After having a cup of coffee at the hostel, I made my way towards a large park.
It was still early and cool as I walked past a community garden and cafe. Great idea!
A yard without a garden used to be a sign of wealth, that you had land you willing didn’t use for food. We are slowing going back, using our land to grow a few things or house chickens.
Inside this park were several huge concrete structures with domed roofs. These were used during WWII to spot air raids as well as look over the citizens.
This park had at least two of these structures and they were fenced off, but still had graffiti on the base.
More walking in this park revealed a small kid’s pool with diving boards. What a cool park!
Only a few blocks away and the area totally changed to small bars and dancing clubs, which were more than likely brothels.
Most of the cities I visited had businesses on the ground floor and 2 or more stories of dwellings on top. I’ve no doubt that most of the shop owners lived above their work for the ultimate in commuting.
I soon was upon a rail station, but the Danube River was still 30 min walk further and I was hot, thirsty.
To my great fortune I was close to a real beirgarten inside an amusement park.
Such a huge place! Rows and rows of wooden tables, most sat 8+. All full today.
There were some large wooden barrels that looked ok for standing as they had a stack of coasters on them.
Surprisingly, I was served quickly despite how crowded it was.
They had real Budweiser on draft, Budvar as its called. You could only get this beer in Europe, well I’d only seen it in Europe anyway.
Many years before Busch moved to the US to brew what became Bud, they made Budweiser in the Czech Republic. I’m sure he didn’t ever think it would be an issue.
Flash forward and now US Bud keeps suing to use the name, yet the original has been around a lot longer. In fact you cannot get a Budweiser overseas, just Bud or Budvar.
They poured beers here with a tremendous amount of head, it’s frothy suds stood several inches over the rim and slowly oozed down the side of the glass.
I spied a local who sucked a space through the foam to the rim, then with each sip, sucked more of the foam until it settled.
I copied his system and drank my first draft Budvar. It was good, a light Pilsner.
The thing to eat here seemed to be pork knuckle, an immense pig knee that the waiter delivered to the table, grabbed the bone that was sticking out of the meat, cracked it forwards and wriggled it clean out.
After ordering another pint, I watched a guy slowly consume nearly an entire knuckle slice by slice, even the crispy skin. He was aided by his wife who he cut pieces off for with surgical precision, even cutting pieces of skin for the other ladies at the table.
I had been standing in silence next to an older guy reading a newspaper at the barrel, but he finished and bade me ‘gutentag’ with a wave as he left.
While I finished my pint, I thought I heard rain, so I looked up to see a glass awning and plants. They were just watering the plants up there, the water rolled down and dripped into a large barrel to be used again, no doubt.
I got a bit lost on my way back, ran into a group of Hassidic school kids, who had either skin shaved heads or large brimmed black hats. Long ringlets of hair flew in the breeze as they rode by on razors.
I’d been walking over 2 hours by the time I made it back to my room. I soon dozed off for about an hour.
I woke up fairly hungry and recalled a noodle joint next to the river, only 20 min walk.
The spot was very small so I decided to eat outside and watch the sun set in a small park with a nice view of the river.
Almost immediately upon sitting down, I was approached by 2 guys who sat near me, softly talking to each other.
One turned to me and said something in German, Austrian I didn’t understand. He then made hand gestures to his mouth, food.
I had noodles and dumplings so I paused a second, better to give him my dumplings, he needed it more than I did.
He began to cry and his friend consoled him as he ate the each of dumplings in one bite.
I always feel vexed by beggars because I see both sides. Feeding them is enabling them to continue to live off the streets, but that isn’t the best or healthiest living arrangement. Yet they are humans, so do you just not give them food? If you have enough, why not share?
I was a short walk to a local brewery, Beaver Brewing, and I figured I actually deserved one this time seeing as I gave away some food and all.
Of course the bartendress was very pretty Asian lady, but not immediately apparent. She gracefully took care of the entire bar plus the outside.
She seemed to speak a few languages, talking to me in English, German and a bit of French I believe I overheard.
After a couple pints I sauntered home, my final night in the 1 bed room suite.
Beer: Beery McBeerface
Song: Mozart Marriage of Figaro