…today I was indulged with a stroll through the Naschmarkt, one of Vienna’s best food markets. We had set out originally to view the Spanish Riding School and all its pretty ponies, but the guided tours were sold out, and we “tourists” are not permitted to roam about the stalls willy-nilly. Alas, another time.

So we wandered over to view Stephansdom instead and stood in awe at the workers at the very top of the highest spire, steam cleaning the architecture.  I’ll take their word that the view is beautiful from up there.

The steady stream of visitors in and out of the church did not inspire us to enter, but walking all around the structure gave us a chance to view the story boards and photos of the cathedral from its construction through post-WWII reconstruction after Allied bombing, and now through its restoration.  I seem to recall the restoration being underway in 1999 when we were here–that’s something else to check once the sea freight arrives with my photo books.

On the far side of Stephansdom, 180 degrees away from the tourists was a pretty little flower shop.  The small water lily pond inspired me to create one for the terrace of our new house, until I was reminded that Clayton Theodore would either drink the water or dig in the bowl until the water was splashed out.

From Stephansdom we window-shopped along Graben toward the Naschmarkt, “Die kulinarische Herz Wien.”  Spanning a 1.5 kilometer length are stalls filled with not just everything a cook needs, but everything a cook wants, and more. I was giddy with every step I took. At times I felt like Clayton Theodore must feel these days, my sniffer working overtime to catalog the magnificent aromas coming from every direction.

A stall of fresh herbs. I snuck a pinch of the rosemary and savored the heady smell. Anna Grace, on the other hand, was compelled to dive right into the crisp green basil plants.

A few steps down the lane and I was transported to an old world spice bazaar. Colorful rows of salts, herb blends, and curries made me anxious for the arrival of my cookware. Perhaps a Middle Eastern mezze plate dinner in the wine cellar is in my near future?
To appease myself I purchased a small sack of rose water Turkish Lokum, and enjoyed every sticky, floral-scented bite.
Some stalls sold very appealing foods, like this rotisserie chicken stall.
Some stalls did not sell very appealing foods, like pickles floating in gray briny water.

And some stalls sold dizzying arrays of foods, like this home brewed vinegar stall. Blueberry vinegar, anyone?  How about cucumber?  Or lemongrass?  It will easily take our entire time in Vienna to sample everything!

Not in the mood to cook?  Well, the market still has you covered. Austrian specialties, or perhaps Kofte kebabs?  Maybe it’s Asia Time, or something more specific like Vietnamese?

Or perhaps you’re feeling adventurous for the fresh, choose-your-own eel?