A Travellerspoint blog

Living in Vienna


Neither citisen nor tourist, I am living in Vienna few months a year.
It would be nice to speak German, but meantime I survive nicely with my English (shame!). Each time I return from Austria with few new words and impressions in German and probably one day I will speak, with no doing massive effort of lang. studies.
Here, below, few tips for others and few notes for myself - it's never enough time to do everything that planned, so I would drop the list of wishes for the next year(s).

For you:
I don't care about palaces, baroque, Mozart and S. Stefan Cathedral - you can't miss it.

  • Pre-Christmas time in Vienna.
  • Inner Yards of inner districts.
  • Medeveal Vienna and my favorite church Maria am Gestade.
  • Stories of people, who made Vienna so Viennese: Freud, Klimt, Schiele, Loos, Wagner (architect), Moser, Maria Theresia and Habsburg Dynasty, Princess Sissi, Musicians: Mahler, Schubert, Strauss and Haydn; etc. List is too long... sorry
  • Whole Art Nouveau (= Jugendstil) treasure: not only style of art, but philosophy.
  • Hundertwasser!
  • Heurigen - taverns serving fresh-made local wine

For me:

  • To discover sturm (see the link) issue much deeper!
  • Prater Museum, 2., Address: Oswald Thomas Platz 1. Opened Fr-Su and holidays 10.00-13.00 and 14:00-18:00. 1st Sunday in the month: free admission.
  • Friday Night Skating (rollerblades) - http://wien.gruene.at/skater

Duncan J.D. Smith "Only in Vienna" - a Guide to Hidden Corners, Little Known Places and Unusual Objects.

Posted by vanessa 08:29 Archived in Austria Tagged vienna tips wien tip tips_and_tricks Comments (3)

Leaving tomorrow

so there are last calls and appointments

overcast 21 °C

Yesterday said hello to Monika and her family,


Nina called to say good bye on phone, Franz felt not well last week, so we didn't meet additional time.
But this summer we really met a lot and even did 2 very nice trips out of Vienna.


We have been in Setagaya Park. It's so many parks in Vienna, that Japaneese Park is almost hidden.

With K we ciao-ed on skype, he was busy, we were busy. Also we met this year couple of times and it was nice to do. He is an interesting guy, i like his mind.
(no photo)

Gleb took us to NatureHistorishen Museum, where we never been before. So, many thanks to him about this! This year we met briefly - we were in movement during all the summer, they were abroad as well.

With other people we met earlier or spoke on phone.
Summer passed so fast!

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Sturm /Austrian name of wine,in other places in Central Europe it has other names/ is something between juice and wine, may be more wine, but still in the fermentation stage. Sturm is semi-transparent and very fruity, normally 5-10% alcohol. It feels like a juice and easy-drinkable, until you r trying to get up... aha, here is a surprise, your balance is not working, and you walk like being on the ship. Well, all depends of how "stormy" you are :-) But what is really happen, being the only 5% alc., this drink continuous fermentation while in your stomach, so it's getting stronger and stronger with every minute, without your ability to manage the process.


Posted by vanessa 10:35 Archived in Austria Tagged people park drink farewell meeting goodbye sturm setagaya_park setagaya japaneese Comments (0)

With Monika, Angelika and Gabriel

My Austrian Family

On the way from Vienna Woods we went to say goodbye to our Austrian family ( I really feel so). Monika spent the last week in their summer-house, in the village, but now was at home. She caressed Gabriel (look at his new haircut!). Later Angelika joined us, she came directly from the office. Gerhard and cat staid to sleep in the village for one more night.


I don't have much to add here - I just luv these smily people ad like to be with them. So hearty and warm they are!

Posted by vanessa 12:58 Archived in Austria Tagged friends family Comments (0)

Tales from Vienna Woods

Sorry for bitten title, but I can't help - this is really the tale, I would like to rename it into "Tales of Vienna Woods"

semi-overcast 23 °C

The Vienna Woods (Wienerwald) is a forest massive, sitting on highlands (actually, there is a branch of the foothills of the Alps). Beautiful leavy forest, quite wild in the depth, Vienna Woods contains a network of marked hiking paths. Knowing me enough, you probably can imagine that I was trying to go through (no beaten tracks!), which is hardly possible to manage - because it only said "hills", there are mountain cracks, covered with jungle of greenery.


