The Comeback Country
Some call Austria “The Comeback Country”. Starting from a small landlocked tribal region to becoming the largest empire in the world, then losing most of its land through wars, revolutions and post war settlements, Austria has experienced the pinnacle of power and austerity of poverty. Today, however, this little country ranks as one of the richest in the world.
Income tax here is 50%, yet residents are happy and the population continues to grow. College tuition and medical care are free to everyone. Housing is provided to all the homeless, unemployment is low and streets are immaculate.
Touring with Adrien
Our ship’s Chef Adrian took us on a tour of Nachtmarkt, Vienna’s most popular market. Not only can you purchase ingredients for meal preparation, but there are also a variety of restaurants for outdoor dining.
Adrian’s pace was quick, allowing us only time for just a passing glance at most of the vendor stalls. We wanted to stay longer and peruse the amazing variety of items for sale. But alas, we had to keep moving; there was much for Adrian to show and tell us about. If we ever return to Vienna, we would definitely want to visit Nachtmarkt again, but at our own pace.
There were vendors selling freshly baked artisan breads, beluga caviar, olives, balsamic vinegars, colorful vegetables, spices, scented homemade soaps and luscious sweets. Young ladies tossed piles of cinnamon sugar on tall chimney cakes. Fish mongers displayed their fresh catches, placing large orange salmon fillets prominently at the front of their windows. Dried sausages hung above prime cuts of meat in butchers’ stalls. Vendors displayed platters of shiny salads drizzled with olive oil, ready to be ladled into containers for outdoor meals at a nearby sitting area.
We sampled baklava, Austrian wine, hard cheeses, a variety of olives, dried fruits and pickled peppers stuffed with soft, herb flavored cheeses. For the platter below, we were encouraged to take a piece of cheese along with a square of the dried pressed figs and dip it all in the dark pumpkin oil. It was all amazing.
What’s next? The Wachau Valley!!
New pictures of the Viking Grand European Tour Cruise in Shine’s Pictures! Click here to check it out!
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