Austria
Inner city

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  • Day79

    Marathons (half), Music and Mozart

    November 17, 2019 in Austria ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    On Friday we said goodbye to Budapest and travelled by train to Vienna. Vienna is a beautiful city filled with many, many baroque style buildings as well as numerous statues and monuments. It seems that whenever we turn a corner or wander down a side street, we are met with another beautiful building. What also makes Vienna more spectacular at this time of year are the Christmas markets, so many of Vienna’s squares are lit up and made even prettier.

    Upon visiting St. Stephan’s Christmas market, we were approached by a man selling concert tickets for the Vienna Royal Orchestra. Because Vienna is known for music, we felt this was not an opportunity we could pass up. The concert was simply amazing! Made up of soloists from the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, the Vienna Symphony Orchestra and the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, it showcased many of Mozart’s and Strauss’ well known classical pieces. Some of the pieces also involved ballet as well as opera. I will never forget the look on Neve’s face when the pianist performed a solo and she remarked on how fast both of his hands moved across the keyboard.

    What better way for the girls to learn about Mozart by visiting his apartment where he lived for 3 and a half years. We learned that Mozart travelled across Europe at the age of 7 for three and a half years with his family to perform in various countries for the aristocracy. We also learned that he composed over 600 pieces of music and that on average, he wrote 6 pages, consisting of 12 rows of music per day. Neve was especially surprised to learn that he also had a serious gambling problem and squandered much of his money.

    Last but not least, when we heard that Eliud Kipchoge ran his sub-2 hour marathon in Vienna, David researched the route Eliude ran. Lucky for us, the route is about 1 km from the apartment we are renting. So at 6:30 a.m. on Sunday morning, David and I biked over, thanks to Vienna’s City Bike program, to run a half marathon following Eliud’s route. We started on the Reichsbrucke Bridge, just as Eliude did and followed his route through Prater park. The route also involved a small pedestrian 210 meter roundabout as well as an 810 meter roadway roundabout. The race course was completely flat and while David and I did not have 41 race pacers or lasers showing us where to run, I completed my run in 1:57:03, my first sub-2 half while David finished his half in 1:59:40 (the time it took Eliud to run a full marathon). We’ll have to work on our speed training some more.

    Clarinda
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  • Day83

    Viennese Christmas Markets

    November 21, 2019 in Austria ⋅ ⛅ 10 °C

    We have been in Vienna for 7 days and we have been to at least 9 Christmas markets. Every day we have chosen a different Christmas market to go to, but sometimes along the way, there’s another one. There are lots of stalls with people selling all sorts of handcrafted toys and christmas decorations. We tried some hot chocolate and some kinder punch and it was some of the best hot chocolate I have ever had. All of the drinks are sold in really nice Christmas mugs. You can keep the mug if you want, or you can return it and get your deposit back. Every Christmas market has a different mug. Me and Neve got to keep mugs in the shape of a stocking.

    There are also lots of people selling food like Christmas cookies, giant pretzels and candied nuts. We have tried the candied nuts multiple times which come in different flavors like chocolate or chilli. There are all kinds of different nuts too. When I walk by the stands, it smells so good. We have also tried some Christmas cookies. They are in the shapes of bells, cats, dogs and gingerbread people and they have iced on designs. A lot of people hang them on their Christmas trees and then eat them after Christmas is over. There is also a lot of people who sell marzipan, which my mom really likes.

    Little gnomes called tomtes or nisse are really popular here. They are a mythical creature with a long beard and a pointy hat. We got a few of them to hang on our Christmas tree next year and a few for decoration. They come in lots of different sizes. I saw some that were a foot tall, and some that were only two inches tall. The tomtes come in lots of different colors and different styles. Some of the gnomes are skiing, and most of them don’t have arms or legs or any eyes. They are super cute and I wanted to buy all of them to bring home with me.

    We visited most of the Christmas markets during the day, but at night there are lights in the streets and on the stalls. The lights make the Christmas markets really cozy and pretty. Lots of locals go to the Christmas markets after work with their friends.

    At one of the most popular markets, Rat Haus, me and Neve went skating. There’s an outdoor rink with a pathway around it and you can skate for the whole day if you want to. It was really fun. It wasn’t too busy in the afternoon, but it got really busy at around 4:00 when school was done for most kids. Rat Haus is in front of the city hall and it looks really cool with all the lights at night. Tomorrow evening we are going to our last Christmas market. I wish we were spending our Christmas in Vienna.

    Sophie
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  • Day1

    Marmeladenbrötchen im Justizcafe

    December 13, 2019 in Austria ⋅ ⛅ 0 °C

    Wien wirkte vom Flugzeug aus wie mit Puderzucker bestäubt, bei näherer Betrachtung war der Schnee jedoch schon matschig und verflüchtigte sich schnell.