Being there before, we planned our track by clever way - arrived (with public transport! as it still counted Vienna) to the top (Leopoldsberg)of the hill and constantly went down to Cobenzl.


There is not only forest but wineyards and lots of Heuringen (tavernas, producting and selling only the wine made in the owner's vineyard), famous for fresh-made wine and very special athmosphere of drinking, eating and celebrating the life. This time we didn't go to Heuringen, but normally we do - at least once at season (September)


Wineyards in Kahlenberg.


Here is Schloss Cobenzl, which changed owners and names many times, being a private palace and Jesuit monastery, seen many of nobles and famous, and now it is a restaurant, owned by successful gastronome Olaf Auer.

Posted by vanessa 09:43 Archived in Austria Tagged vienna restaurant woods vienna_woods wine forest wood wien cobenzl kahlenberg wineyards Comments (0)

Naturhistoriches Museum Wien

Museum of Natural History

NHM - Wien Naturhistoriche is one of mirroring buildings in Ringstrasse. The second 'twin" is KHM (Kunsthistorisches Museum) - great collection of arts, one of the foremost in the world. Built in 19th cent, The Ring planning also included the project to bring together and show the vast imperial collections, so those buildings were constructed and decorated especially to serve as museums and followed the best architectural traditions of that time. Rich decorated interiors alone worth the visit and also I do like the park between those two museums, especially symmetric round fountains, benches and greenery.


I have to confess that I'm a frequent visitor in KHM (arts), but NHM is not exactly my thing - I'm not a big fun of stuffed animals. So visiting of this museum was kind of doubt, but I'm so glad that I did!


Their collection is really impressive, full, intelligent and, what I liked there, it was not "too much educational" - in the very good sense of this note. I quite hate when every object is described for visitor at the level of pre-school, especially suffering from it in art museums. I don't like to be stuffed with unnessesary information and banalities. But for those who wants to know - there are plenty of detailed information about every object & object, but it was proposed to know - not tutoring you how to see.

There are stoned shells

and stoned fish of pre-historic age.


Great collection of minerals (below)

Some of them named after birds, wearing same color.


Posted by vanessa 10:45 Archived in Austria Tagged vienna nature museum historic wien naturhistoriches naturhistoriches_museum Comments (0)

Doors and windows - collection of 2011

Have you seen this one?

And those?

in Vienna

  • Click on thumb to enlarge

vanessa037.jpg __Vienna_door_079.jpg typical_vi.._window.jpg __Etta_s__window_2_.jpg
1st_district__85-1_.jpg 100_3869-1.jpg

in Eisenstadt


  • Click on thumb to enlarge

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Eisenstadt__65_.jpg Eisenstadt__62_.jpg Eisenstadt__58_.jpg Eisenstadt__55_.jpg Eisenstadt__44_.jpg Eisenstadt__34_.jpg Eisenstadt__8_.jpg Eisenstadt__42_.jpg

in Tulln


  • Click on thumb to enlarge

P8150322.jpg Tulln__15_.jpg

in Grein


Posted by vanessa 14:41 Archived in Austria Tagged vienna door window wien doors_and_windows Comments (0)

Illumination in 2nd district

Night Vienna

25 °C

For video click here Illuminated Vienna Video
Sorry for poor quality, it was taken by very basic cam. Hope it still gives some idea.

Swimming pool on barge on canal - summer paradise not far from busy SwedenPlatz. Pools are opened during the summer months, there r also cafe and other facilities - everything that need for feeling out of routine, but in vacation.

I kept in memory that I have seen the beautifully illuminated building, mirroring in waters of canal somewhere between Hundertwasser's and SwedenPlatz. If you know Vienna a bit, you will smile, because it's not sound like an address. I talk about it at home many times, and then suddenly we seen it one night from very far (from our home), winkling in sea-blue colors. No doubt it was THIS ONE. Andre and me decided to take a chance and went to search for it.
Well, it wasn't hard with Andre - he has excellent sense of orientation. We just stepped out of metro in SwedenPlatz and he pointed "Here it is". Yes, it was "my" building!


