A Travellerspoint blog

- Hallstatt

semi-overcast 23 °C
View Austria - Summer 2010 & ISRAEL - all around on vanessa's travel map.

Just absolute beauty, real gem of Austria - the village of Hallstatt hidden between mountain picks. Village is mirroring in the cool waters of lake. There are many attractions there: salt mines that possible to visit, hiking in the mountains (also elevator is avaliable for lazy ppl), in hot days possible to swim and even dive (scuba!) in the lake. Also all kinds of activities are avaliable ( mountain biking, rafting, kayaking, paragliding,etc.)
Cultural Heritage Museum, which is really impressive: 7000 years in history is serious record. Archeology, accurate presentations of old (sometimes pre-historic)technologies, etc.
Giant Ice Cave - so-called "Weather hole".

I was attracted to Hallstatt for two magore things: its stunning beauty and bone house (Beinhaus). This Beinhaus is really unusual thing. Couple of ages ago local cemetery was floated with running waters few times ( I have read about it) and big part of it was distroyed. Also it (cemetery) is too small, with no possibility to enlarge (all the village is about 2 streets and it's located on the mountain's feet, btw rocks and water of the lake). Finally, graves were opened, the skulls were removed along, cleaned and exposed to the sun and moon light for weeks until they were bleached ivory white. They they were painted. The Beinhaus in Hallstatt dates back to twelve century but the last skull to go into the Beinhaus was in 1995, so there is 9 ages of history and collection of almost 300 years of skull-painting. The catholic parish church on the same cemetery dates back to 1181.


Posted by vanessa 14:31 Archived in Austria Comments (0)


Salt Fortress

sunny 24 °C

Salzburg is outstanding, and, with no doubt, it's one of these famous "must visit" places in Austrian Alps and in whole Europe. Town of reasonable size (walkable, may be crossed by feet during 1 day), mostly built in baroque style, Salzburg is the capital city of the State (Salzburg Land). Also Salzburg is the birthplace of Mozart and place where movie The Sound of Music, was filmed. You meet Mozart and Sound of Music everywhere, in all possible combinations. I call it "Mozart for sale" and try to avoid, which is difficult but possible.

Hohensalzburg Fortress of 11th cenury.

Salzburg has also: 3 universities, very nice river and Mirabell Palace (Schloss Mirabell) and Garden. Despite the fact that Schloss itself is 1606 Baroque, the building is a cream-colored box and looks more like a military barracks than a palace. However, Mirabell complex has an interesting history - it was built by Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau for his mistress. The palace fulfilled its purpose: fifteen children were born of their union, ten of whom survived. Gardens are really beautiful and worth a visit!


Many beautiful buildings, sweet yards, museums. Two remarkable cemeteries (St Peter's and St. Sebastian's) - both have impressive churches + catacombs at St. Peter. More palaces, squares, churches, streets & etc.


This time we slept in YoHo Hostel, www.yoho.at - and it was just great! They said "With more than 30 years of hostelling experience we know exactly what backpackers want!", each word was true. Cute, comfortable, clean and all renovated: new beds with crispy white shits, big lockers in the rooms, WIFI connection, helpful stuff... etc. etc. Great location - very near to Train Station and short walk to city center. YoHo is just the perfect hostel. (20Eu/ night/ person)

I liked it there: " Please don't smoke in the rooms. We have a new alarm system and it costs 1,200EU if the fire brigade is coming. WE DO NOT TAKE RESPONSIBILITY!

and also shining showers, parquet, elevators, various-propose public rooms and spaces, etc.

On the photo above: Teens in traditional dress are waiting in a queue for ice cream.

I should mention Italian "Il Gusto" shop - prosciutto(ah!) and olives and bread (ahhh!!!) and coffee (a braaavoooo!!!)

and Augustiner Brau - 500 years of craft brewing tradition!

It is impressive building with spacious restaurant, but at hot summer days they prefere to serve in the beer garden.