    Nachdem wir die Koffer im Hotel abgegeben hatten, ging es mit dem D-Wagen Richtung Volkstheater und Museumsquartier. Wir hatten gelesen, dass es im Justizpalast in der 6. Etage ein Cafe und außerdem eine Außenterrasse mit hübscher Aussicht geben soll. Dort wollten wir frühstücken.

    Gut gelaunte Sicherheitskräfte durchleuchteten uns und zogen für die Dauer unseres Aufenthaltes den Amaretto ein. Die junge Dame meinte scherzend, die Flasche wäre dann aber vielleicht leer.

    Ein Besuch des Justizpalastes lohnt in jedem Fall. Die Eingangshalle mit der großen Treppe ist schon beeindruckend und wird bedeckt von einer riesigen Glaskuppel.

    Das Frühstück war ok, die Aussicht war schön ... wenn man sich die Baukräne wegdenkt. In jedem Fall war es ein netter Auftakt.

    Danach ging es auch gleich für den ersten Glühwein auf die nächstgelegenen Weihnachtsmärkte, die in diesem Fall der im Museumsquartier und der am Rathaus waren. Am Rathaus gibt es dieses Jahr auch eine Eisbahn.

    Irgendwann machte sich das frühe Aufstehen (02:30 Uhr!) dann aber bemerkbar, und nach einem Kaffeehausbesuch mit Kaiserschmarrn und Sachertorte fuhren wir für eine kleine Siesta zurück ins Hotel.

    Abends ging es zum Essen ins "Mozart & Meisl". Das hatte Britta im Fernsehen entdeckt. Eine urige Kneipe mit dunkler Holzvertäfelung, knarrendem Holzboden und netter Bedienung, in der man sehr lecker essen oder auch nur an der Bar etwas trinken kann.

    Nun sind wir platt. Morgen geht's weiter.
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  • Day2

    Wir werden platziert

    December 14, 2019 in Austria ⋅ ☀️ 3 °C

    Der heutige Tag begann wieder mit Kultur. Wir besuchten die Nationalbibliothek, genauer gesagt, deren Prunksaal aus dem 18. Jahrhundert. Der ist schon sehr beeindruckend. Die Wände sind voller uralter Bücher und die 20 m hohe Decke ist kunstvoll bemalt.

    Da wir noch frisch und ausgeruht waren, besuchten wir auch noch die Augustinerkirche nebenan.

    Der Naschmarkt darf bei einem Wienbesuch natürlich auch nicht fehlen. Auf dem Weg dorthin kehrten wir in Landtmanns Museum Cafe ein. Unterwegs waren wir schon am Cafe Mozart vorbeigekommen, vor dem eine Menschenschlange darauf wartete, von einem Ober in Grüppchen hereingerufen zu werden, wenn mal wieder ein Tisch frei wurde. Und auch wir im Museum Cafe wurden von einem jungen Mann in Empfang genommen und platziert. So ist das halt in Wien.

    Auf dem Naschmarkt war es voll, bunt, und es duftete nach Obst, Gewürzen, Gebäck und auch Fisch. Außerdem nach Glühwein, der dann selbstverständlich getestet wurde.

    Nach dem obligatorischen Abstecher zum Hardrock Cafe ging es zum Weihnachtsmarkt am Karlsplatz. Dort gab es dann einen sündhaft teuren Hut für mich. Superschick. 😁

    Wir streiften noch kurz den Donaukanal und pausierten bei Bier und G'spritztem im "Zattl", bis es Zeit wurde für unser Abendessen im "Melker Stiftskeller". Auch dort wurden wir platziert.

    Das Gute dort ist, dass man das Essen schon wieder abtrainiert hat, wenn man die hundert Stufen zum WC absolviert.

    Es war ein rundum schöner Tag, und die Füße tun sogar weniger weh als Gestern.
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  • Day82

    Cafe Central -- Vienna

    November 20, 2019 in Austria ⋅ 🌧 8 °C

    On a allé a plusieurs boulangeries et cafés, mais hier on a allé a ma préféré. C’était un café/restaurant très fancy. Ils avaient beaucoup de desserts avec du gâteau et du chocolat qui ressemblaient délicieux. On devait marcher une demie heure dans la pluie pour arriver, et on a attendu dans une ligne dehors pour 15 minutes avant qu’on pouvait entrer.

    On a eu une grande pièce de strudel aux pommes avec du crème glacée et du crème fouetté. Moi et Neve ont aussi eu du chocolat chaud avec du crème fouetté dessus. Le strudel était la meilleur strudel que j’ai mangé et le chocolat chaud est aussi un des meilleurs chocolats chauds que j’ai bu. Ma mère nous laisse jamais mangé ce montant de sucreries, alors c’est un bon chose que mon père était là. Après, on devait marcher 40 minutes à la maison dans la pluie, mais je pense que ça valait la peine.

    Sophie
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  • Day33

    Show #16 Wien

    December 19, 2019 in Austria ⋅ ☁️ 9 °C

    Unsere Anreise startete dieses mal deutlich eher. Um 15uhr haben wir mit dem Nightliner Werne verlassen. Auf in den nächsten Show Block. Diesmal sind es vier Städte in Folge. Angefangen in Wien.

