A Travellerspoint blog

Dinner with K

No photos, unfortunately, but there are some closeups of conversation instead.

sunny 32 °C

Our meeting with K was delayed numerous times and then fault because of bunch of stupid reasons. But now we finally met!
We met for dinner in Cafe Latte in Neubau, 39 - another nice spot to eat and drink. Nice kitchen and reasonable prices. Also I really like this area, even more then Inner District. Except of heavy heath, which didn't lay down even at night, we had very pleasant time eating and chatting.

K says:

"... (I) have did army service in Germany. Fortunately exactly at this time Berlin Wall fault and both Germany(s) united. They didn't need so many soldiers and my army service became short. Huraaau!"

"... When moved from German Uni to Vienna - I had expectations: this specific cut of mathematics was extremely interesting to me. But I got disappointed very fast - all tutoring in Vienna is too academical, too far from modern science and real market."
and then: "... economy should not be learn in university but at practice - only market can teach this subject"

"... I was born in little place. Ja, that's right, this place where from rottweilers came."

"... My mothers Austrian family had mixed roots, but my father about 100% German blood. He knows languages, includes Hebrew - it's big Jewish community in the town where he lives and this community manages active cultural life, in which he (father) involved"

"... I prefer don't know history of my big family in details, especially not WWII part of - I know one who was involved in SS."

And also:

"When I was a child, I was studying in Catholic school"
" Ah, yea?"
- I smile, "That explains your determined atheism!"
"Oh yes, very much explains!"
- K agrees.
He continues: "Once school teacher (priest) visited families, and came also to our house. He was in the middle of sentence when he stopped talking, and probably also stopped to breath and his face changed colors. "What - is - this???" - asked the teacher, pointing on candlestick. "This one? It's family heirloom, the very old thing." - mother answered. Priest changed colors once again: "Jesus Christ! But it's Jewish Menora!" "Oh, yes, we have mix of bloods in our family, but we are Catholic in few generations..."- genuinely surprised mother. " Oh, no! Your son can't learn in our school then!" - almost sobbed the priest. " Oh, really? But why?" - continued to misunderstand mother...
I don't remember in details about results of this conversation, but as an adult K has allergy on religions. All of them.
Life is confusing thing, isn't it?

I just came from Netherlands a month ago. It was my 1st visit there and I am excited. I do not claim a complete understanding of the country, but having some conclusions and I'm dying to discuss them with one who understands. So I share with K my new theory about connection between landscape and national character. ("Open to the horizon spaces made them being human with wide open eyes") and also about discovery that Dutch are "so much German". (For details go to my blog "In Netherlands"
He agreed that it's a pleasure to deal with Duch ppl - he often goes there for business, and, when it comes to language, it appears that K understands and can speak as well. Talking about variety of German dialects and about native speakers, I mention that Austrian are so polite and nice. If I'm listening to their conversation, I only hear "Ja, ja" each few minutes. If they are not agree then it will b "ya, ya, but..... (explanation why not)", but it always begin positive.
We compare Dutch, Austrian and German "Ja, Ja" and he shows it in very artistic way:

"Ja, ja" - saying sincerely Dutch, and they mean what they say
"Ja-Ja" - singing Austrians, staying a bit meaning - you will never know what exactly they keep under polite smile. Oh, jaaaa, they are VERY polite people!
In Germany it's short "JA", like an army order. Or barking "NICHT", they don't even pretend being nice. Ja = ja, nicht = nicht, and it's not under discussion.

I laugh, cuz it performed cute and funny - seems he knows what he talking about.

K is a law-abiding citizen and not a bully, but an anarchist. He dislikes any government and idea of government itself. It delights me with his statement: " Look at Belgium - they don't have government for few years already, and they are doing great!" I love to hear this, because usually Belgian used as example of lousy people who don't success even to choose government. At my opinion, the nation that products the best chocolate in the world and 1/2 (or more) best beer in the world can't be lousy!

There were more interesting talks, may be I will remember later something else.

Posted by vanessa 05:53 Archived in Austria Tagged vienna dinner konstantin Comments (1)

- Museum of Art Fakes (Fälschermuseum)

sunny 36 °C

This small, privately run museum in the Landstraße (near my beloved Hundertwasser) opened in Vienna from 2005. There r not only the collection of Art Fakes + interesting facts and stories.
.... photos here...

