast first.

Oh, whatever, here is a super adorable outdoor fall market tucked away in Vienna with like, no one here but you.

And they sell sweet cheese strudel.

Here is the only acceptable shot I got of the Lipizzaners.  And a cat just chillin’ out.

  

After that we had to run to the train to head to beautiful Prague.  Sorry this was quasi-boring and very picture-heavy… I’m getting boring in my old age. Boring and fat mostly.

Posted in Canines, Delicious Food, Travel 4 Comments »

Speaking of Pandas…

Posted in Randomness No Comments »

Do do doodle di di do do duh duh

Posted in Randomness 4 Comments »

Posted in Favorite Things, Musicality No Comments »

Oktoberfest Day Three: Rickshaw Adventure

Third day at Oktoberfest was our last.  Le boo.

Anne and I tried to get our shit together and wake up early so that we could walk around and pretend that we saw at least *some* of Munich outside of the beer tents.  We gave ourselves a solid 60 minutes of walking around time.  More than enough to see a giant city with no map, right?  Here is what I look like in the morning – puffy eyes galore.  Annie is the cutest.

Being extremely resourceful (read: stuck without a map and no data roaming on our iPhones), we stumbled down a random alleyway into a small courtyard in the middle of the deserted city.  Where we found this:

What is this, you ask?  I have no fucking idea.  It looked like a giant community of German folk bands all standing together in the middle of nowhere, looking at each other.  You would *think* they would play their instruments at some point, you know, having instruments in their hands and all, but Annie and I stood there waiting for over 30 minutes waiting for something to happen.  And they just stood there shuffling slightly to the left or right.

Finally, we decided to go into the adjacent Starbucks and get a coffee so that we had something to do while waiting for SOMETHING *BIG* TO HAPPEN with the German folk bands.  I went to the washroom, too.  DID YOU KNOW that washrooms at Starbucks’ in downtown Munich are like, in super fucking cool underground CAVES?  Where you have to go into what looks like a haunted cellar door, then into the basement of a fucking underground LAIR?  YEAH  IT WAS PRETTY COOL.

Finally the bands played like three bars of music then they stopped and started looking around again so we we left to walk around some more.

See all the Police?  What is going on you say?

Two things became quickly apparent:

  1. It was a national holiday in Germany and there were police EVERYWHERE to prevent drunk German mob-fighting; and
  2. In order to be a female police officer in Germany you have to be tall, blond, and smoking hot.

What with all the underground washroom caves, the blond policewomen, and the instrument-holding-stand-around mob, it was shaping up to be a fabulous day.

On to the tent we booked for day three: Hippodrom.

As you can see, we welcomed the morning with another huge log of cheese paste and salted turnips.

Hippodrom was supposedly the “exclusive” tent that was really “hard to get into”, not unlike a “hot, hot club”… so of course I was automatically a bit skeptical.  I like my beer tents “trashy and non-exclusive”.

There WERE a larger proportion of ladies with fake tits… and we saw two ladies with fake breasticles doing a line of coke on the table next to us… so yeah, very similar to a “hot, hot club”.

However, the tent was beautiful, they had an all-day live band and the beer was delicious.  So I was happy.

The other main difference between this tent and the others is that this one served alcohol *other* than beer.  Two of the girls in my group (I feel the need to clarify that neither one is me…), are not partial to beer… for them, the first two days were not as enjoyable as they could have been, alcohol-wise… so this was a way for them to get drunk with a bit more comfort.

The two non-beer ladies chose to order Champagne.  Two bottles.  So like, one bottle each.  You is some cra-zhy guys!

Things started a bit slow.  I mean, everyone looks just like, sober and normal.

Apparently, I decided that on day three I was going to try really hard to look like a transvestite man, as you can see below.

 This picture is only *sorta* getting a little sloppy… Travis is pulling the fart eyes down there in the corner.

…and then Sarah drank a whole bottle of Champagne to herself…

  

…and then other people started acting like idiots.