Posted by vanessa 14:35 Archived in Austria Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

Munich - day 2

Bavarian State Library. English Garden. Market. St Kajetan Church. Hofbräuhaus!!!

sunny 24 °C

Museums of Munich rock, but let's see what else happen around. Here is Bavarian State Library - very impressive! Big, spacy, even imperial construction. Lots of light everywhere.


Walking around...

and then we passed through lovely old botanical garden. Botanical is not that famous as English Garden.

English Garden is huge green area. There are wide fields of green, bushes and benches, briges and roads. There are also a lake and nesessary for Munich landscape beer garden - extremelly crowded!


Lovely market aside of Marien. It offers the freshest fruits and vegetables, traditional Bavarian Schweinshax'n and Speck, bread, sea food, delicious cheeses from all over Europe, herbs, honey products, and hand-made straw puppets are also for sale.

It's also oportunity to eat fresh-prepared autentic Bavarian food in cosy unofficial atmosphere.


ST KAJETAN CHURCH (Theatinerkirche)
Wedding ceremony in St Kajetan Church. Groom & bride are waiting outdoors until they will be allowed to enter inside.

Nearby (against the square) to the St Kajetan Church you may find the etrance gates into Hofgarten. Hofgarten follows the Italian Renaissance gardens tradition. Very nice & relaxing garden. It was created in the 17th century.

Afternoon weather suddenly turned into storm. Sky became black, then opened and ocean of water fault on the city. People run into shops, restaurants, everythng that kept door opened. We found ourselves in Hofbräuhaus beer-house. We didnt have a clue that it's one of the flag beer houses of Munich, but we looked around, liked what we seen and we staid.

Platzl 9, City Center
U/S Bahn Marienplatz
Tel. 089 29 01 36-1 00
Website: Hofbräuhaus
Opening hours: Daily from 9am to 11.30pm

It appear that Hofbräuhaus could be fairly called the number one tourist attraction in the Munich city center. This place is everything that Bavaria is all about. It is a huge beer drinking hall and you'll see all the traditions of a Bavarian beer drinking. I.e. long wooden tables and benches. Beer which is only served in 1 litre sized glasses (the beer "Maß"). Giant pretzels on sale - to soak up the beer. An band playing traditional Bavarian brass band music.

Good beer, good food, good music and excellent mood!
Here we leaving this looooovely place.

Rain already stopped, and wet Munich looks awsome
when sunset turns into dusk.

There are few photos nearby to HB (Hofbräuhaus)

Posted by vanessa 11:44 Archived in Germany Tagged beer munich Comments (0)

Museums of Munich

Day 2.

sunny 24 °C

Sunday is a Museums Day in Munich.
All 4 museums of art (each one presents different period) in KUNSTAREAL MUNCHEN - Museum Quarter are opened at Sundays for free. Well, not exactly for free, but you pay 1 Euro for entrance. It's great oportunity to see all of fthem without taking a loan. They are located next to each other.

Impressive collection of 14th to 18th Century European painting.

Look at these kids - they are ligtning!

Portrait of young man by Durer

One of my favorites Renaissance painters - Filippo Lippi

Look at this portrait.
Is not... Vladimir Putin there? Only I see or you too?
And there are more and more and more - really great collection! But I afrade to make u bored, so, the last one. Yea, madonna and baby Jesus, right. But look carefully - what baby Jesus does exactly? He plays with money and it looks like he gonna ask: "Is it it??? That's all that you give???"


Neue Pinakothek is brilliant museum! It focuses on European Art of the 18th and 19th century (one of the world-best art museums of the 19th cent). Very nice outside, especially at summer with wide incoming steps and cute outdoor cafe near running water.
Inside the construction is simple and clean, full-oriented on expirence of visitor and give good oportunity to concentrate on art collection, which is briliant ( I know I already mentioned this)
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The Pinakothek der Moderne is a modern art museum.
Which means Contemporary Art since the 1960s.
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Mmmmm... saying the truth, I'm not a big fan of this kind of art. But they also have great collection of design, architecture and graphics and keep interesting exhibitions.
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Building itself is impessive piece of modern architecture - virtuose construction, open and wide spaces, much natural light. Designed by the German Architect Stephan Braunfels, the Pinakothek der Moderne was inaugurated in September 2002. Construction took 7 years. White and grey cube of facade is interrupted by large windows and highrising columns, the latter supporting the extensive canopied roof. Each of the four corners of the building, connected by a central rotunda (dedicated to a special collection) and it makes headspinning effect in the glass lobby.
Somehow it remembered me glass construction of Reichstag in Berlin. Together with the Alte Pinakothek, the Neue Pinakothek and Museum Brandhorst it is part of Munich's "Kunstareal" (the "art district").