Posted by vanessa 05:47 Archived in Austria Tagged art museum fake Comments (0)

Plachutta (heaven in the pot)

Meeting American friends near Monument of Russian Soldier

sunny 35 °C

What a surprise!
We met friends from States in Vienna's streets. Just as funny as it sounds, we didn't meet over 20 years, ocasionally keeping in touch on net, but not really planned anything together. And here they are, taking photos near monument of Russian Soldier and watching scateboarders at the platz near fontain.
Actually, this is a school-friend of A's brother, but A knows him for whole childhood.
They were going to dinner in Plachutta (too famous and expencive for us), bt we joined them and had lovely time together.
After a meal, which was really delicious, we had a walk in the center, showing to them our favorite places.


www.plachutta.at Wien, Wollzeile 38 Tel.: 01/512 15 77
Very popular, mentioned in every tourist guide, Plachutta symbolises all the best of typical Viennese cuisine. Definately it's a brand, but even being SO famous they are not spoiled. They keep exceptional cooking and perfect service.

Tenderest veal (who grew up in the alpine meadows, as stated in the menu), immersed in a fragrant broth, is fabulously delicious. The meat served in a gleaming copper pans /to keep it warm/; the waiter pours extra portions when you finished. Creamy spinach was emerald green and incredibly delicious, apple horseradish surpassed all expectations ... and foie gras, covered by a thin crust of transparent jelly ... was appropriate poetry or violin playing, but definately not eating of this masterpiece.

About the brain bone, from which the waiter took out the the gentlest content and carefully laid it out on toasted rye bread ... I would better shut up.

Posted by vanessa 15:42 Archived in Austria Tagged food wien plachutta Comments (0)

The Third Skin in the Third District

More of Hundertwasser (new exhibition)

sunny 34 °C

"Man is surrounded by three layers, his skin, his clothing and walls, the building. Clothing and the walls of buildings have in recent times undergone a development which is no longer in keeping with the individual's natural requirements."
F.Hundertwasser, April, 1991

Friedensreich Hundertwasser is one of my absolute favorites. Artist, architector and free soul - he was born in Vienna in 1928th and has gone in 2000. Unfortunately before I could met him occasionally - ppl say that he was coming downstairs of his hous (into public space) to chat with visitors. He was increadiably interesting person, going through life like through one long-term adventure, frequently changing countries and addapting places under his green-world theory. I like his waving architecture, his multilayered paintings, his texts and his personality. I accept some acting in his behaving, because it was just part of the project and also because his enormous talent.

Each year I'm in Vienna and each year I visit Kunsthaus at least once. There are always beautiful exhibitions, but also the permanent exhibition is great. His paintings never could be "learned", ur never "done" with it, because each single glance u watch them - u find new things there. Not only new objects and other colors, but new ideas and other mood.

Being here hundreds of times I only now paid attention on shape of pilars on the street side. What like is it looking to you?

Kunsthaus inside is forbidden for photography. First I wanted to share with you few pics of the building, but decided to stop on couple of odd and unfamous frames. Feeling his art as somewhat very human and private I would like you discover it alone. It's very friendly and colorful at the first glance, but there are so much deeper layers and phylosophy once you return visitor, and each time endless pleasure as well...

:-) Here is the door leading to WC of cafe.
Cafe itself is open-air in the courtyard.

Posted by vanessa 05:37 Archived in Austria Tagged vienna wien hundertwasser exhibition third Comments (0)

How we didn't meet

Feeling like I'm a villager

sunny 28 °C

Ouch.. was supposed to meet with friend (K) for lunch in very central place - at Neubau, but didnt.
I dont even know where from to begin, because all reasons of our no-meeting are silly (one sillier then another)
This lunch was delayed several times and finally came to this Sunday. Allright, we got ready and went there for advance - cuz were not sure how long the way takes. A while before the meeting mobile phone suddenly lost connection and, trying to repair, we switched it (device) off.
Here it begins...
At this point K sent SMS with update of time, but we didn't receive - mobile was locked, to open it need pin-code (it's common thing here, in Austria). We couldnt operate, because it's mobile of my mom and she - she wasn't avaliable: she is currently in US and moving apartment (no internet while moving). We stuck with no connection to the world for a while - which normaly doesnt bother us too much, but not today!
Aha, in this apartment we also didn't have internet and couldnt check up the place and location.

