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Month: September 2022

Wien, Bayern & Berlin Reise – 6

Breakfast in Bamberg, Beer in Berlin

Time to travel again! To avoid a half standing breakfast again—yesterday’s bakery had quite peculiar ‘seating’ arrangements—I booked a breakfast in my hotel, saving some time in the process.

I still had time for one museum before my train, so I went to the Diözesanmuseum. I originally just planned it as a ‘filler’ museum, just to kill some time and check off another activity on my Bamberg Card, but as I had learned about the importance of Bamberg as an episcopal city, I’m glad I included it. When I was an altar boy, we didn’t have a handy “A” for “aqua” and “V” for “vinum” on the little jugs for water and wine, as far as I can remember!

After a Portuguese coffee at Zuckerstück, it was time to check out, and I headed to the station for my ICE to Berlin.

In Berlin, I headed straight for my familiar easyHotel to check in and drop off my baggage, and then off to Populus Coffee for a proper third wave coffee. Then it was time to go to Lager Lager, and boy, was it nice to taste an IPA again, after days of lagers…

The next stop was Markthalle Neun, for some beers at Heidenpeters, and some empanadas from one of the Street Food Thursday stands.

Then it was time to revisit some classics—Biererei, Hopfenreich, and Muted Horn—before turning in for the night.

Wien, Bayern & Berlin Reise – 5

Bamberg: Rathaus, Reiter, und Rauchbier

What a day in Bamberg this was! For starters, the bakery I planned to go to for breakfast was closed, so I had to look for another one. Luckily Bäckerei Seel was open, so I had a roll and a croissant there.

Then it was time for the guided tour included in my Bamberg Card. Very enjoyable, educational and entertaining, and Hans the tour guide even knew some Dutch!

By then it was time for lunch, and being in Bamberg, I couldn’t wait any longer, and I went to Schlenkerla. My first choice was of course their very smoky Märzen, and since apparently onions are a big thing in Bamberg, I had the Bamberger Zwiebeln for lunch.

I then went back to the Dom to see the famous Reiter, before spending quite a bit of time in the Historisches Museum.

In a city so full of old breweries, I had to go to the Brauereimuseum as well, of course. They even had a wooden koelschip!

Then it was time to actually taste some beer again, starting at Brauerei Greifenklau. The place was packed, and when I noticed a man sitting alone at a table of eight, I asked if I could join him. He said it was actually the Stammtisch—which one shouldn’t take lightly—but I was welcome to sit there nevertheless. Had a nice chat, and felt really welcome.

After that I went back to the centre, to Zum Sternla, where I actually planned to have dinner, but it was so full, so I moved on to Stöhrenkeller after just one beer. Completely different vibe there—more modern?—but I eventually decided to have dinner—Leberkäse mit Kartoffelsalat—at my last stop, Brüderla.

Final thought of the day: my bladder will be thankful if tomorrow I can have beers smaller than 0,5l again!

Wien, Bayern & Berlin Reise – 4

Oktoberfest, the OG

Time to move on to Bamberg, but with a very important stop along the way, München. It’s the end of September, so it isn’t hard to guess where I went: Oktoberfest! I put on my brand new Lederhose—I shrunk out of the pair I bought a couple of years ago—and headed to Wien Hbf for my four hour ÖBB Regiojet trip to München. It was too early to have breakfast before boarding, so I had my last Austrian breakfast on the train.

After arriving in München and storing my bag for the day, I first went for lunch, to line my stomach for what was to come. Although is didn’t really have time to play the tourist, there was one place I had sung about many times before—🎶In München steht ein Hofbräuhaus🎶—so I simply had to visit it, and of course already have a Maß of Dunkles with my Obazda there.

A quick coffee at Man versus Machine Coffee Roasters, and I was ready for the main event.

As I’m quite a traditionalist—even if it comes to traditions I’m not really a part of—I went straight for the Oide Wiesn, and its Festzelt Tradition. They had a Blaskapelle playing there, and even served the beer—Augustiner Edelstoff—in stoneware Keferloher, instead of glass.

Since I would have to spend almost two hours on the train during dinner time, I decided to have an early dinner—Knuspriger Spanferkelbraten mit Kartoffelknödel und Speckkrautsalat—at the Augustiner-Keller, right next to the station.

In Bamberg a lot of places seem to close quite early on a weekday, so even before checking into my Ibis Bamberg hotel, I stopped at Brauerei Spezial for a Märzen.

To conclude the day, I went to Stillbruch, one of the few interesting places open late.

Wien, Bayern & Berlin Reise – 3

A Castle and a Curtain Call

Today I went full-on tourist again! After breakfast, and a first wake-up coffee at Coffee Junkie, I went to Schloss Schönbrunn, on the western outskirts of Vienna. Quite popular and busy, but worth it nevertheless. Unfortunately it was not allowed to take photos from the inside…

For lunch I went back to the centre, to Bier & Bierli, for some Gröstl, a Tiroler specialty.