Museum Brandhorst is a very new one - was opened in 2009. Lovely colorful building next to Pinakotek der Moderne - I took few photos there. Museum have few pieces of K. Malevich and Joan Miro, but baically Brandhorst Museum is dedicated to modern of modern art. The most famous "icon" is Andy Warhol; there are also German cubbist Kurt Schwitters; American Pop-Art artist Alex Katz (just awful!), shocking Damien Hirst, Robert Gober, Eric Fischl and others. We didnt' enter inside - could not do more then 3 museums a day, became overloaded.

Untitled (Leg) by Robert Gober, 1989-90.
Made from beeswax, cotton, wood, leather and human hair.
Ehhhhhhh.... :-( ..... I don't want to sound meaning, but contemporary art too often makes me feeling frustrated.

Posted by vanessa 11:34 Archived in Germany Tagged art museum painting munich bavaria renaissance pinakothek filippo_lippi Comments (0)

Munich - day 1

Walking through

semi-overcast 23 °C

Here is MUNICH - capital city of Bavaria, Germany.
We arrived yesterday night. It was rainy and German part of the road took too long.

Big hostel which takes whole 4 (or 5?) floors of building, settled against long line of factories at another side of the street.
Hostel is busy like a train station, people come -people go, always full in lobby (BTW, good WiFi connection! Andre could even work from there!). We slept in dormit for 16 persons, separated to two sleeping areas with 2 bathrooms attached to the room. It was relatively clean and quet, far from being perfect, but acceptable for 3 nights of sleep there.

Another side of the street

In the lobby.

Breakfast was not included, but they have there nice full equiped kitchen for self-cooking. I have seen Japanee frying chicken there! Other guests were happy with cornflacks and instant soups, maximum with cooking of pasta. What ever. Kitchen was really nice. Old elevator worked hard, getting tired to weekend - at Saturday it just stopped work and we used steps up and down to our 4th floor. Not a big deal as we both could climb steps. What was not nice surprise - at second day of our stay there we found our beds "taken" by someones else. There were two girls who for what ever reason decided that beds are free (? our staff was there). After some negotiation we took our beds back - having a right of being there first.


The greatest benefit of this hostel was its location. It sitts in walking distance to the center and 1/2 of this walking distance - to the train station.

Karlsplatz in rainy morning.
Gates of Karl (Karlstor) - view from karlsplatz.

Neuhauserstrasse begins from Karl's Tour, leaving back Karlsplatz with its fontains. Street is busy with tourists, who come there to combine sightseeing (a lot to see really!) with bubling shopping. I don't think I have seen so intensive shopping in any other place.
(>>> photos of shopping)

FRAUENCKIRHEN (Cathedral of Our Dear Lady)
The red-brick church that peeps from behind of the flagged building of Hirmer on the next photo is famous 2-head Frauenkirche (= Cathedral of Our Dear Lady). It's Munich landmark and is considered a symbol of the Bavarian State Capital. Actually, it's the cathedral of the Archbishop of Munich. The church towers are widely visible because of local height limits. The city administration prohibits buildings with a height exceeding 109 metres (358 ft) in the city center—within the middle ring.

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(Click on thumbnail - to enlarge)

Building, where Kaufingerstraße becomes Neuhauser Straße right in front of Frauenkirche, decorated with flags and flowerboxes, belongs to Hirmer - a German men's clothier. It's not a famous building, but it has very interesting sculptures - you may see few of them on photos below.


