Tag Archives: austria

a day trip to schneeberg

We took a lovely little day trip by train from Vienna to Schneeberg, a 6811 feet high mountain in the Northern Limestone Alps. The countryside near Schneeberg was beautiful, and the train passed some adorable villages like the one below.

We weren’t up for a serious hike, so once our train arrived in the little town of Puchberg am Schneeberg, we took the cog train that goes up to the Schneeberg mountain plateau.

The cog train is quite comfortable and makes a few stops on the way up the mountain, allowing folks to customize their hike for their time/ability level, as well as giving train passengers an option to get off the train and grab a snack or use the bathroom. The views from the cog train as it climbs the mountain are pretty awesome…

…but not quite as awesome as the views when you get off the train at the plateau.

As you can see, the area from the plateau to the summit is snow-covered (even during late spring and summer), so I recommend bringing some warm clothes!

vegan and gluten-free vienna

When most of us think about eating in Vienna, foods like schnitzel and sachertorte come to mind. I had also heard that ice cream is very popular in Austria. Unfortunately, none of these foods fit within my dietary constraints, so I was a little concerned about finding things that I could eat during my week in Vienna. As it turned out, there were lots of yummy things for me to eat in Vienna!

Naschmarkt is a huge outdoor market with lots of fresh produce…

…as well as many small restaurants and specialty food shops. One of the bakeries had a small selection of gluten-free rolls that were really tasty!

We also stumbled upon a tiny ice cream shop on Rotenturmstrasse (between Stephansplatz and Schwedenplatz), called Eis Greissler, that had several vegan ice cream flavors! Even their cones are vegan (although not gluten-free), and all of their ice cream is organic. So yummy!

Indian restaurants are always good news for me when I’m traveling. We loved the food at Zum Inder (shown below) and Nirvana.

We also had a great dinner at Akakiko, a Japanese restaurant.

And the grocery stores also had plenty of food to keep me going. I enjoyed the “fruits of the forest” flavored soy yogurt for breakfast, chocolate soy milk and bananas for snacks, and these gluten-free cookies were a very tasty dessert.

The rolls were disappointingly dry and bland-tasting, but it was a good effort. Almost every grocery store we went to had an orange juice squeezing station, which I thought was pretty cool. We were happy to find peanut butter as well – never a sure thing in other countries!

And I also discovered my new favorite snack in the grocery stores of Vienna. I’ll post about that once I’ve successfully replicated it at home!

a week in vienna

I was lucky enough to spend about a week on vacation in Vienna, Austria. I had a wonderful time visiting with old friends and seeing the lovely sights that Vienna has to offer. Here are some of the highlights of my trip:

Schonbrunn Palace and gardens

beautiful classical buildings (Hofburg Palace)

beautiful art deco buildings (Wagner Apartments)

lovely views from Riesenrad historic giant ferris wheel

the Upper Belvedere Palace (a fantastic art museum inside)

Vienna is a wonderful city for wandering around. There are beautiful buildings all over the place. When your feet get tired, though, the metro system is a great resource. I never had to wait more than four minutes for a train! I also enjoyed visiting Stephansdom – it was definitely worth it to ride the elevator to the top of the north tower, and the creepy tour of the catacombs was interesting too. The Opera House tour was very interesting as well. The vast Central Cemetery had numerous impressive graves, including those of famous composers Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert, and Strauss.

We loved climbing the vineyard-covered hills in the suburb of Grinzing. At the top of one hill, we sampled some wine, grape juice, and simple food at a heuriger with a beautiful view.

heuriger in Grinzing

Speaking of food, I found Vienna to be surprisingly vegan and gluten-free friendly. More on that in my next post…