For my shame it really was "just under my nose", near (very famous) building of Urania, which was opened in 1910 by Franz Joseph I of Austria as an educational facility with a public observatory. During World War II, the Urania was severely damaged and the dome with the observatory was totally destroyed. Reconstructed and opened for public in 1957, it still uses for lectures, movie festival and various events.


Having plenty of time we crossed the bridge and found ourselves in 2nd district - one that sits between The Inner District (=center) and 22nd district (where my mom's place). 2nd district - it's were Wiener Prater famous for huge and historical wheel.
We immediately found there impressive vehicle.

Big, at size of building, this vehicle looks like hospital on wheels. Viva to technologies! I can imagine how useful it can be on the roads of "far, far away" countries, especially at time of wars and revolutions.


Then very nice NestroyPlatz (square) and statue of Johann Nestroy. Johann Nestroy was a singer, actor and playwright in the popular Austrian tradition of the Biedermeier period and its immediate aftermath. Dubbed the "Austrian Shakespeare", in style he is more comparable to Molière. Nestroy was a very interesting person who influenced a lot on cultural life of Vienna of his time.


  • Tip: you can catch free WiFi connection on the bench near the statue

Then we walked through PraterStrasse (no photos, it was too dark already). Big street with shops and restaurants, some nice buildings, and some famous residents (family of musician Johann Straus, for example).

Posted by vanessa 15:09 Archived in Austria Tagged night illumination Comments (0)

More of 1st district

can't stop


The next 4 photos are from Franziskaner Platz & church. It's my new discovery, one of "hidden under the nose" places - million times passed near and never been there before.


Lattice of French Embassy

Fresco @ Backerstrasse

Store in inner passage

Live music at Graben

Royal Court Sandler!

And finally door with horse handle

Posted by vanessa 11:14 Archived in Austria Tagged vienna center city_center 1st_district inner_district Comments (2)

The wrong question

"What do you like there?"

sunny 24 °C

I was thinking lately that indication of your love to the place is not by advantages. It may be long list of qualities that you like there, and may be just single reason that makes you happy. Real test is your accept of disadvantages. When you know them, but you can take it.
I'm frowning and thinking what I don't like here. It's hard.
Aha! I know two first!


1. Most of places where you can grab cup of coffee + something with no making it a ceremonial, close around 6 PM! After 6PM normal Vieniese are sitting in restaurants and pubs for good dinner or drinks, it's possible to take coffee also there. But I wanna my coffee-comfort easily avaliable!!!

2. TV advertising is annoying!

Posted by vanessa 13:57 Archived in Austria Comments (2)

Dürer-Cranach-Holbein: German Portrait in KHM

KHM = Kunsthistorisches Museum

overcast 19 °C


Here is lovely exhibition of portraits (Dürer - Cranach - Holbein) that named "The Discovery of Man: the German Portrait around 1500".
I like all three of them, hard to say which one more - they all are exceptional and different from each other: perfectly clear (faces of) Durer can't be compared to Attractively-Sick portraits of Cranach and sure not to harsh models of Holbein. Anyway, taking pictures in exhibition was not allowed, so no photos here.

KHM (Kunsthistorisches Museum) itself is worth a visit of every art-lover. I have been here numerous times and I'm able to stay for half a day against any Bruegel or Lotto, usually until I arrive enormous Rubens my legs already can't support my staying and slow walk and I fall down in museum buffet for coffee or something more then it.
KHM (Kunsthistorisches Museum) exposes great collection of arts, one of the foremost in the world. But building itself worth a proper look. Built in end of 19th cent for keeping (and showing to mass!) vast imperial collection, it is the one of mirroring buildings in Ringstrasse. The second 'twin" is NHM (NaturHistorichen), and it's lovely garden between them. Especially I like fountains and benches there

.... will upload photo, if will find them...

