We arrived in Vienna late Sunday evening and Monday was New Year’s Eve Day. Just the day before we had been cramped on the train for 23 hours and before that, we had had a cranky day in Malmö. So I suggested, being the German-speaker of the two, that I go grocery shopping and Ashton could stay home and have some space. So I set off in my fur coat and cloth bag in hand, not quite knowing where the grocery store would be but trusting my instinct and not being too afraid to use my German.
I found the store and yes, it was just as mobbed as a US grocery store the day before a holiday. I took my time finding the bread, cheese, potatoes, and veggies – even some gluten free options, and got in the HUGE line. All went well but… I realized pretty quickly that although Austrians speak German, and yes, I knew about their weird accent, they are a totally different breed. It’s hard to describe, but after six months of living in Northern Germany and going to the grocery store, I had it down – knowing when to say hello, not to chat with the cashier but to rush to the other side of the cash register as she flung my groceries through the scanner in two seconds flat and when to stick my card in the card reader and when to take it out (yes, it is very temperamental). But somehow all those things were different and left me feeling, yes, like a foreigner. But I got the food and headed back home.
We spent most of the day relaxing and enjoying the very comfortable, very clean, and very modern apartment – a bit of a switch from the 100-year-old, slightly grubby carriage house in Sweden. The only issue was that the bed was not only a futon mattress but was on the floor and ROCK.HARD. We managed to survive, but that was the downside.
As the evening neared, we discussed our plans for NYE and decided to go to a cool wine bar, Wein & Co, where we had a few glasses of wine and bought some bottles to do a taste test. We even got matching wine bags.
A few glasses of wine later, we decided to move on and venture into the streets. Outside, everyone was going crazy and setting off firecrackers in the middle of the closed streets. We walked a few streets over to the Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas market) in front of town hall and pushed our way through the crowds to get a nice mug of Glühwein (mulled wine) and walk around a bit. We even stopped to ask someone to take our picture, already planning to send an e-card for the new year.
As midnight approached, bands were playing, more firecrackers set off, people in the streets, spilling everywhere from the Weihnachtsmarkt. The atmosphere was good but neither of us felt particularly festive or wanting to venture out too much. We looked up to see where some clubs or bars might be, but after walking around the city for quite a bit we gave up and decided just to stick it out by town hall until midnight when we took this picture, did a little dance, watched the fireworks, and then fought our way back home through the massive amounts of people on the U-Bahn.
Back at the apartment, we decided to make our own dance floor and rolled up the rug for a fun end to our New Year’s Eve.