Monday, July 9, 2018

Alex, I’ll Take Incompetent Taxi Drivers for $800

 Today was a planned day trip to Vienna - a leisurely boat ride up the Danube. The start was a little trying - took a taxi to the boat dock; first it was late getting there, was told by the Bellhop in no uncertain terms to go directly to the dock area and we would pay taxi only €10.

You can see where we started, and the route taken - ARRRRG
Well, he said he understood the written address, but took us to an office building, even though we repeatedly told and showed him on GPS how to go!!

We finally get to the docking area with but minutes to spare. As we found later, the sign for the company was fairly small and we went the wrong way (following much larger signs that said “passenger embarkation” or similar). Needless to say we missed the boat.

We get another taxi back to the hotel and before we arrived, I had arranged for a driver to take us to Vienna. The driver who took us there was awesome and got us there in record time (Jaguar sedan at 110 mph) and dropped us at Hapsburg  Castle.

We spent the next several hours working our way back to the dock. 

We found an area that celebrated Mozart. 

A statue of Franz Josef 1 of Austria. 

The 1516 brew pub for lunch –I had been there over 6 years before and it was still good.

1516 Brewing Company  |  Belgian Farmhouse Saison  |  Ale, Belgian Farmhouse Style  |  5.5%  |  7.3
1516 Brewing Company  |  Brother from Another Mother Milk Stout  |  Ale, Stout, Milk  |  5.0%  |  8.0
1516 Brewing Company  |  Slipper Pale Ale  |  Ale, Pale, American  |  5.2%  |  8.0

Another little restaurant for dessert - apple strudel and apricot dumplings. They had a sign that said they had lemonade but alas they didn’t. They did have

Ottakringer  |  Wiener Original   |  Lager, Vienna  |  5.3%  |  7.4

Being a Sunday many of the shops were closed but it was fun to see the architecture. We made it in plenty of time to take the high speed boat back to Bratislava.

We did get to see some interesting fishing cabins, and two (three?) castles on the trip.

This time we walked back to the hotel, stopping in again at the Unorthodox bar, to have a couple of beers and purchase some fantastic souvenir shirts. 

Chatted briefly with brewer/owner Vladimir, and the shirts were gorgeous.

Unorthodox, BE   |  Mad Monk hoppy tripel  |  Ale, Belgian Tripel style  |  8.5  |  9
Mikkeller  |  Nelson Sauvignon Nelson Brut  |  Ale, Bière de Champagne  |  9  |  7.8

We checked and decided on the CARNEvalle restaurant. It was not inexpensive, but it was one of the top 5 steaks I’ve ever had. To put it in perspective, Ruth’s Chris was in the top 5, not its in the 6-10 category.

The beer was just okay, I am always saddened a bit if high-end restaurants focus on wine – which they have traditionally - when there’s a whole range of beers that would’ve complimented a great steak.

Top 5 steaks, no specific order
Range 1-5
- Chicago area, pre-merger dinner with Fisher Scientific
- Lenexa KS, small steak restaurant
- Kansas City KS - Cattleman’s
- Waco TX, family restaurant near highway, picnic tables
- Carnevalle Bratislava
Range 6-10
- Ruth’s Chris Steak House

Finished the night with some Slivovitz (or Šljivovica, Śliwowica, Slivovitza, Schlivowitz, etc) plum brandy. Nasty, in a good way.

Tomorrow – Yugoslavia. I mean Hungary. For some reason I have a mental block where I keep mixing up Hungary and Yugoslavia.

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