We came to Neubau earlier, because were not sure about location... went through and ... didn't find "Cafe Latte". What a shame! We were near nu 38 and turn back from there, and "Cafe Latte" is at nu 39..... I understood it near MariaHilfer (main shopping street), so we returned there, trying to figure which one it could be (in the case that i was wrong about name) and we decided that it only could b Cafe Ritter, which is at the entrance to Neubau and right against Neubau Underground entrance. (Only Starbucks was opened nearby, but it was said "it's nice restaurant", so Starbucks clearly couldnt be). Afer some waiting near Ritter I thought that may be K understood 2pm and not 1pm.. so we walked around a bit and returned to Neubau at 2pm. Waited for some more... walked among the street .. till Cafe Lambada at nu.38 ( almost got there!!!!!!!!!!!)... and returned home - confused and hungry.

While waiting near Ritter, we were evidents to unusual (for Austrians) behaving of retarded family: teenage girl yelled while crossing the street there and back, her little bro behaved annoying and their father smoked pipe, sitting on the bench of th bus stop. Everybody paid attention, some commented and waiters of Ritter even tried to stop their unsocial behaving.

Our mobile was not in use until night, when we received a pincode from US and got the update message from the noon...
Then, it took another couple of hours until telephone begun to work - it set on wrong ("additional") net and was not able to make a call...
Ufffffff..... What a mess!

Posted by vanessa 14:50 Archived in Austria Tagged meeting Comments (0)

The Lobau – Vienna’s jungle.

Jungle under own nose

sunny 33 °C

We found a national park (Donau-Auen National Park) just next to the door of my mom's apartment in Vienna!

That's me myself there.


The "water forest", lies in the east of Vienna (22th district) and continuous... to Bratislava.
It's one of the biggest European parks of this type. Hundreds of plants and animals, incl. beavers and huge fishes.


Posted by vanessa 15:23 Archived in Austria Tagged vienna nature national_park lobau Comments (2)

- Hadersdorf and Schloss Laudon

With Franz and Nina

sunny 28 °C

Lunch that comes into dinner in lovely garden of Franz and Nina, and then some "sightseeing" nearby.
Schloss Laudon - first mentioned in 12cent as a fort. Damaged with turkes (in 16th cent) and immediatelly restored, then damaged by turkes again (in 17th cent) and re-built once again in 18th cent as a baroque castle, the Laudon Castle is partly accessible to the public. Place of music festivals.

Posted by vanessa 15:42 Archived in Austria Tagged vienna schloss schloss_laudon laudon Comments (0)

Inner District

1st district of Vienna (= Inner District) - the heart of Vienna.

sunny 28 °C

You r wrong if you think you know it, it's never done.

House on Wipplinger Str - one which is just against the Altes Rathaus ( Altes Rathaus = The Old Cityhall)

This is Hohe Brucke (bruke = bridge). Ah, what a beautiful bridge! I know this area very well - it is in Mediveal part of Vienna, not far from my favorite church Maria am Gestade. But I discovered it just couple of days ago!

Am Hof is quite important square - the largest in the inner city of Vienna. History of the square goes back to the Roman era, when a garrison was built here. Then castle, built in 12th century and used as a residence of the dukes of Austria until 1220. Here is gothhic church under baroque facade (Kirche am Hof), Marian Column, with a statue of the Virgin Mary and figures of a lion, a serpent, a dragon and a basilisk (representing a fight against war, heresy, hunger and the Plague). Am Hof square is home for fire brigade (also novadays) & fire-brigade museum.

Parking carriage in somebody's private courtyard.

Unusual triangle flowerbed.

Fabrik of Imperial Linen - official supplier of linen to Imperial Family.

Sign of chimney sweep & vertical cloud.
BTW, meeting with with a chimney sweep should bring you luck!