  

Awwwww, look how nice the picture below is:

You would never know that this was the picture taken immediately before it:

The transvestite man is unhappy about something and decided to shout her/his disapproval in a low baritone:

At some point we left the tent.  I remember walking slowly in the sun aimlessly.  Then I remember sitting outside at another tent.  Which tent? I have no idea.

What I DO remember is that there were no places to sit on the outdoor patio, and they don’t serve you delicious beer unless you are sitting down.  We then noticed a table for eight with only four people seated at it.  The waitress said to us “Seat?  Seat?  Seat over there! THERE!” …and ushered us to this table.

Unbeknownst to us, these four men had been belligerent all day… had broken several glasses on the table, and were so out of their minds incomprehensible drunk that the waitress couldn’t even speak to them to kick them out.  She thought if we sat down they would get the picture and get up and leave.

But no.  They befriended us.  They really liked me and my low-cut dress.  One man made me sit on his lap as a “toll” for us to sit at the table.  So yeah, vomit in my mouth.  They were all Eastern European and REALLY liked that I am Croatian.  Oh yeah.  They liked me.  They liked me a lot.

The Serbian gentleman pictured below has no teeth (he also stole my hat):

The gentleman pictured below sat in this position for about two hours straight speaking to no one:

 

At some point we all realized that we should probably leave… some people threw up… some people cried… it was a clusterfuck, really.

This part got a little fuzzy – I seem to remember three of us girls having SERIOUS trouble figuring out how to get back to the hotel for the following reasons:

  1. Walking was out of the question due to drunken fatigue and no sense of direction;
  2. We had no idea where the subway was; and
  3. There were no cabs.

I have this vision of us walking around for the Oktoberfest gate for 30 minutes… wailing to each other in drunken loud obnoxious girl voices “HOWWWW  are we going to get bAAAACK”…

…while walking in circles around a Rickshaw.  Like OVER AND OVER AND OVER:

All of a sudden, it was like we had been standing next to the rickshaw for twenty minutes wailing, when we turned around and were all like “THERE’S A RICKSHAW!!!” Like we had invented the idea of a rickshaw.

Please see below for a shot of Tomas, our rickshaw (to make it extra German you have to put emphasis on the “mas”, like To-MAS).  PLEASE NOTE HOW MANY RICKSHAWS THERE ARE AROUND HIM THAT WE DID NOT SEE.

Drunnnnk ladiiiieeesss, takin’ pictuuuuures!  Every drunk lady thinks pictures are a great idea.  It’s science.

Oh To-MAS, you so crazy.

Then we went to Pizza Hut.  End of day.

Incidentally, since posting about the two first days, I have come across some additional pictures.

From day two – Here we are sitting with the table of German people next to us for a photo.  Please note how “familiar” the gentleman in the lower right-hand corner is being with Anne…

But Anne doesn’t seem to mind.

Agnes is *very* happy about the fact that cotton candy cost the equivalent of 30 cents.  She kept yelling “DO YOU KNOW HOW MUCH THIS COST?  DO YOU?  THIRTY CENTS!  I LOVE EUROPE!”

And then from day one below… some pictures of me sitting with a table of guys from Holland.  I do not remember this occuring at all.  Let’s also note that I am holding a cookie necklace that is not mine, and I have clearly crushed it with my overzealous man-hands.  The man sitting directly across from me is pretty upset with me – look at his kill-eyes.

Also – WHEN did my hair get French braided?  By whom?  These are still mysteries.

But award for best candid photo is the one below, where I am obviously trying to steal cigarettes from Holland Jared Leto while giving him my digits as a distraction.  I can just imagine myself being like

“…uh yeah… 1-1-3-2-4-5-6-2-24-4-2-3–6-4-3… but like, that number might not work in Holland.”

Next post is about my one-day adventure in Vienna, then off to Prague!

Posted in Drunken Observations, Favorite Things, Travel 6 Comments »

Happy Wednesday!

Posted in Randomness 1 Comment »