Date: Thursday, July 24, 1958
Place: Vienna, Austria
Weather: Rainy – cool
Went to bed at 3:30 last night and up at 7:00 – this is one morning I would have loved to stay in bed! Crispin drove us to the train station and we left at 10:00. Jim thought it would be neat if we went with them in their car. Good luck! Nearly froze to death on the train, tried sleeping, very uncomfortable, and reading, Frankenstein, which I got yesterday when I was in a bad mood.
Arrived at 4:30 and went straight to our Hotel Mariahilf where we got mail. (I had six letters, one from Bill which he sent to Amsterdam, two from Mom, one from Jane D., Jane B., and Pat McG.!) We had to hurry and get ready for a Heurigen Party. (Wine) Grinzing, Vienna Woods at 6:30, that was really fabulous. Each place in the section had ever-greens over the door if the wine was ready. First we ate – plates full of cold meats, swiss cheese, and of course that ever lovin hard roll, and wine! I sat next to this darling fellow (looked something like Christian) who graduated when I did and is now an engineer, named Kurt. We sang and had a great time. He told me some good places to get cashmeres.
Poor Judy S. was really high on two glasses of wine, so instead of going dancing after, Sue, Marge, and I brought her home and put her to bed. What a panic! We made her drink black coffee, which she said tasted like Carter’s Little Liver Pills! Happy Hang-over!!
The existence of Austrian heurigen (wine taverns) began to grow in the 18th century after Emperor Joseph II decreed that the country’s wine producers could sell their most recent wines directly to the public. Heuriger translates to “this year’s wine”.
A heuriger does not operate like a traditional restaurant. It is allowed to serve only its own wines and generally offers a limited amount of food (small, local dishes). In addition, a heuriger is often open for a short period of time, usually two to three weeks. Traditionally, heurigen display a bundle of evergreen twigs over the front door to signal that they are open for business.
Live Viennese folk music (Schrammelmusik) can be enjoyed at heurigen – it is often performed by an accordion and violin duo. The musicians walk from table to table, playing songs upon request. The characteristic warmth and comfortable atmosphere cultivated at heurigen is referred to as Gemütlichkeit.