Then loooooovely fontain Brunnenbuberl am Karlstor Muenchen at Neuhauser 20 created in 1895 by Matthias Gasteiger.


Sculpture near Museum of Hunting and Fishing (Deutsches Jagd und Fischereimuseum) at Neuhauser Strasse 2.


Richard-Strauss-Brunnen - the bronze column of the 6m/20ft-high fountain is decorated with scenes from Strauss's opera "Salome". Column, staying in front of the Alte Akademie on Neuhauserstrasse, is created by the sculptor Hans Wimmer in 1962. And it makes a fitting memorial to the greatest Munich-born composer.

Marienplatz (3 next photos) is a large open square (Our Lady's Square). It is a central square in the city center of Munich, Germany since 12th cent. There are Marian column, Old and New City Halls, Glockenspiel and numerous beautiful buildings all around.

Click on thumbnails - to enlarge
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Neues Rathaus (New Town hall) is facing Marienplatz. It was built in 19th cent in neo-gothic style. Its not too much to say about the building except its (big!) size. But decorations (sculpture and decorative elements) are outstanding!

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Thumbnails (above), as usual, need b clicked - to enlarge.

Baroque Catolic Church of St Johann Nepomuk, better known as the Asam Church, was built from 1733 to 1746 by the brothers Egid Quirin Asam and Cosmas Damian Asam as their private church. It is framed by the Asamhaus (Asam House) on the left and the Priest's House on the right.

Astonising Asam House is at left of church.

Church is overdecorated - both: at narror fasade and inside as well, it's just overloaded from its head to toes, pardon, from ceiling to floor. Church was built after brother's Asam wishes with no any influence of anyone's else, it supposed to be for private use only. Due to resistance of the citizens, the brothers were forced to make the church accessible to the public.

Soon after the St Nepmuk street comes to city gate.

And more photos of Munich...

Kitch! Definately kitch! But beautiful, isnt it?
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Posted by vanessa 12:41 Archived in Germany Tagged beer hostel backpacking munich bavaria baroque churche Comments (0)

In the way to Munich

Through the rain with Angelica, Fernando and Gabriel

rain 19 °C

The 1st thing to mention - Aug 6 is Andre's Birthday!
So, Happy Brthday, my darling hubby! Cheerzzzzzzzz! :-D

Today we are going with Angelica and her guys to Munich.
Yahooooo! So first we took metro to her place.
Here is the building where Angelica lives.
Angelica wasn't at home - she went to bring a car from rent.
Her grandmother, babysitting Gabriel until Angelica will b back,
entered us into.
Grandie is lovely lady. She is always shiny smiling like a sun.
She collects stamps. When I see any stamp anywhere - I keep it for her. Grandie doesn't speak English and I don't know German, but we sucsessed to communicate. Oma (= grandmother) said me everything about her children and grandchildren; also she said that Gabriel is very smart for his little age and he tought her few words in Spanish.
Gabriel is really a multilingual child. He goes to bilingual (Spanish & German) kindergarden, communicate in German with family of Angelica, in Spanish with Fernando and his fam and, well, Angelica and Fernando speaking English between them.

Finally everyone got ready. We put out ruksaks and Fernando's board into baggage, said to Oma "pa-pa" (=bye-bye) and Angelica drived from Vienna to Munich.
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After short break for lunch in IKEA, we passed first half of way pretty fast. Afternoon turned into rain and all German roads were jammed. We arrived Munich in dusk.

Posted by vanessa 13:42 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

Happy Birthday, Roger!


semi-overcast 24 °C

We celebrated a birthday of Roger today.
We begun morning with presents (fitness profi-wear, as Roger exersises at daily base), then we had a family lunch at home, and afternoon we staffed ourselves with huge portions of excellent icecream!

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Posted by vanessa 07:24 Archived in Austria Comments (0)

Donauinsel - another direction.

Going right

semi-overcast 23 °C

Normally we are going "left" (from home), in directin of the airport; but today we decided to make a change - mostly because of wind direction changed. So we rolled to "right" direction.
It was surprisely very nice: excellent asphalt all the way, streaming drink water and nice views too.


