A Travellerspoint blog

A bit more Food and Wine

Things I've Noticed in Austria.

overcast

A coffee/tea/glass of anything is served on a small silver tray. All come with a miniature glass of water. No bottles of water served. Tables have table cloths. Bills come to the table and are paid at the table. Waiters carry their own float in a money pouch. There are lots of booths, or continuous seating all around the walls, creating cosy alcoves. There are lots or wiener stands all over the city where you can buy hundreds of different sausages. Even in cosmopolitan Vienna, they still give you a bottle of gassed water to put in your white wine, so you can pretend you're drinking champagne.

Posted by kazandjim 10:22 Archived in Austria Comments (1)

Vienna

A very classy city

rain 17 °C

Big, lots of everything, but clean and stylish. Traffic not quite so crazy as Budapest, but don't step onto a crossing and expect the cars to stop. Our studio apartment is beautiful and right in the centre of the old town again. Although the old town here is not so ancient looking as other cities. Funnily enough, it's fashion week from 10th - 14th Sept, the exact dates we are here. Quite ironic seeing as this is the city where John Lennon and Yoko Ono started their bagism movement.
It has poured with rain all day, with more forecast, so luckily, this is a city of museums and galleries. That's where we'll be.

Posted by kazandjim 09:22 Archived in Austria Comments (0)

Food and Wine

The important things.

To answer an earlier question, both Austria and Hungary do a lot of wine. We travelled through miles and miles of vineyards around the Sopron area. There are little roadside "cellar doors" (a table on the side of the road) which sell wine and grapes. During soviet rule, the vineyards were virtually lost, but they have come back into their own now. This area is one of the few that does both red and white wine, plus they make their own beers, very good too. I've had a lot of alcohol free beers in the daytime which are really good and refreshing; I wish we could get them in Aus. Jim has found some good black beers so he is happy. The speciality of the area seems to be Tokay, which we love so it's great. I haven't tasted a bad wine yet.
Food is generally very heavy and very meat based. Lots of goulash, liver, schnitzel, pork, beef etc, not to our liking, but we did find a great Japanese place. A big meal and 2 bottles of sake for less than $60 AUD, so that helped. They also don't quite understand serving food hot. It's nearly all served only just warm. Lots of beautiful breads, like France. A lunch meal we had in Budapest was a huge plate of roasted veggies for around $2 AUD each (accompanied by musicians and an eating audience who all spontaneously joined in with singing)

Posted by kazandjim 06:30 Archived in Hungary Comments (2)

Sopron/Budapest

Life in Hungary

sunny 28 °C

Whilst still at Sopron, we took a drive around a nearby big lake, which meant crossing the border back in to Austria and back. Such a casual thing, but impossible to do 25 years ago. Sopron put on a wine and food festival for us before we left.
Then onward to Budapest, via dropping the car off in Vienna and boarding a train. Had to listen to a group of 10 loud persons from a country I will not name, for 2.5 hours.
Greeted by Nick who showed us our apartment. Huge, magnificent, ridiculously cheap, one block from the Basilica and the Danube. Budapest is an emerging city, lots done up, plenty still untouched. Everything is about half the price you'd expect to pay. The average wage here is around $600 per month. The language is very complex and we are using only a couple of practiced words. Every European city has its churches, castles, fortes, rivers, squares, but they are all quite unique, some prettier than others, but all fascinating.

Posted by kazandjim 10:12 Archived in Hungary Comments (0)

Hallstatt to Sopron

Austria to Hungary

sunny 24 °C

Today has been an interesting one. We left Hallstadt in beautiful sunshine and drove about 4 hours to Sopron in Hungary. On the way we called in at the small village of Bad Mittendorf, home town of Conchita Wurst (2014 Eurovision winner) The only acknowledgement of her win was one hand written sign in the middle of town, and a photo in the butcher shop. I knew to look there because I'd watched a TV special about her. In another small town we collected a cyclist, or rather they collected us. The lady cycled down the hill on a curve and straight into the back of us. No damage done to woman or machine. We drove through many valleys and multiple tunnels, too many to count; the mountains high above us in every direction. The traffic on auto barns screamed past us even though we were doing around 140km p/h. There was an occasional drop to a 100km limit, which Jim unfortunately missed, resulting in a flagging down by Austrian police and a €30 fine (124 km p/h). No stopping at the border so straight into the border town of Sopron. We chose this town after reading about its history of being variously Austrian or Hungarian over the ages of many wars.
This is a very old town dating back to the celts and Romans but not yet touristy and clearly not much money spent on restoration. Much history and much to do yet to restore it to its past glory.

Posted by kazandjim 10:28 Archived in Hungary Comments (1)

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