Since I was a bit ahead of schedule, I went for another coffee, at Kaffeefabrik this time, and some Kaiserschmarrn at Café Museum. It didn’t quite live up to my childhood memories, but at least I could cross it off my list…

By then it was almost time for a guided tour—by an actual person this time—of the Wiener Staatsoper. I just missed out on a performance of Die Zauberflöte, so I’ll have to come back for that another time.

By then it was beer o’ clock, so I went to brewpub 1516 Brewing Company to get me started.

After that I really started to deviate from my plans, since I somehow missed my next stop wasn’t open on Mondays, and the one after that only served beers I already had before. So earlier than expected, I ended up at Statt-Beisl im WUK. The last planned beer stop of the evening was achtundzwanzig, basically the taproom of Brew Age.

Although the Kaiserschmarrn kept me filled up for quite a while, I really needed some sustenance after that last barleywine… So I indulged in another Viennese staple: Wurst. I looked up where I could get a decent one nearby, and ended up at the Wiener Würstelstand. It definitely did the trick…

Getting up early for my train to Munich the next day, so after that, I called it a night.

Wien, Bayern & Berlin Reise – 2

On On Vindobona!

On this not so sunny Sunday, after a typical Austrian breakfast of Kaiserbrötchen, I went on a little audio-guided walk, leading me to some Art Nouveau / Jugendstil / Secession buildings.

I eventually ended up at Hotel Sacher for—of course—a piece of Sachertorte and an Anna Kaffee, a coffee with egg liqueur and cream. Somehow I managed to just beat the crowds: I only had about four people in front of me in the queue, while by the time I left, the line was at least twenty persons long…

The afternoon was reserved for hashing, so I went back to the hotel to change into my running kilt, and take the metro and train to a station a little outside of Vienna, where the Vindobona Hash House Harriers would start their trail today. As expected, it was great fun, although the trail was challenging at times. Who would have thought Austria is hilly?

After some last beers with the hashers and a tasty Thai dinner at Bangkok Station—actually on the Tullnerbach-Pressbaum train station platform—I headed back to the hotel for a shower, and to get ready for some more bars. On the program tonight: Brauhund and Hawidere!

Wien, Bayern & Berlin Reise – 1

Welcome to Wien!

With just a slight delay—just twenty minutes—I arrived in Vienna. After a quick checkin and shower at the Ibis hotel, I was already back on schedule.

Usually I like to start with a visit to the city museum to get a general overview of the history of the city, but unfortunately, Vienna’s city museum was closed for renovations. So instead, I went to Time Travel Vienna, one of those places with animatronic puppets, 3D films, and special effects. This one even had pyrotechnics at the end! But I must admit, since I’m a sucker for reconstructions—wether it is built, drawn, or computer generated—I actually quite enjoyed it!

After that it was time for lunch already, and I simply had to start with a classic Wienerschnitzel. Figlmüller seemed like the perfect place to have one, and considering the queue, I did well making a reservation well in advance!

For my after lunch coffee I went to Fenster Cafe for something quite peculiar: coffee from a chocolate lined ice-cream cone. It was nice being able to eat the ‘cup’ after emptying it, but I’ve been picking chocolate out of my ‘stache until hours later!

Since Vienna actually is actually a stop on my—‘temporarily’ on hold—Limes Route cycling tour, I had to visit the Römermuseum, of course. It even had some excavations of ancient Vindobona in the cellar.

I then actually wanted to visit Cafe Central to sit in the same seats as Trotski and Freud, but there were really long queues here as well, and this time, I didn’t have a reservation. So I went to CaffèCouture instead, for a proper, no-nonsense cortado.

After a quick stop to buy some Lederhosen—you’ll see them later—it was finally time for some Austrian beer! First stop: Mel’s Craft Beers.

The next beer stop was at the—undoubtably heavily BrewDog inspired—Hefebrüder, where I had a pizza as well.

Now, usually I avoid drinking Belgian beer abroad: why pay more for something you can have cheaper and fresher at home? However, today was Zwanze Day, and Ammutsøn was the only bar in Vienna joining in the celebrations. Admittedly, it was a lot more expensive to try the new Zwanze beer than it would have been in Brussels, but it was so nice to meet fellow Cantillon enthousiasts, and try the beer at the same time as my friends in Brussels.

The last stop of the night was at Beaver Brewing Company, luckily not far from my hotel…

Wien, Bayern & Berlin Reise – 0

ÖBB Nightjet Brussels – Wien

For the first time ever, I can take a sleeper train right right from my home town of Brussels! This ÖBB Nightjet is taking me all the way to Austria’s capital Wien, in one easy ride.

I just missed out on being able to book a Deluxe room with en suite, but the toilet at the end of the carriage is clean so far, and after arrival I can go straight to the hotel for my morning shower.

Contrary to the sleeper trains I’ve used so far, the Nightjet is in day mode at departure—so normal seats and a roomy table—and the beds are only made later on. That means I could comfortably have my Too Good To Go dinner first, and a couple of train beers while watching some Netflix. I had to bring my own cooler bag with ice packs though, since fridges aren’t really common on trains in this part of the world…