Monday, July 18, 2016

Europe 2016: Day 14...The Vienna Zoo and the Heurigers

From the moment I knew we were going to Vienna I was certain of one that we would do, go to the zoo!  I knew that it was the oldest zoo in all of Europe and that they have panda bears.  I like to call that a win, win.

We woke up on Thursday and set out for the zoo.  We stopped for lattes and pastries because you know, we were in Vienna and they are certainly known for lattes and pastries.

My pastry was this delicious chocolate filled piece of Heaven. 

We used the subway to get to the zoo and were greeted with the opportunity to wander around Schonbrunn Palace before going inside the zoo.  I was unaware that the zoo is basically located on the grounds of Schonbrunn Palace.  You can definitely say that I learned a few things on this trip.

We arrived at the zoo and our first stop was to see the panda bears.  There is an adult panda and a younger, more teenager panda.  Sadly for us, the younger panda was napping, but we did get to see the adult panda enjoying a snack!

I was in love with this panda bear!  I had so much fun watching him eat his bamboo.  I kept thinking that he was not real.  He was such a cutie.

My first time to see a panda bear!

Being silly outside the panda exhibit

After our enjoyment of the pandas, we wandered around the rest of the zoo.  We got to see a baby elephant that was up to no good playing in his area.  He was pretty cute.

The darling baby elephant

We visited the monkey house

Before we left the zoo, we stopped back by the pandas to see if maybe the younger panda was a wake.  We were bummed to learn he was still sleeping.  After the animal viewing, we made our way back near the palace for a little lunch.

Schonbrunn Palace

Schonbrunn Palace.  This is the view I remember being a pit stop in an episode of the Amazing Race.

After the zoo, we wandered around downtown Vienna and stopped for a drink before heading back to our hotel to relax.  

Downtown Vienna is so unbelievably charming.

After a nap and me venturing out to buy some chocolate, we took the bus North of the city to visit Vienna's wine areas.  Vienna has vineyards within the city limits and they are called heurigens.  These wine gardens have food to choose from and a great selection of white wines.   

The first heurigen we chose to visit was called Weinhof Zimmerman.  First off, I have to give a shout out to Ken for navigating the Vienna bus system.  He did a fabulous job and a sweet lady on the bus verified we were heading in the correct direction.  

Weinhof Zimmerman had views of the vineyards

The building was super charming

Our food we chose, which was delicious.  We have stuffed red peppers with cream cheese, spinach strudel, fried zucchini, potatoes, and a stuffed red pepper.  It was all so wonderful!

The view of the wine garden.  The couple on the right was totally making out when I first walked up there for a picture.  Awkward.  

I wish I had tried the rose!

So, our experience at the Weinhof Zimmerman ended on a bad note.  You order and pay for food inside, but the wine is brought to your table by a waiter.  Well, this guy did not like us.  Our bill was 5.60 euros and apparently, he thought we were going to leave him a 5 euro tip.  The funny thing is that no one around us was tipping.  We watch for those kinds of things when traveling because in Switzerland and Germany, you do not tip.  Basically, he called us a bunch of jerks in front of all of the other patrons.  He did not say anything to the Austrians, just us Americans.  We were pretty disappointed with the service we received in Austria as a whole.

We walked back to the bus stop and decided to visit another heuriger that was on the main road where the bus ran.  We did not eat at this one, but received much better service and was not instantly disliked for being American.

I know he likes beer more, but he enjoyed his white wine in Vienna.

A cute heurigen that I forgot the name of.

We wrapped up our evening running back to our hotel from the train station since it started raining on us.  We enjoyed our short time in Vienna so much, despite some people not being so nice to us.

I loved our morning at the Vienna zoo!

Up next, we travel home and it ended up being a two day adventure.

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