Posted by vanessa 06:26 Archived in Austria Comments (0)

Franz and Nina

Here live Portos and Vasilisa

semi-overcast 22 °C

We all: Roger, mom, Andre and me were invited to lunch to Nina and Franz in their lovely old house in Hutteldorf.
We went there by train

Nina prepared special (too complicated to explain) levels-salad, it was lotsa champagne and tasty cheeses, then it was grilled wings, coffee and yea, cackes. We had prolonged meal and nice chat. Our company is multilingual, each one speaks 2-3 languages, but common is only English.

House is big, but Franz and Nina live at 1st (ground) floor. They have 2 cats - Portos and Vasilisa. Cats are brothers. When you coming from the street - you can see the sign in the window "Here live Portos and Vasilisa".

This is Portos.
At the second floor lives mother of Franz.
House has very interesting history, I'd like to tell it here, but don't want to do it without permission.

Posted by vanessa 16:04 Archived in Austria Comments (0)


“I have to admit I’m Viennese to the core”

rain 21 °C

Gustav Mahler (1860 – 1911), regarded as a genius of the fin de siècle , was an outstanding composer, musician and conductor, talented administrator (director of the Vienna Court Opera) and husband of Alma (most wanted lady of this time).
To celebrate the 150th anniversary of his birth, Austrian Theatre Museum shows great exhibition 11 March 2010 until 3 October 2010.

Gustav Mahler by Emil Orlik (left) and by Auguste Rodin (right)

The secret of Mahler's uniqueness was to combine craft with genius.
Hermann Bahr

Exhibition is perfectly done, clear cut to periods of life with collection of Mahler's photos and briefly biography background. But not the only. It suplies the complete feeling of Vienna of beginning 20th cent, with its style, dresses and salons, with huge building sites (documentary movie of building of Parlament), with sounds of music and almost with the smell of cakes. There are addresses of apartments and cafes, of friend's houses - and most of them are still there!


There are faces of people, who crossed Mahlder's life and their stories; other places in Europe and overseas, where he lived and worked; some masterpiece portraits of Mahler, created by the greatests artists of this time; partiturs and letters with his flying handwriting and music is following you wherever u going. It's possible to speak about this exhibition for longer, but I want to stop right here and mention few things that seem me very special:
1. Book of Peter Vail "Genius Loci" (Петр Вайль, "Гений места") - I can only hope that it's translated to other languages, I have read it in Russian. The book is collection of places in connection with people who lived there, so by P. Vail Vienna=Mahler.
2. Outstanding performance "Alma" - about Mahler's wife Alma, who was very attractive and interesting persone herself. It's performance with no stage, it's running in whole building and you r following actors, moving between time levels and rooms.
3rd is the part of the exhibition, and it's the death mask - kind of things that I personally usually try to avoid. But here it was shown sad, solemnly and beautiful. I just show it to you (the photo below)


Posted by vanessa 03:09 Archived in Austria Comments (1)

30th of July, 2010

Spanish Riding School of Vienna and Vienneze Bronze Objects - which are NO toys!

rain 21 °C

Spanish Riding School of Vienna is a traditional riding school which exists from 16th century. I don't understand much in horses, so wasn't interested to go to performance, but being in area of Hofburg I always passing near, and I like to watch the preparations and after-show scenes.


Today I'm going to exhibition of Mahler in Theatre Museum. On the way I mentioned window of little store which saled miniature bronze sculptures and prints (cityscapes of Vienna).

There are many lovely sceenes.

The frog is bronze, but the fly is real (I think so). It's not clear if the fly dead while seeing the frog or it was killed for advance and composed there for better understanding of the subject. Anyway, these miniature bronzes are beautiful, I have a weakness to little objects. And they are NO toys, as it was mentioned in certificate.


Soon in Vienna - Venetian Heads

Posted by vanessa 03:03 Archived in Austria Comments (0)



rain 23 °C

We have NEW rollerblades!
:-D That is what we call S H O P P I N G !