This is very special.
The Ferstel Passage (also known as Freyung Passage), is an upscale arcade built by the Austrian architect Heinrich von Ferstel in 1860. It connects Freyung Str. with Herrengasse, coming at Herrengasse nearby to famous Cafe Central. Passage leads into small glass-covered courtyard of Ferstel Palace, with fontain in the center. Here is a Donaunixen (Danube waternymph), who holds a fish in her hand. Ferstel Palace was built for the Austro-Hungarian National Bank. Unlike other buildings of this time, the palace was named after the 27 years old architect, and not after the owners.


Three next photos (below) are taken in inner yard of Altes Rathaus (The Old City Hall). Here is Fontain of Andromeda, one of hidden jems of 1st district. Greek story says about brave Perseus who came to save Andromeda from evil animal. BTW, it happen in Jaffa (South Tel Aviv), historical stone is still there. I did couple of paintings of this place.

The second photo is a fragment: it's between Andromeda & dracoon - a while before arriving of Perseus.

But what the hell is this baroque angel is doing?


Click on the photo below - to see it large.
It's interesting one: plants near the doors are common, but tomatos are not really usual decoration - at least not in the city center.


Another interesting object is a Turkish cannonball from 1683!
(In Am Hof Square). Currently building is into the renovation and cannonball is hidden under building construction)


And finally, oh, those girls...


Posted by vanessa 17:00 Archived in Austria Tagged churches buildings vienna austria museum door window wien inner doors_and_windows churche 1th_district Comments (0)

- The Third District of Vienna (Landstraße)

New places to discover: Borromäus-Brunnen (fountain) and Russian Orthodox Church

It's kinda difficult to find new spots in the city which you feel like a home-town almost, but I am going through Vienna slowly, don't hurry to grab a bigger piece of cake (strudel?). Fabulous Vienna answers me with mutual sympathy, revealing to me her secret corners, pampering me with good wines and hearty foods; showing me balconies, wide staircases with curved handrails, roofs and cellars, vintage glasses dimly shining in a glass cabinet, and kind of peculiar indisputable integrity. Vienna never ceases to amaze me with her precision, intelligibility, clarity, self-esteem.

Here is another portion of Viennese cuisine:
Landstrasse - the 3rd district.
3rd district is famous for Arsenal and Belvedere Palace and for my absolutely favorite Kunsthaus Wien (Hundertwasser’s). There are few others baroque churches and palaces, Soviet War Memorial, etc. But today it’s not about them.

1st Follow me to Rochusgasse (metro U3) to see Borromäus-Brunnen an Karl Borromaus Platz. Lovely buildings around, and what a great surprise this brunnen (= fontain)!

Then we continue to Haus Wittgenstein (Austrian philosopher ) – building with very interesting historical background. The funny thing was, that we didn’t know what to expect, except of style of 1920th, and when came we didn’t recognise it, but put attention on weird building near – it was oversized, flat and fully covered with green ceramica.

The 3rd stop is for Russian Orthodox Church – the little brother of Vasilii Blazenni in Red Square in Moscow.

I missed: Museum of Art Fakes (near Hundertwasser’s) - never mind,next time will see and Baroque Palais Schwarzenberg – still owned by royal family, and who knows what else?

..... photos will b updated.....

Posted by vanessa 06:08 Archived in Austria Tagged vienna 3 wien third_district landstraße landstrasse Comments (0)

July in Vienna

And here I am in Vienna once again

overcast 21 °C

... yes, yes, this summer I am here too.
This time I live in the city center, live right near Nashmarkt, in big apartment on very hight floor of historical building.

The owners in summer vacation and I am taking care about their two cats and numerous plants (just botanical garden, almost like one in Schoenbrunn!).

Hope cats don't complain - we have good relations, except of disagreement about their sleeping in my bed.

So, here I am. Rollerblading on the island, entertain my mom & her husband, meeting friends and watching around. Also I am really happy that summer is not too hot here and even rainy sometimes.


Posted by vanessa 08:41 Archived in Austria Comments (0)


sunny 20 °C

Fllight with Austrian Airlines. I like to fly with Austrian because of polite service and good food.

We are leaving, but someone just landing.

And here is Danube!

It's it - clouds and clouds, nothing else...

Posted by vanessa 07:32 Archived in Austria Tagged sky flight austria Comments (0)

The Last Day

overcast 18 °C

So, it's the last day - we are leaving 2morrow morning. A little bit sad. Morning we rollerbladed. It was low dark sky, almost purple and it looked like rain is near. Last week was rainy and cool and water got too cold for sweeming. But it became so transperent that u can mention each stone and also fishes: small, medium and very large. We have seen few snakes in the way. Everything is yet green but it feels autumn.

