First stop in Vienna was the naschmarkt. A snack market. This was the best place ever! Stalls of fish, olives, fruit, noodles, wine, oils, nuts... We spent a silly amount of money on olives and wine. Unfortunately we arrived about half an hour before closing and had already eaten, but was good fun and a good atmosphere!
We then had dinner and drinks at a restaurant/bar/club/stage/beer garden place at Karlsplatz. The place was so busy because it was the launch night of their summer garden area. The surroundings and atmosphere were quite cool and lively.
Next morning we treated ourselves to a wee lie-in before heading into the inner city. We booked a bike tour then wandered round some of the squares and had lunch. The bike tour took us round the opera house, the parliament, the Ferris wheel, parks, the university, the oldest house in Vienna, Jewish square, coffee houses. The guide told us about the Turkish invasion of Vienna, the Viennese way of life, and (my personal favourite) a story about the crack-smoking, bulimic, eccentric emperor's wife Elisabeth who was assassinated. Other highlights included the guide's old apartment that had a legend about a basilisk in the sewer, and an emperor's wife who had 16 babies and held all her meetings in bed, inspiring John Lennon and Yoko Ono's weird bed press conference thing.
Our plan for after the tour was to queue for standing tickets to the opera. When in Vienna, and all that. We went back to the opera house, had a quick change in the subway station loo. After emerging from the underground in our dresses, we went to the ticket stand only to find the last opera was early on a Sunday. At 5pm. This was 6.30pm. We felt like idiots and had to settle for a selfie taken in front of the big screen showing a live feed.
Plan B was to find a coffee house the guide had told us earlier was among the top 3 in Vienna. These are the kind of places where people sit for hours with one espresso. We started with coffee but then changed to wine. 5 hours later, we called it a night!
Vienna's architecture is all very grand, and the locals all seemed very stylish and cool. Apparently they eat out twice a day most days, never work more than 40h week, have low crime rates, water from the alps, and one of the highest life quality ratings in Europe. There were so many different options of things to do, and it was much less touristy here than other places, although the average age of the tourists who were there was about 76.
Next on the itinerary is a one night whistle stop tour of Munich. Germany are playing Portugal tonight, so we cannot wait for some Bavarian beer and World Cup fever back in Deutschland!