Wiener Melange

by | 7 Sep 2018 | Art – Literature

If you ask Wikipedia what a “Wiener Melange” is, he will be able to define it very precisely in Japanese, Arabic, and in most European languages, even Aragonese! But strangely, there is no French version of the article: it is very intriguing, but it allows me to basically describe mine well freely …

I had told her I wanted to go beyond Sissi and Stefan Zweig (two posts, already old, but which aged fairly well: “Re-read Zweig” and “Courage is never lost“)

The program suggested in her email in response was as delicious – and invigorating – as an afternoon snack at Café Sacher!

My favorite idea was to get out of Vienna: “tram 38 goes to Grinzing (terminus) and then you have to walk to the Grinzinger Steig to get in the middle of the vineyards”. But for once, difficult to reconcile just before taking the plane, after a Eurofi conference so busy in appointments and exchanges of all kinds.

There was also an amazing list of Viennese cafes to discover. “Especially good to drink something and read newspapers from around the world in a beautiful authentic atmosphere or to have breakfast, but less to really eat, although the meals are very inexpensive” she had written to me: Kleines Café, Cafés Prückel, Jelinek (“very good for hearty breakfasts, with its old green velvet armchairs“), Sperl (“with old billiards“), Braeunerhof (“Thomas Bernhard’s favorite cafe“), Hawelka …

My (re) discovery of Vienna was finally very short, with the tasting of a “Wiener Melange” and a “Topfenstrudel” at the Prückel café, 3 minutes walk from the conference … located on the ring, a large café with clear colors where time seems to have stopped in the early 50s. Everything breathes here the tradition: cakes with cream and poppy seed, waiters dressed in the Sunday, seats of another era, the reservations of the tables … and in fact of “newspapers of the whole world“, newspapers exclusively in German language (I definitely have to recover my German ! ).

You must not be too eager to be served however: Vienna seems made for eternity …

15 minutes walk, I then joined the Albertina, right next to the Burggarten and its butterfly house (“Schmetterlinghaus“) … I recognized this place, where I breezed through two years ago, back from Bratislava.

The Albertina, in the historic heart of Vienna, former residence of the Hapsburgs, which became a museum. In the basement, a collection of astonishing contemporary art, on the first floor, a beautiful collection of drawings by Dürer, Klimt, Schiele … then on the second, an explosion of colors, with the permanent collection “From Monet to Picasso”, a journey that takes you from Impressionism and French Fauvism to the works of Expressionist artists and the Russian avant-garde, passing through many masterpieces by Picasso, Kiefer and Lassnig. This museum houses all the pioneering artistic ideas of the modern and current era!

I will not denounce anyone, but I was not the only participant to decompress the Eurofi for this too short getaway. If you have extended by a personal weekend, you are even luckier.

And thanks to the authentic Viennese who concocted me this little program!

Iconography: the entrance to the café Prückel, “the favorite of the Louvre band” she had written to me, © personal collection