24 September 2010

Relief Society Women's Day

This year the Relief Society (a women's organization from my church) had a Women's Day where all the ladies got together and could choose different tours of Vienna. Most of my friends and I decided on the "culinary tour" - a tour of the culinary history of Vienna, and most importantly, visits to the most famous pastry shops.

Here is my friend Jessica hamming it up for the camera while we were learning where coffee and cafes originated in Vienna. Everyone else kept stepping out of my pictures... We learned that coffee came from the 2nd attempted siege of Vienna by the Turks... After the Turks left their supplies and ran away from an army that came to save Vienna from the siege, the Viennese people came out and discovered coffee beans among the supplies. Along with some bread shaped like crescent moons, now made in Vienna and called Kipferls. Hmmm... interesting...

Here we are at Hotel Sacher. The famous Sacher Torte originated here in 1832 when a sixteen year old apprentice was left with the task of making something tasty for a very important person... the cake was a success, named after the apprentice, and there have been power struggles over the secret recipe... For more history click here. It's actually a pretty interesting story about a cake that I don't really like that much... Jessica and I shared an Eisschokolade and pancakes with plum jam instead, and those were both amazing.

We walked around the city and came across a big Farmer's Market/Festival in front of the Hofburg palace. The entire area was decorated with real vegetables. So we decided to bob for peppers...

Next we headed to Demels, which is a certified kaiserlich und k├Âniglich Hofzuckerbacker - or Imperial and Royal Court confectionary. They have been around since the 1700s and often made treats for the Habsburgs. The shop is located right next to the Hofburg palace.

Krista with the candied violets. These were Empress Sisi's favorite, and yes, they are real flowers! I would love to try them except this little package costs 16 Euro.

Check out the super expensive Rolos! But I do hear that everything here tastes amazing, and that it is the best hot chocolate in Vienna...

Brooke with all the beautifully packaged goodies. I would love to buy some of the chocolates as gifts because they all come in the cutest boxes and packages. I think each individual chocolate probably costs 2 Euro though, so maybe I will stick with the chocolates I get at the grocery store. Does that make me a cheapskate? I might be missing out on something amazing...

While touring the city, we found a random courtyard that none of us had ever seen before, and stopped for a photo. Here is our tour group from the day - we had such a great time!

There was a small market inside the courtyard, so we all looked around at the stands. Some really cute vintage jewelry and some nice antiques too.

This building is a Greek Orthodox church, and the facade is quite elaborately decorated. It is rarely open, but today visitors were allowed in so we stepped inside to check it out. This small area of Vienna near Hohemarkt is really cute with small alleyways and cute cafes. I would like to come try out some of the restaurants in this area.

Here is the inside of the Greek Orthodox church - everything was very ornate and decorated with carved marble or paintings. Quite different from all the churches I have seen in Vienna so far.

Krystin checking out the beautiful chocolates in this window display.

We went to our tour guide's favorite cafe called Cafe Diglas. The hot chocolate was super good, and such a cute little display with the different sugar cubes, and of course, a glass of water. That is a sign of a good cafe in Vienna - if you get a little glass of water with your hot chocolate or coffee.

The bathroom in this cafe was quite the novelty. The doors were clear glass until you turned the lock - then a light turns on and makes the glass appear frosted with a big stop sign projected in the middle. So funny. There were some people in the bathroom who had not been forewarned who found this quite exciting.

And of course, more dessert. This was called "cheesecake" but it was really a sponge cake with a creamy filling. Very tasty, but I think I ate too many pastries today! This was such a fun day, and so nice to take some time out with the ladies while Chris got to enjoy playing with the kids all day!

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