I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but it has been another cold week. And although it’s now officially spring, the weather doesn’t seem to care and is continuing with its old tricks of snow and wind. But at least we had a delicious week in the Weinviertel!

Monday 18/3: We worked in the morning then had a delicious lunch in the Harlekin Café, accompanied by a glass of wine of course! Then we explored the town a little, stopping in shops every couple of minutes to get out of the cold. I think this meant we bought more than we’d planned to — we certainly unpacked a lot of dinner food when we got home.

Tuesday 19/3: After another morning of work, we headed to a small restaurant that advertised a Tagesmenu of soup and a main course for only €5.90 — and it was delicious! The onion soup had a dumpling in it, and the main course was a turkey stew with rice. A card on the table was advertising “bieramisu” which Craig couldn’t resist — and fair enough too, it was tasty.

In the evening we decided to make use of one of the hotel facilities, the sauna. It was wonderful and relaxing, but I forgot to take off my glasses until five minutes into the session, and the coating on them cracked, making them unusable. I spent the next half hour buying new ones online.

Oh, that delicious heuriger food.
Oh, that delicious heuriger food.
Wednesday 20/3: Since we’d had such a great meal there on Tuesday, and because Craig liked the look of the menu for today, we headed back to the same restaurant for a lunch of bauerngröst’l. Usually this is mostly potatoes, but this version had about four different types of meat in it, as well as potatoes and chopped-up dumplings. It was delicious and very filling, and we both needed a nap afterwards.

Later on though, we headed out to a heuriger on the edge of town. The “heuriger calendar” had caught our attention on arrival in our hotel, but somehow it took us three days to get to one! Strange, since heurigers are one of Craig’s favourite things in the entire world: farmhouse restaurants serving locally produced meats, cheeses, and other food, accompanied by a healthy pour of local wines. Yum.

The place was packed, and we had to share a table with an older couple who was very patient with our halting German. We managed to make ourselves understood, though, and even understood a fair bit of what they were saying. Brilliant.

Thursday 21/3: Our new favourite restaurant doesn’t offer a Tagesmenu on Thursdays, so we had to look for an alternative. We chose a bakery restaurant, but misread the sign outside — what we thought was a pretty good-value Tagesmenu was really just one slightly overpriced main course. Sad.

There's nothing like schnapps to finish a meal with.
There’s nothing like schnapps to finish a meal with.
Our colds hadn’t quite bitten the dust, so we spent the afternoon inside, working and resting, then had lentil salad for dinner.

Friday 22/3: We’d been planning to go back to the heuriger in the evening, but I just wasn’t up for it. We did have ice-cream in a shop that opened during the week though, which is where I met Sid (it was a little scary). We ended up having a simple dinner in our room, and complete forgot to make use of the sauna again!

Saturday 23/3: After a leisurely breakfast buffet, we packed up and hopped on a series of trains which eventually took us to Linz. While gazing out the window on the first leg of the journey, Craig and I saw lot of deer — several pairs resting in the trees, then a herd of ten or so grazing in a field. It was awesome!

For the trip from Vienna to Linz, we travelled by Westbahn, which offers much cheaper prices than ÖBB for on-the-day travel. The train was pretty full but very pleasant, and we were impressed that the food and drink prices were so reasonable.

Sabine met us at the station, as always (I love that we have an “as always”!), and we dropped off our bags then headed straight out to run some errands. First we visited the Jack Wolfskin store to see about exchanging Craig’s shrunken shirt (they have to send it to Germany for a decision) and then we picked up some groceries for our late lunch of burritos.

We spent the rest of the day playing Phase 10 and watching Downton Abbey, and Sabine baked us a cake — this woman is awesome.

Sunday 24/3: Last time we were in Linz, Sabine’s parents invited us on an excursion that had to be cancelled because her dad was sick. This time, though, he was perfectly healthy, and they invited us over for a delicious lunch of stuffed peppers and ant cake. We also got to meet Sabine’s sister Gabi and her boyfriend Max, which was great! After lunch, we played a version of Yahtzee then headed home for more games and more Downton.

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