Europe daily blog #6: Big burgers before being back on the road

Big Mama 1-0 Tom & Tom

Big Mama 1-0 Tom & Tom

With today being our final day in Vienna, we wrapped up the itinerary with a trip to a couple of interesting landmarks.

That is, unfortunately, all we could cram in – not surprising after we were so full from chowing down on a gargantuan meal the night before.

If you follow either of my Facebook or Instagram pages, then you will most likely have seen a picture of the ‘Big Mama Burger,’ one of the mega options available at XXL Restaurant Leopoldauer Alm, which is a ten-minute ride on the U-Bahn from the city centre.

Tom Haygarth (left) and Tom Woods (right) vs Big Mama Burger (centre)

Tom Haygarth (left) and Tom Woods (right) vs Big Mama Burger (centre)

Two of the lads didn’t feel up to taking on Big Mama, so me and Tom decided to give it a go. The burger, which was intended for four people, was €40 and came with a hefty serving of fries, onion rings and dipping sauce.

For €20 each, we certainly got our money’s worth, battling through three-quarters of the burger before throwing the towel in.

To be fair to the both of us, we were trying to tackle double portions which alone would be a mammoth task.

Between the thick slices of bread at the top and bottom of the burger, there was a large helping of lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber, a thick, 1.3-kilogram patty, three thick layers of sliced smoked meat, an abundance of cheese, lots of red onion and a lavishing of thousand island dressing.

Last night it was our Everest, and stomach cramps were apparent at 5am this morning, as if to remind me that Big Mama is still the boss.

Luckily we were both okay when we awoke properly, and after checking out of the hotel headed back towards Stephensplatz, from which we all enjoyed a short walk in the sun to the Judenplatz Holocaust Memorial.

Judenplatz Holocaust Memorial in the Vienna sunshine.

Judenplatz Holocaust Memorial in the Vienna sunshine.

I was initially surprised that there wasn’t more to it, although I’m sure more information could have been found in the Jewish Museum, located just a few feet away.

The memorial itself, however, was quite impressive. A collection of plain, outward-facing books pays homage to the 65,000 Austrian Jews murdered by the Nazi regime. No wonder it is also called the Nameless Library.

A close up at the books on the memorial.

A close up at the books on the memorial.

A photographer walks away from Judenplatz Holocaust Memorial after taking some snaps of her own.

A photographer walks away from Judenplatz Holocaust Memorial after taking some snaps of her own.

On the floor, the names of all of the concentration camps where they were all killed were inscribed alongside epitaphs in both German and English.

Although it is a poignant reminder of the atrocities committed over seven decades ago, we didn’t take much time to reflect because we had to head off quickly to the Donauturm – or Danube Tower.

The Donauturm in the distance, rising above buildings at Vienna International Centre.

The Donauturm in the distance, rising above buildings at Vienna International Centre.

A clearer view of the Danube Tower from Donauturm Park.

A clearer view of the Danube Tower from Donauturm Park.

Here we paid just under €7 to head up to the observation deck, which gave stunning 360-degree views of the surrounding areas through a caged outdoor area, and an indoor deck with floor-to-ceiling glass panels.

Another one of the Toms enjoying the view from the Donauturn observation deck.

Another one of the Toms enjoying the view from the Donauturn observation deck.

Looking out over the city of Vienna.

Looking out over the city of Vienna.

The rest of the lads wanted some refreshments and we headed up to the café above the observation deck. Coffees, cake and a hot chocolate were the order of the day, and it was all enjoyed, again, with an impeccable view over the greater Vienna area. The café and above restaurant also rotate, so it is possible to enjoy the entire panorama from the comfort of your own seat.

Food and drink can be enjoyed with a spectacular view at the Donauturm café.

Food and drink can be enjoyed with a spectacular view at the Donauturm café.

With time winding down until our 15:10 coach to Prague, we had to make a dart from the tower, grab a quick bite to eat for lunch, and race to Vienna Erdberg bus station.

Waiting at the station to head back towards the city centre.

Waiting at the station to head back towards the city centre.

Despite some last-minute panic, we managed to get there about five minutes before the coach was due to depart. It was at that moment I received a text message on my phone saying that the service had been delayed about 10 minutes due to ‘operational difficulties.’ So much for rushing.

On the coach to Prague.

On the coach to Prague.

In the end we arrived in Prague this evening. On first look, it seems a lot different to Vienna. One thing’s for certain, though, I won’t be having a large for my evening meal tonight.