Travel Diary: 2 days in Vienna

What lingers from our visit to Vienna is the way the city inspired me to feel so excited about fall. I'll also add this unhelpful and completely subjective assessment: it exceeded my expectations.

In truth, my expectations were low. I knew the city would be gorgeous and the desserts to die for, but I'd also formed an image of Vienna as overly opulent, high brow, and generally too too super fancy, and that isn't my style. In planning our trip, the two day stop in Vienna accomplished a convenient check-mark in our world travels. It wasn't a destination if you know what I mean. 

We left Budapest in the morning, narrowly beating a rain shower to the train station. There, we had coffee and pastries before boarding our train and settling in for a couple hours' nap. Train stations in Europe have all looked alike to me, and all of them exactly like the one that Ewan McGregor steps out onto in 1900s Paris in the movie Moulin Rouge. High ceilinged, hopeful, and impressive if you look up, gritty and kind of shady if you look anywhere else. 

What I found when we arrived was a shy, silent place. There was an immediate chill in the air, the taxi ride to our AirBnB followed an unremarkable route, and by the time we arrived at the place I felt completely surrounded by the color and the feeling of cool gray.

Our host was friendly and suggested a nearby lunch spot for us to try out. Our second first meal. The place and the meal was so simple, so opposite of fancy-pants, that it charmed the crap out of me. I got this very clean vegetable soup served in a cool looking bowl. The water came in tiny glass bottles (okay, that's a little fancy).

It was several blocks from Schillings before we found a single storefront open for business. We entered the first cafe we came upon. I absolutely love stepping indoors somewhere with warm-toned lights and general coziness, still draped in cool air from the street, and being handed a cup of something hot to hold. Safe to say that when it comes to cafes, I fully embrace the millennial, hipster, etc. stereotype of loving them. I love mugs and milk foam designs. I like sugar cubes but love raw cane sugar chunks more. This place rejuvenated us just enough. 

The countertops were dark stone, the signage featured deco-style font, and the lattes came in giant blue bowls. Someone sat smoking by the large front window at a too-small two top, smoke swirling and dissipating in the late morning light. My mind started to catch up with my body. We were in Vienna now.

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