Monday, June 15, 2009
There was this cool guy dancing in front of the food stand. We took a picture with him and he liked it so much that he asked me to email it to him.
After our lunch break we went to lay out. There were so many ants! We were completely covered. It definitely didn’t help the situation that I didn’t have a towel to lay on either. After maybe an hour I got up the courage and went into the Donau. After just floating for a little bit, I realized I was already 1/4 of the way across so I just spur of the moment decided to swim all the way across to the other side. I’m a good swimmer, so why not?
I was doing pretty well…then I hit halfway. Omigosh I was so tired but I kept going. Whether I turned around and swam back, or continued to the other side, I still had the same distance to cover. About 40 feet from the shore something ran into my shoulder. I thought it was just a clump of moss or whatever so I just brushed it aside, only to realize that it was not moss, but a dead squirrel. OMG. I think I had a miniature heart attack. Completely freaked out I sprinted to the sideline, this time noticing every little piece of debris. As I was nearing the edge I slipped on a rock. It didn’t hurt too badly, felt more like when you stub your toe on the edge of the bed (even though that can hurt a lot!). I clambered out of the river and sat on the steps and gathered my breath. I looked down at my toe and it was gushing blood. I guess I didn’t really feel it at first because my whole body was numb from the cold water and I had all that adrenaline from being exhausted and running into a dead squirrel and all. I thought I maybe just cut my toe so no big deal. But I still had to get back to the other side. After a few more minutes of rest, I plunged back in the water and made my way across the river. – This is no small swimming pool, either. It took me probably 45 minutes to swim across, rest, and swim back – although I was trying not to get my head wet because of nasty river germs so I was pretty much doggie paddling the whole way.
Today I finally made it to Café Sacher. It’s been one of my main goals all trip. Samantha and I had to wait a few minutes outside to be seated – very un-Viennese coffee house. But this was a very touristy place, so it was quite crowded with camera bearing foreigners – mostly English speakers. We got our table inside and flipped through the menu, but I knew what I wanted going in there. Ein Stück Sacher torte mit Schlagobers und eine Melange. (The original sacher torte with whipped cream and a mélange coffee) The place was very cute – reminded me of tea at the American Girl Place. While it was nice, it was not at all like the Vienna coffee houses so if you want to get an accurate taste of Vienna culture, don’t go to Café Sacher. So I finally got my Sacher torte – the real deal – no more imitations. It was wonderful. But the whole time I kept thinking how the atmosphere was detracting from the experience. In all other coffee houses, you’re free to stay as long as you like – all day in fact. But here the service was very fast and polite and there were lines of tourists waiting outside with their noses pressed to the windows eager for a glimpse inside. I felt like it was inappropriate to stay there too long so Samantha and I left a few minutes after finishing the cake.
But before leaving, we decided to check out the bathrooms – a place this nice had to have beautiful bathrooms. When you walk in it appeared like a normal, yet beautiful, bathroom. There were sinks to the left, and wooden doors for where the stalls would be. But then we opened the doors to the actual individual bathrooms and there were entire other rooms inside. Every toilet was designated a little room where the person could freshen up, equipped with a sink and counter! So posh.
We then went on a journey to a café that we could hunker down at for a while and found a sort of Italian/Greek run café. I ordered smoked trout appetizer and it was way different from anything I expected, but in a good way. The trout was served on top of a mound of whipped cream and horseradish. I would never have thought to serve fish with whipped cream, but it was excellent. After a couple hours feeling Viennese, we left to go back to our dorm.