On May 6th, Route 28 celebrated European diversity in unity

Welcomed by a friendly crowd basking in the early spring sun at Museumsquartier, a friend and I made the queue, ready to indulge in our fix of Wanderlust and a Pan-European tour of Vienna. Skimming through the info-booklet, we opted for the green route, combining the culinary charms of France, Germany and Poland – just the thing for epicureans like us.

As we waltz off to our first destination, we snap some shots of the lively MQ, which is brimming with color, chatter and music. Soon, we reach “France”, and popular hipster hangout Le Troquet. Located in the 7th district, this petite bistro painted an appealing picture of the French capital, calling out Bienvenue! with plaid tablecloths, and enticing displays of cheese and croissants. As we got cozy, Françoise Lang, a French game inventor, introduces us to his most recent creation La vie est-elle un jeu? (Is life a game?), an interactive play celebrating losers and dissidents. In France, he says, the tradition of socializing and sipping wine before the main course is “un apéro,” insider lingo for what we would-be connoisseurs call an aperitif.

As the clock strikes 15:15, the guide summons our group, and we are off to our next stop: Germany. In the rustic Café 7Stern right around the corner, we give our feet a rest, and tune our ears to Henrik Szanto and Jonas Scheiner, the moderators of today’s Poetry Slam session. Witty and full of fun, they announce the four slammers, who versify personal tales of life in Austria, from the perspective of a Piefke (an affectionate Austrian insult for their northern neighbors) A German goes through agony, apparently, when caught mistaking a perfectly normal Sackerl (shopping bag) for a Tüte (a dreaded symbol of Prussian insensitivity). To take in their next show, see info at fomp.eu.

Forty-five minutes later, we head out, with the warm breeze gently assisting our step towards the final station of the day – Poland. At the ichkoche.at cooking studio in the 6th district, the tables are already set, decorated with flowers and carefully folded napkins. Friendly faces invite us to join in the art of making Pierogi, traditional polish stuffed pastries. The master chef, Wanda Piotrowski, demonstrates the twist-and-twirl technique to creating not just tasty, but visually appealing savory pillows filled with meat or vegetables. Soon it was our turn, as we indulged in plates piled high with the miniature delicacies, shamelessly competing for the last half dozen on the platter.

Still bursting with impressions of the day, I began to understand the meaning of the saying, “the way to a man’s heart is through the stomach”. As a crowning touch, we enjoyed the sunset over a glass of wine, humming to the soft piano reverberating in the square, heralding the pleasures of whatever the evening has in store.

Route 28 is a project organized by MOSAIK and is planned again for 2018. Metropole will be there.