Camp Martin Travels

These entries will be a combination of historical day trips, graduate level travel courses, and just little stops along the way. I have been teaching 8th grade American History for over 25 years. I am also a Civil War Reenactor and have traveled to Germany and Austria with several groups of exchange students and written about our adventures. Please check all my posts by using the monthly Blog Archive tabs shown below. I have posted over 150 Blog Episodes since 2009... Please explore them all!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

An American Back in Bavaria / Part # 12 / Naschmarkt

GAPP Journal 2014
Part # 12 / Vienna - Naschmarkt

Fresh Fruit from around the World
We scaled the steps up to street level and were deposited at the entrance to Vienna's famous open air market known locally as the NaschmarktA popular destination for locals and tourists alike, the market is a great place to pick up fresh foods, including those from distant lands.  The stands were overflowing with colorful products from fresh vegetables, fruit, nuts, olives, spices, and even specialty teas. Many of the vendors appeared to be foreign from countries to the south and east.  I love to visit the local farmer's markets around my home of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, which often take place on one specific day or two every week.  Root's Market near East Petersburg is always on a Tuesday, Green Dragon happens every Friday outside Ephrata, and Central Market in Lancaster City is only open on Wednesday and Saturday.  Each market has their own specific personality and flavor of goods catering to specific customers.  Central Market is more global and offers specialty foods that appeal to a variety of ethnic palates and restrictive diets more likely found in the city.  The others offered more locally grown, fresh, and basic foods common within the Pennsylvania Dutch tradition of a rural farming lifestyle.

 Interior / Exterior Cafe Seating
 The Naschmarkt, which is open Monday through Saturday, was much more exotic and high class than any from back home.  The stalls were all well maintained, clean, and were neatly organized.  Many of the fine eateries had enclosed seating areas that were chic in design and accented with green plants that provided some privacy from passersby.  Wine was served in fine stemware in some of the high-end booths and the foods they served suggested culinary delicacies.  However, there was something for everyone and I was able to find a Turkish stand touting fresh chicken-nuden in a box to eat on the go!  The market was long and narrow and paralleled the space between the rail line and the edge of the city for almost a full mile.  Everyone was very friendly, obviously very accustomed to encountering the many tourists who stop in to experience one of Vienna's top and oldest attractions.  Two young ladies, who were selling about a hundred different varieties of candied fruits, posed for my camera as I took the shot of their colorful stand.  The Naschmarkt dates all the way back to the 16th century, where milk was sold to the city's residents in bottles made from ash wood, which is how the market received its name.

Global Tea Market
Our kids really enjoyed exploring the market and trying the various foods available for a quick lunch.  I also picked up a few souvenirs for back home, including some unique tea mugs from India for my wife and son, who are avid tea drinkers.  The row of buildings on the edge of the city were very beautiful and mostly the iconic white plaster that flowed throughout the city.  Several of the buildings were accented with various forms of art including Romanesque statues, sculptured planters, and several were accented with subtle color through painted stenciled patterns.  One building that caught my eye had a huge portrait painting of a young woman's face displayed on its side wall upside down, which covered the entire space.  The painting of the woman, with her eyes closed, was created in various shades of blue.  It was very bold, beautiful, and complimented the artistic personality of the city.  It was piece created in the modern art style, which stood out in contrast with the traditional historic white building, which supported the enormous canvas.  Our departure time was approaching quickly and time, the enemy of every visiting tourist, was becoming more apparent.  A few students wanted to take one more ride on the U-bahn to the far edge of the city to see the iconic Danube River and I was chosen to go along for the ride.  All aboard!

 Two Women at the Market
The train from the Naschmarkt to the historic Danube was all above ground and the train flew at such a high rate of speed; it was hard to really see the landscape rushing past the windows.  The train came to a stop at a small, elevated platform above an island in the middle of the river.  The 13-mile long island known as the Donauinsel or Danube Island, which was created when an additional channel of the Danube was excavated in the 1970s, is known as the Neue Donau or New Danube.  The purpose of the channel and accompanying created island is to provide additional protection for Vienna from flash floods that threaten all cities built along the banks of Europe's fabled powerful rivers.  Donauinsel has also become a great space for recreation for the city's residents.  The Danube on either side of the narrow island seemed to appear as two different waterways entirely due to their stark contrast in color. (See Photo Below) The main river channel, which was the much wider of the two, appeared gray in color with the city skyline running parallel with the distant riverbank.  The New Danube was a deep rich blue color, reminiscent of the river's romantic and historic mystique.

 The Deep Blue Waters of the New Danube
The buildings to the east of the New Danube were more modern design with clean smooth lines, many shrouded in a skin of tinted glass.  There were also residential apartment complexes that were also symmetrical and modern in design.  Unlike the center of the city, the buildings of this mixed area of business and residential urban life were less congested with structures placed far apart from one another.  This openness provided a different, more relaxed feel than that of the busy crowded city streets to the west.  The hillside far bank of the New Danube was full of sunbathers taking advantage of the day's beautiful weather but few were in the water.  In fact, the only swimmer was a large dog that was swimming out to retrieve a ball thrown by the dog's owner on the edge of the shore.  A bunch of our students got the brilliant idea of jumping in to go swimming in the channel.  I pointed out this was not wise to jump into an unknown river, especially when there were no other people swimming.  In addition, we were due to leave on our train home within an hour and a half and the long ride would not be pleasant soaking wet.  The students were extremely upset with me and vehemently protested my decision to not allow them their free spirit act of reckless abandon and spontaneity.  Sometimes it is really hard to be the only grownup in the group!

 Lighthouse of Copa Cagrana of the Sunken City
I sat down on the edge of the bank, took off my shoes, and soaked my tired, aching bare feet in the cool water of the river.  I suggested the students do the same to semi-satisfy their intense desire to jump in the river.  However, the students were in no mood to compromise and boycotted my olive branch invitation to join me.  Despite their continuous complaints, I remained unbending in my position and refused to put their safety in jeopardy with our exit pending within the hour.  We had made it through the whole weekend without incident and I wasn't going to risk fumbling the ball near the conclusion of the fourth quarter.   I corralled our group and we headed back up to the elevated platform to wait for the return train.  The station provided an excellent view of the rich blue waters of the New Danube to the south and on the opposite side was the lighthouse of a recreation area known as Copa Cagrana and the Sunken City.  This area comes alive at night with its many restaurants, cocktail bars, and open-air discotheques... but the nightlife would have to wait for some other visit as our train came into view.  We raced back into the city to our designated meeting place at the entrance of the Naschmarkt, where we had a few minutes before heading back to our hotel to collect our bags before departing the city for home.

View of Danube, Danube Island, and New Danube
(Photo Credit /© Bwag Commons Taken from top of D.C. Tower)
A few minutes later we prepared to ride the "U" back to our hotel and counted everyone to be sure we all had returned on time.  Much to my surprise, several of our students who had recently been to visit Danube Island were soaking wet!  Apparently, as soon as we had arrived back at the Naschmarkt, they turned around and jumped back on the train to return to Donauinsel, where they ran down and jumped into the Danube.  Nothing like a little defiance to make the teenage experience in Vienna complete!  I guess they showed me but then again, they were soaking wet and it was a long train ride home.  Hope it was worth it but I guess, when in Vienna... It was a great tip, an amazing experience I will never forget!  Thanks to Wendy for all she did to make our overnight stay in Vienna such a success!  

View of the D.C. Tower from the River

No comments:

Post a Comment

Total Pageviews