Building is very spacious, royal, rich decorated (incl. frescoes of G.Klimt!) and well-kept and described (in numerous brochures available for free at entrance and in info-kiosks).

Here are some details of interior - sorry for poor quality.


Posted by vanessa 04:04 Archived in Austria Tagged art museum kunst exhibition khm khm_wien kunsthistorisches kunsthistorisches_museum Comments (0)

In Grein

semi-overcast 22 °C

Grein is a village in Apper Austria - about 60km from Linz. Well-preserved and quiet, even in high season, Grein is situated on Danube River and many of region bike-pathes going through. It's famous for the historic town theater (1791) and impressive Greinburg castle on the hill above.

That info that I found about the theatre. Unfortunatelly I only was in the lobby and didn't have time to visit it inside. What a pity!
"...The historic town theater of Grein (1791) is one of the outstanding sights of European importance. Here you can see many curiosities from olden times. Original seats that had to be locked/unlocked with a small key; a toilet that was separated from the auditorium only with a curtain; a prison from where the prisoners could watch the performances and were given food, drinks and tobacco by the audience; the Napoleon box and a lot more."


Deers near the schloss.

Greinburg is the oldest residential castle of Austria (was built from 1500 to 1700), and proudly save history of Dukes that lived and ruled there. It's interesting museum inside, but building itself even more impressive. : late Renaissance courtyard full of light, various rooms, arches, windows, painted ceilings, narror steps and wide balconies, beautiful furniture and art objects, etc.


But at the end of the courtyard, few steps down, here is Sala Terrena, which is refreshing surprise. This grotto room is unique in Austria as one of the earliest examples of such an interior room north of the Alps. Outstanding and unusual, very spacious room(s), all covered with figurative and ornamental mosaics, all made from Danube pebbles (riverstones).


Most of mosaics are monochrome, made in tones of gray, but here and there they flash with red pach or black line.
Beautiful. Guess when Sala Terrena was built?


From the castle we stepped down to the town (3,500 citizents - counted as a village or town?)

Oh, that's very sweet!
Many beautiful buildings, greenery and no crowd except of group on bicycles.

There r lovely Central Square and famous old theatre

Street barometr - for comfort of citizents, here and still works since 19th century.

and other signs. Between cafes and souvenir shops (standard crap to lure tourists) - it was something else that caught my eye.

It was a small shop of crafts that sold goods and souvenirs producted by ppl with special needs. When we entered - we seen them inside, working, because it's also workshop there. They were excited by appearance of visitors and watched us with interest. Most of these people are very uncovered emotionaly, just like kids, so I could see how pleasured they were when we made a choice and purchased semitransperent scarf in colors of autumn. I didn't take any photos inside as was not sure if it was ethical, but may be I should do.

Later, walking in the street, we seen cafe and bakery, where those people worked. They looked happy being involved in real production. I think community of Grein doing great thing, making it possible. I'm sure that behind of it - there is an organisation and professionals who help, but also citizents (don't forget that it's just a village!) need a heart to accept this everyday involve and interraction.

Posted by vanessa 05:43 Archived in Austria Tagged danube castle schloss dawn grein autism upper_austria special_needs Comments (1)

- Enns

Small, but it's a real gem!

semi-overcast 26 °C

Enns is charming! I loved it from the train station to the castel, I may say "from toe to top". I have been there twice: first I only had two poor hours to discover (because of complication with trains), so I rushed at a gallop through the old town, gaped in astonishment and out of breath, randomly shooting (with camera, not gun) all around. The second visit was planned and slow, mostly repeated the 1st glance path with a bit longer stay in the park.
Enns must be seen slow and patient. Enns must be seen alone. I still have a wish to come here once again, may be to stay to sleep there for a night, may be to draw there.

It seems that each second shop on the main shopping street was a lingerie shop.

Posted by vanessa 11:06 Archived in Austria Comments (0)


This the silliest ever clip runs on Austrian (or German?) TV each couple of hours. Maaaann... it's annoying!
Continuous repeating "KiKa Lounge...KiKa Lounge...KiKa Lounge..." and voice from behind (Probably of God?) almost drives me histerical.

