Subject: Vienna Travelogue - Part 7
5 of December 1999 - Sunday

This was a terrible Sunday. Mum had seen that in the Jesuitenkirche, just 5 minutes from the hotel, there was a Mass from Monteverdi at 10.00 a.m. So, up early again, breakfast, and by 9.30 we were sitting in the cold wooden benches of an impressive baroque church, in order to go to Mass and listen to a choir (Missa Monteverdi 1640 and an ofertorium by Bruckner). It was the Augustiner choir, and they sing there every Sunday of the year. But I got really cold while sitting there, waiting for so long, and the Mass was long also, with a nice preach about the time the priest was a missionary in India. He was a good speaker, though.

The weather looked like snowing, but anyway we decided to go up to Kahlenberg, in the Vienna Woods. We had to get a metro ticket (24 hours), that would serve us for the next morning ride into the station. We went up from Oper with the D tram until Grinzingerstr. Along the way you pass along the Karl-Marx-Hof, huge and with a long history behind it from the times of the 1934 Revolution. All of these constructions of the thirties Red Vienna are really interesting. They were built to improve the housing needs of large amounts of proletarian population, because the previous hygienical conditions... I still remember one of these Hofs near my house, where you could see the bullet marks of the 34 battles.

Once in Grinzingerstr you get off the tram and get on the 38A bus. Many people were doing the same as us, and itīs not difficult to find the stop across the street. We went through Grinzing (not the best time of the year to visit a Heurigen) up to Cobenzl and from there to the end stop, Kahlenberg. There is a nice restaurant on the summit, a polish church (closed when we arrive) and a view all over Vienna and the Donau. Great, if it wasnīt for the wind and the cold. There were quite a few people hiking through the well-marked paths in the Woods, and you can walk down to Grinzing (passing through the Krapfenwaldbad, public open-air swimming-pool open in summer, with the best views over Vienna. Perfect after a few stressed days, when in summer). But we couldnīt do it, because Gabi was wearing high heels, and really, she couldnīt really walk properly. So, it was down with the bus (there are many and frequent buses), and in Grinzing we got on the 38 tram, that goes down until Schottentor.

We walked through the Freyung, having a last look at the Xmas market, and eating a very good sausage in the street. There was another open-air market in Am Hof, with many crystal things, books, china,...

I decided that we deserved to have a good Sunday dinner, so we headed towards the Griechenbeisl. I think I have told it before, but if not. There has always been a kind of inn, restaurant in this place since the XVth century. It has a few floors with various eating rooms. Itīs a bit on the expensive side, but it was Sunday, we were on holidays, so what the hellīs? Mum had a chicken soup followed by Tafelspitz with vegetables (Tafelspitz is a boiled joint of beef, that was the preferred meal of Franz Josef. Mum said it was tasty and tender) and I had vegetable soup, and, I must confessed , I am sorry, my Daffy Duck wonīt talk to me any more... I had roasted duck with red cabbage. It was yummy. Add onto this two weisser gespritzt`, and we paid 640 ATS. It wasnīt bad, I couldnīt eat anything else, except an orange we had bought the previous day in the Naschmarkt. The waiter was really nice and helpful, and their menu is written in various languages. A bit touristy, I know, but nowadays you cannot cater only for your local customers, there are more people outside.

By the time we had finished with the meal, it was a bit late, so we headed to the Braunerhof, near the Dorotheum and the Hofburg, to have a coffee and hear a bit of music. Every Sunday a trio plays classical music there, and if you are hungry for papers in english or in french, you can have them. I saw a good Calvin and Hobbes strip at the International Herald Tribune. We stayed until closing time (around 7.00 pm), and got back to the hotel. We payed our bill that night, because we wanted to leave early, and although the breakfast room opens at 7.00 am, they told us that we could go down earlier.

I finally went out to meet my friends and say good-bye. Two of them are expecting a baby for April, and we, the girls spent the time talking about bits and pieces. They live in Margaretenstr., near the Naschmarkt, and there a couple of good bars and restaurants around there. By the time my friend drove to the hotel, it was beginning to snow again.

More later...