Meantime we were skating, mom made last (enormous!) grossery shopping and prepared lunch; and then, after lunch, we were just packing - it took too long as we have lotsa not standard staff in our laggage. Normally I pack for advance, at least the main part, but this time it was different because of rollerblades - we wanted to skate at the morning, and they (boots) is the largest and the most un-convincional (-comfortable) part of laggage. I think our package may look kinda weird to you: it's very little dress, half of it is sport-dress. About 6 pairs of different sun-glasses, variety of sun-block creams of differ proposas, perfume (present from mom), various maps and other tourist information, then cheeses, sausages and apples; cataloges from the beloved Hein Gericke (bikes!) store, travel-bear and his (bear's) best friend seal (also a toy). There are aslo: additional wheels and tools for repairment, and then "normal" staff like laptop, camera, various chargers, etc.

I leave here: mom & Roger, 1st of all. Friends and buddies. Big fishes near Police Sport-club. My old rollerblades. Japaneese, who makes weird exersises. Language that I could begin to understand soon, if I'd be staying here longer. The old lady and old dog which is so white, like it was cleaned with chlor! Etc.

Now I wish you good night. It's time to sleep if I don't want to miss the flight tomorrow!

Posted by vanessa 13:26 Archived in Austria Tagged packing last_day ciao Comments (0)

Vienna at the last glance

sunny 20 °C

No, it's not a try to find something new at the last moment. Just walk in the city, three of us: Andre, mom and me and few photos, that I took on the way.

I don't say Hofburg is not important, but I love those cute little glances on Vienna. This kitty lives in the bookstore. He should be very educated!

Art Nouveau Clock, bult like a bridge between two buildings of the Anker Insurance Company.
Twice a day, at 12, twelve historical figures or pairs of figures move across the bridge.

To b shaved in Vienna. It's not just barbery shop, but oda to shaving.

Ladies first!

This Turkey is a door detail of Kinsky Palace.

ohh.. this girl. Gorgeous!

and... strudel in Gerstner - to kill for it!

It's large square in city center, next to Stadtpark, Karlsplaz, numerous museums, theatre, concert hall, etc.

Palais Schwarzenberg is a baroque palace in front of Schwarzenbergplatz , Landstraße, the 3rd district of Vienna. Today, parts of it are a five star hotel (closed until 2012 due to renovation works) and the building is used for festivities and events.

Lovely building of French Embassy (on the photo below)

Russians' Memorial on Schwarzenplaz, sandwiched between Palais Schwarzenberg (of the family of Bohemian nobleman) and geyser-kind fontain was built in 1945 to commemorate 17,000 soviet soldiers that died in the course of the Battle for Vienna (WWII).

Several attemps to blow it up with explosives were preveted with the Austrian police and vandalism occurs rather frequently - damages have been fixed by Republic of Austria according to the state treaty. With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the destruction of the similar memorials in other European countries the debate has been fuelled once again in early 1990th. But Russian Soldier is still there.


Posted by vanessa 07:56 Archived in Austria Tagged vienna soldier embassy russian_soldier french_embassy Comments (0)

Rust & Eisenstadt

Small Historic Towns in Austria

semi-overcast 20 °C


The "royal free city" of Rust - the city of storks and fine wines.
We spent a day in Rust , which is lovely town at lake-side, next to border with Hungary. It's 2 hrs by bus from Vienna, unfortunatelly no direct train there. Rust is famous for:
local wines, which still producted by traditional way

well preserved architecture, includes
The Fischerkirche (Fishermen's Church) which dating back to the 11th century.

and storks

Once upon a time, in little Austrian town on the lake shore, single and handsome Stork met white and elegant Heron. It was Lonely Heron (so Stork thought). Stork cast interested glances, he opened and closed its wings and made signs - all in vain. Heron staid cold. Then Stork came closer and started a promo-conversation about the weather and coming fall, but she showed him her slim back and continued slow walking - as if he was an empty place! Stork used all possible tricks to attract her: he was delicate, tender, agressive, fun, spontaneous, intelligent and even patheticaly sad. Nothing worked! And then ... Stork's wife appeared, and she took Stork back to the nest.

