Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Eurotrip 2011, Day 9 Part 2: Zum...Bermuda Triangle?

We began our second and final night in Vienna with dinner at another guidebook-recommended restaurant, not far from the Stephansplatz - Zum Bettelstudent at Johannesgasse 12. This dinner was as memorable - if not more so - than our dinner at Zur Letzten Instanz in Berlin. Part of this had to do with the fact that yes, the food was a bit, err, less traditional. But it also helped that Zum Bettelstudent also had its own beer, schnapps, and one heck of a great waiter!

We all ordered various dishes and while everything was delicious, the hits of the evening were the schnitzel (no surprises there, as schnitzel is of course an Austrian specialty) and the spinach dumplings.
Schnitzel at Zum Bettelstudent
And of course we all sampled some of the house beers and schnapps! While schnapps usually isn't my thing, it was definitely cool to have some here with our dinners - especially their house schnapps!
Enjoying our house beers
Now, I'm not complaining but it's a well-known fact that Europeans aren't exactly known for exemplary customer service - and waiters and waitresses are no exception. So I really have to give a shoutout to our waiter at Zum Bettelstudent! I wish I had thought to note his name because he really was great. He gave awesome suggestions, spoke very good English and even had a few laughs with us :)
Our waiter pretending to share Natalie's sangria
We definitely had a long, enjoyable dinner and from there decided to head out to the Bermuda Triangle! We had made the mistake of following blind suggestions in Prague (remember that 5 level club?) and refused to do it again. The Bermuda Triangle in Vienna is a large cobblestone area packed with so many different kinds of bars, lounges and clubs that we figured we couldn't go wrong ;) Unfortunately, we had to get there first. We walked up Johannesgasse to Karntner Strasse, took a right and headed through the Stephensplatz (where we were dropping off one of our dinner-goers, Brandy, who was meeting up with other people from the tour group). It was definitely a beautiful walk at night.
The Swarovski store we had visited earlier on Karntner Strasse
The Stephansdom at night
Before Brandy left us, though, we did run into a group of guys out on the town for a bachelor party. This was my first ever encounter with a European bachelor party - though it could be more of a central/eastern European custom to send their bachelors out on the town with a bunch of junk to sell or trade with unsuspecting fellow bar-goers. Thankfully these guys were pretty harmless and only wanted to trade bits and pieces, so after a few laughs we all went our separate ways.

Unfortunately, Kiwi Katie failed miserably when she gave us directions to the Bermuda Triangle. It's a sizable area but she somehow circled a bunch of streets on our map that were blocks and blocks away from the actual Bermuda Triangle. Which meant that by the time we finally found the actual area, our dinner buzz had worn off and we were hard pressed to suffer the smoke-filled bars of Vienna. Still, we certainly tried!
Our one and only Bermuda Triangle stop :-/
The Natalies didn't like this beer, but I thought it was decent
Our shots, which we think were actually just Malibu & pineapple/orange, ugh
We headed back to the hotel fairly early - as in, 1 AM - when we simply couldn't stand the smoke in the bar any longer. I can imagine that had we not hiked half of Vienna before finding the Bermuda Triangle, had we arrived with our dinner buzz still intact and had we found a less smoky bar, it would have been a much better experience. I'd actually check it out again in a heartbeat ;) But unfortunately, as I said - this was our last night in Vienna. One try was all we got. But I enjoyed Vienna enough that I hope to return there sooner rather than later.

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