    Mit ein paar Runden Kniffel und Schocken sowie ein paar alkoholischen Getränken war der Tag/Abend dann aber gerettet.

    Wien war dann, naja Wien eben. Die Stadthalle ist ein schöner Spielort, allerdings hat man auch weite Entladewege und die Wiener Gemütlichkeit bei den örtlichen Kollegen.

    Mittags kam dann leider noch ein Problem bei unseren Szenisch verfahrbaren Lichtpods hinzu, welches wiederum ein Problem am Abend mit sich brachte.
    Naja, in der Pause konnten wir das dann auch beheben und ab dann war es ein entspannter Abend.

    Auf in die schöne Olympiahalle München.
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  • Day12

    VIENNA

    August 19, 2019 in Austria ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    The great thing about a river cruise is that it is your floating hotel and all your meals are available for you, but if you are in a city with so much to offer, spend the time exploring and eat with locals. We had a great lunch at Figlmuller, excellent wienerschnitzel and even better friends to share it with.
    So the morning city tour took us around Vienna and to St. Stephen's a beautiful Catholic church that has great history and beautiful spires you can take an elevator to the top, ok, for a cost.
    We wandered around and ended up at Figlmuller for lunch. Subway back to the ship for 15 minutes and back on the subway to the open market tour with our executive chef. Looking at all the fabulous local produce he purchases for our excellent meals. Toured around with Barry, Aly and Kristina then headed back to the ship via the subway again. Ready for a shower and nap... ok a drink too!!! Rested up on the sun desk till I needed a refill and am now in the lounge pre dinner music and cocktails. Others are back from their afternoon adventure of ' paddling through the wetlands' . Looking forward to hearing their stories.
    More later.
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  • Day4

    Viena 1

    December 29, 2018 in Austria ⋅ 🌬 3 °C

    Once again we went to Viena by bus. 70 km separate us from Bratislava, so this was a short journey. When we arrived it was already a good time to eat and that’s what we did. The Schönnbrunn palace was packed with tourists and no more tickets were available for the day, so we bought them for the following day and strolled around the Christmas market where the traditional Viennese cookies and Christmas decorations. So cold but sooooo beautiful! After checking in with Thomas - our make up breakfast specialist host - we headed to the city centre where it was still possible to visit St. Stephen’s Cathedral and the pedestrian area with the Opera House and the Sacher Hotel with the fancy butler and the Sacher Torte fans queuing outside.
    At eight we met Dorothea and her husband in a nice traditional restaurant with delicious Austrian food!!!
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  • Day25

    Gratitude

    September 6, 2019 in Austria ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

    It's 1AM, and I'm in a friend's Vienna apartment, feeling gratitude for their friendship, and for the way things unfolded and led me here safely.

    The last bike spot on my train. A wild 30-minute ride through city traffic. An Austrian dinner of meat and young wine. The rain held off all day. Now I get to fall asleep listening to it through an open window.Read more

  • Day25

    Augarten Flugabwehrkanonen

    January 6 in Austria ⋅ ☀️ 3 °C

    To spare the over-processing waste, here's some information previously prepared on these ominous towers in Augarten park, eerily surrounded by playgrounds.

    "Flak" is short for "Flugabwehrkanonen" in German – i.e. 'anti-aircraft guns'. They are gigantic bunkers, between 7 and 13 stories high, built towards the end of WWII as bases for heavy anti-aircraft gun batteries on the roof. The lower floors also served as air-raid shelter space for the city's population.

    These towers always came in pairs – one for the actual gun batteries, called the "Gefechtsturm", the other, the "Leitturm", was for radar and other tracking devices, which needed to be separate from the guns in order to work properly.

    Three cities in the Third Reich (on the territory of today's Germany and Austria) were thus supposed to be better protected from the increasing Allied bombing campaigns during the second half of WWII: Hamburg, Berlin and Vienna. The latter two had three pairs each. Only in Vienna, however, do all towers still exist. 

    The guns didn't do much to prevent the large-scale destruction from the air, but they did serve their second role well – that of providing air-raid shelter space for the densely populated cities. They also served a propaganda function, creating the illusion of safety despite the fact that this war already was as good as lost at the time these towers were erected.

    After WWII, the Flaktowers in Berlin and Hamburg were largely destroyed but those in Vienna remain.

    The pair in Augarten are almost 180 feet (55m) and rise from the open plain of the Augarten (the city's oldest park), visible from far away. The larger Gefechtsturm is also of a unique design: it's 16-sided, i.e. almost round. The tower within the army barracks is of the same design, but you can't see it from anywhere, at least not from street level in public areas. The round structure was apparently meant to be more efficient and economical – it was the latest of the three designs of these uniquely (Nazi-)German bunker structures. The Augarten pair was only finished in early 1945.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Gemeindebezirk Innere Stadt, Innere Stadt, Inner city, Sentrum, 1010

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