Rust is photogenic and I took much more photos then I could upload.
So, here is a photostream with very little comments.

The Stadttor - Gate into town walls

The Rathaus Square - main square of Rust

Unfortunatelly it was a market day and narrow streets of old town were filled with kiosks, mainly saling asian goods.

Beautiful and sweet Auge Gottes on the main square.

Local Museum

and another entrance into the center.

View on the town from the lake (below)
and here is the Neusiedl Lake.

The old Fire Tower (I think so)


Famous Romanesque Fisherman's Church - the building dating back to the 11th century. The name "Fischerkirche" has historical origin: legend says about the Fisherman from Rust who saved life of Queen Mary of Hungary. Being very thankful she gave money for Chapel of St. Mary, which is a part of this church.

Later the church passed some more improovements and reconstructions - both, Gothic and Baroque, but most of changes were inside. The last and the newest "addition" was organ, which dating back to 1705. Organ is still located in the choir chancel, is the oldest (still playable!) organ in the province of Burgenland.
There are beautiful fresqoues inside. If you want to see the interior better - look it in my photos on travellerspoint.com.Rust_Fisch.._inside.jpg

On this photo below - Evangelische Kirche of Rust. It's sitting next to Fisherman's Church. Rust didnt seem to me t religious place, but there are numerous churches - pretty much for little town.

And the next one is Catolish, I guess


Eisenstadt is the capital of Burgenland. The home-place of Joseph Haydn, who used to live and work in the baroque Eszterhazy Palace, and buried in Bergkirche.


Bergkirche better known as Josef Haydn's Kirche
It's something unusual in construction of this church. It "sits" freely lounging, non-spiritual, but down to earth and seems more human being then God 's providence.

Schloss Esterházy
Beautiful baroque palace, houses exhibitions, music concerts and various events.

Rathaus (City Hall), dating to 16th century

About the death. I have to say that these ppl has special relations with the death. It seems that they are not scared at all from the death, but kinda interested how it is going in details and (they are) seing beautiful and romantic side of it. I have numerous photos of art objects from Austria and from Bavaria (Germany) which connected to the death issue, all of them look like calm, resting, sleeping and satisfied. I have to say quite attractive.
I like this point of view :-)

How to get there

It's a bit tricky to get there from Vienna, if your are not local one.
Train exsists, but train station in Eisenstadt is far away from the city center, and Rust, I afraid, impossible to get by train at all.
So, here is direct connection by bus 566 from Südtiroler Platz (U1) in Vienna. Bus runs like each 0,5 hr to/ from Eisenstadt, and a bit less friquently to Rust. Whole the trip takes about 1-1,5 hr each direction. You buy the ticket in the bus, it costs about 8 EU full price and about 1/2 of it for kids, students, pensioners, etc.


Posted by vanessa 21:05 Archived in Austria Tagged rust eizenstadt Comments (0)

Frida Kahlo

semi-overcast 18 °C

Here is Frida Kahlo Exhibition, which was just opened today and will be running for next 3 monthes in Bank Austria Kunstforum, Vienna.
"The myth surrounding the Mexican artist has taken on global format; Frida is an icon with star character: an identification figure of Mexican culture, forerunner of the feminist movement, a brand promoted..."

The exhibition is big, includes paints, drawings and sketches, also biography cut-ups and photos. Actually, I went there to test myself - if I missed anything and she is really brilliant artist or... whatever.
So, what I found there.

1. F.K., who most of her life was painting disgusting self-portraits, looks pretty woman on photos. Well, there r all professional photos: accurately composed, lighted and fixed shots, nothing is spontaneos there. She appears extremelly self-confident person, active, powerful and she seems depressive type.

2. It's nothing weird in painting self-portraits, every painter is doing that - just because this "model" is always avaliable for posing. BUT I can't share her (F.K.'s) great interest to herself - it seems me empty, artifial and just boring.

3. About her paints - it's something strange here: there are few which are quite good, can say masterpieces, and others which are so weak that don't deserve even criticism.

Posted by vanessa 12:55 Archived in Austria Tagged frida_kahlo Comments (0)

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