Here is the link, if you want to take a look, and there are much more, because it's a serial...

P.S. The hero is Kika Brot ( = the bread!)

P.P.S. The first word he says is "Mist" ( = shit)

Posted by vanessa 11:48 Archived in Austria Tagged tv brot kika kika_brot Comments (0)

- Morning in Alte Donau and evening in Belvedere

sunny 24 °C

Night storm was very dramatic, but morning came washed and clear.
It's surprisely sunny today and pleasant 24C (thanks Goooodddd!!!) so survival week is ending, or at least taking a break. We spent morning walking in Alte Donau (near the Old Danube waters). In fact, Alte Donau is the dead end of former river branch of Danube, separated from the actual Danube by a dam. It's something like the sea of Viennese laubourers and the typical 1920th-working-class-pride. All this area is dedicated to water-sports and taken for lidos (~summer-houses and beach areas), mostly owned and run by trade unions (yes, yes, do not laugh!), which is quite typical for countries with socialist traditions. It's very interesting historical data about Vienna of 1910-1930th.
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Here is something nice. One of the summer-houses was hidden in the shadow of big tree. We mentioned company of young squirrels playing on the branch. Soon mother-squirrel appeared and youth huddled together in a heap and stayed at some distance from the mother, who wanted to make them jumping from banch to the roof of house. She jumped herself there and back several times and tried to force little ones, but they disagreed to risk, keeping distance. Mommy lost her patience, rounded the little one into the bagel and firmly grabbed it with her teeth, then she heavily jumped on the roof. Weight with the puppy was almost doubled and we heard a heavy blow of landing on the iron roof. "Oh my God! maybe they fell to death!" - I said in hope that Mother-Squirrel knew what she is doing. She dissapeared from the roof and we couldn't see what is going there, but it already a bunch of fans gathered around us. Two ladies begun a lively conversation about environmental protection, with no any doubt talking to us in German.

Then we returned home and prepared rich beef goulash with fresh mushrooms (yammy!) + bio-rice aside ;-) + good frutty local wine.
Then Andre was watching F1 - his great pleasure in Europe,
and then we gone out once again.

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Belvedere is not only an excellent museum, but a beautiful garden.
It's hard to take a panoramic photo of the garden with no being pathetic and making kind of royal-official shot - applauds to wealthiness.
So I would better concentrate on details.


In summer here are exceptional flower paradise,
September is less colorful, but finally sculpture and landscape architecture bold out.

Posted by vanessa 06:02 Archived in Austria Tagged belvedere Comments (0)

Week of mad weather (22-28/08/2011)

sunny 34 °C

Do you call it August?
Come on, it's the last summer week and supposed to be more cooler - kinda saying goodbye to the summer. Instead, it suddenly changed to crazy heath! If feels like a desert, I think it's over 40C in the sun and 34C (reported) in shadow. Nights are also warm. AC are not (not yet) popular here... maaannnn... it's too bad!
Brave and toned Austrians continue to bicycle and to make kms of nordic walk; more then this: they continue to dress elegant - it looks like they don't mind the weather and even enjoy it! Andre suffers and complains loudly. Usually I'm the one who moaning about the heath, but this time I manage... well,... it's kind of managing in conditions of toaster-oven. Ja, ja, I feel cooked! The clear benefit is warm river water. We are swimming daily. Also (we r) rollerblading almost daily - at the mornings, when it's not too hot. Once again we are living in the little apartment of my mom's: near Danube and in bridge distance from the 24km-long island, which is great for rollerblading. It would be a crime - to miss this perfect conditions, so I don't. Rollerblading gets around 2,5-3 hrs/ a day, includes swimming and some eventual sunbathing. Then return home - rush into cold shower and lunching. Afternoon can vary. Everyday we have another plan, going here and there, but at general just looking for escape into cooler place.

Posted by vanessa 00:50 Archived in Austria Tagged art vienna museum cafe hundertwasser klosterneuburg fake rollerblade Comments (0)

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