Posted by vanessa 15:19 Archived in Austria Comments (3)


City market, exists since the 16th century.

semi-overcast 20 °C

Naschmarkt is a biggest inner market in Vienna, exists since 16th cent (some says since 18th). Locals call it the “city’s stomach”. You can buy everything to do with food, there r also some delicatessen favourites and some goods as well.

Upper line, from left to right they are:
sweet cherry > this weird squeezed pink balls are special kind of peaches > yellow rugby - mango.
Bottom line: left corner is pitaya - actually, it's fruit of cactus. Then carambola - I like the shape (cut like stars) and the taste. Two next purple - don't know what! And the last, looks like Kranke Igel (sick hedgehog), is rambutan

On the photo above (left to right): mango, then probably papaya and melon ( I'm not sure) and at bottom line - really exotic fruits. Tamarinde (the name only) I recognise from books of Marquez. Physalis - I know as decorative flower, never thought to taste it.

JACK FROCHT - was ist das?

Beautiful pumpkins.

And those bottles below, each of them has different taste and flavor. What do you think they are? It's vinegar(s)! There are about 100 (or more?) different vinegars in this store. I thought that after famous Borough Market in London (delicatessen market) nothing can amase me! But I was wrong!

There r not only food-stores but cafe and restaurnats of all kinds u can wish. Many ppl have lunch-break there.

When your eyes are addapted to all this food-carnival you suddenly may mention the river (once used for transportation of goods to Naschmarkt) and beautiful architecture around.


You probably will b surprised if I'd say that there are not yet my favorite buildings in Naschmarkt area. There are few real gems, they aren't appear for silly reason - I photographed them so much in previews years, that was bored to do it once again!

There r few more photos of this area in doors and windows of Vienna

Posted by vanessa 10:51 Archived in Austria Comments (0)

Weekend, 24-25/07/2010

Stormy wind and even short rains! Great!

rain 20 °C

July 24, 2010

The weather changed from oven-heath to cool and transparent. First, stormy wind blew out all the hot air. Wind continued blowing until sky got covered with layers of clouds. Clouds of various tones from sugar-white and ligt-blue to dark-gray and ocean-blue. Beautiful! I'm so happy to receive the rest from the heath!
The single dissapoint is no rollerblades and no swimming - it's too windy. But we can accept.

So, I wasn't doing much today. Updated this blog at the morning, then did some grossery-shopping and cooking (Roger said "delicious") and now Andre & me plan to go out, to pass through few rollerblade-stores in the neighbourhood. We both need (2buy) new rollerblades. His pair already survived few serious fixes, mine begun to go to pieces too. Well, I'm with same pair for about 10 years, only updated wheels. Andre rolls on his about 5 years, but plastic on his boots begun to crash. Thanks to his (A) technical skills both pairs are in use yet. He sewed the bursted plastic of boots with fishing line and now they (boots) even look designed

July 24, 2010

Today helicopter landed into our courtyard. It was so close to the window that in (full size) photo you can see the pilot!

Posted by vanessa 16:01 Archived in Austria Comments (0)

Angelica & Gabriel

Afternoon we have been visiting our friend Angelica and her lovely boy Gabriel (=Papiel)

sunny 28 °C

Angelica just moved to new (rented) apartment a month ago, so we came to see them and their new place.

Now she lives in lovely old building with very high ceiling, bright livingroom, long kitchen and bedroom which facing the neighbour's window (may close curtain!).

I liked the staircase with windows and the lettering "Mezzanin" at the entrance to the 2nd floor (once whole the building was belonged to one family and entrance to mezzanine was separated with huge door).

When she rented this apartment, all walls were painted in pink(!) color, and, I can guess, there were some more troubles - as it's really old house. Tiny Angelica made the renovation alone (Fernando was in Mexico), while working and caressing Gabriel. I still dont understand how she sucsessed to do that - it's about 5m tall, but she said she has a very tall ladder! Bravo!!!

Those are Angelica & Gabriel

and here is mom & son once again - moving!
On photos below - Andre and Gabriel are reading (click to enlarge)

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Posted by vanessa 23:44 Archived in Austria Comments (1)

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