Get to Vienna

Have a honeymoon trip or plunge into the paradoxical world of modern design? Enjoy the scent of every possible rose or listen to the organ in a Gothic church? For all these purposes, the capital of Austria is equally good.

We decided: we will hit off-road and slovenliness with a car rally. Those who have read Ilf and Petrov will understand. We rented "Antelope Gnu" at the central station of the Prague station. More precisely - "Pandu". More precisely, the Fiat Panda. And we went to Vienna. Five hours later, from the thirty-degree Prague heat, we will find ourselves in the cold embrace of the capital of the Habsburg empire.

Time is money

Dima bought a vignette - a sticker on the windshield that allows you to travel on toll high-speed roads in Austria. Costs eight euros for 10 days. And we didn't need it anymore. Thanks to this vignette, our route was shortened by half, because the navigator counted some unrealistic number of hours on the free roads.

We filled the tank: 40 liters for about 50 euros. More expensive than at home, but still not as scary as they scared us. They advised not to rent a car, but to go by train. But without "Panda" we would not have seen so many beautiful towns and villages and would have been tied to the transport schedule. So if you have a decent driving experience, don't listen to anyone - take the car!

"Panda" drove modestly along the Autobahn: in the middle lane. A pretty little car, but at high speed it sways like an aspen in the wind. All sorts of "Schumachers" were racing along the left lane, and overtaking was carried out along it. And on the far right, trucks were crawling. The navigator also told us the speed allowed in each section.

Europe Without Borders

We decided to go through the city of Brno. It was badly damaged by bombing during the war, so nothing medieval, except for one single church, remained there. Then we admired the Moravian Mountains and the border town of Mikulov. That's what I understand - a fortress! A pink castle on a high hill, cheerful yellow houses and an impregnable wall.

The Czech border with Austria looks abandoned. No customs inspections or document checks. All this is the charm of the European Union. Nevertheless, as soon as we crossed the border (in the form of two plates with the names of countries), even Dima, who is absolutely alien to sentimentality, said: "How dramatically everything has changed." Only this "all" we have not yet been able to formulate. Maybe this is the fault of the giant wind power generators, which stood apocalyptically in an open field.

The Habsburgs were clearly not expecting us: in Vienna it was not only cold, but the rain was starting to be serious. Although there were some pleasant moments: the city smells of sweet flowers everywhere you go. I still haven't figured out the secret of this smell.

Austrian Borscht

Explaining himself in pure German, Dima checked us into a beautiful hotel on the Rottensterngasse (Red Star Street.). And we went to get acquainted with the local population. Walking around Vienna, they wondered why all the bars, coffee houses and shops were closed. After all, the calendar is Monday, working day. I really wanted to eat, because we left Prague without breakfast, so as not to waste time. We found the only open bar, where again Dimin the German helped us out. A very stylish place with antique black furniture made of lacquered wood, stone walls covered with black and white posters in the style of the 30s, and fresh flowers on the table. The picture was complemented by loud-voiced locals who came to have a glass of beer and discuss their daily affairs. The menu, of course, was also brought to us in German, because I came in the company of a blue-eyed blonde - a true Aryan. How could the waiter know that we live in distant Siberia? We could not translate much, since the dishes had some tricky names. But the word barszcz seemed painfully familiar to us.

So, the story about Austrian borscht! Take some pickled beets, primly cut into strips, a little carrots and herbs. Leave the dumplings stuffed with spicy mushrooms and potatoes into this vegetable broth. Serve without sour cream. At this very moment, I imagined how the Thais would laugh if they tried their traditional tom-yum soup, which I cook in Moscow!

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