A Travellerspoint blog

August 2010


Sunday: about weather, zero point and Baden

semi-overcast 20 °C

Cool and sunny Sunday morning. Vienna looks washed and crispy in morning sun. It's windy, shining and early yet and I want to go rollerblades soon. Our last week in Vienna has begun and I can hear clock ticking. It's also the end of August and here, in Europe, it means calendar and in fact the end of the summer. I doubt if we could continue to swim in the river yet, water got cold in last week.

We scated today to the end of "our side" of the island. The end means ziro point - 24 km of island roads are marked each 100m, so you easily can know how long have u gone. "our side" means left from the house, usually we were scating in this direction. House stays in the middle of the way, about 12 km in each direction. So, "our" is direction of Airport, and "other" is direction of Vienna Woods.
I thought that I was twice in whole my life at zero point. Once it was at ziro meridean in Greenwich, and the second time here, on Danube Island. The second side, marked with 24 km didn't touch me emotionally by any way, but this windy ZERO feels like something important, a lil sad. You can physically reach the end (the beginning?) of the island, stay at the end of land and watch water, streeming at opposite direction (!). There is also a parking zone of working barges. Serious and tired, barges sleep there.

Don't confuse with Baden-Baden in Switzerland or Baden in Germany!
Baden located about 26 kilometres south of Vienna, frequently the name is given as Baden bei Wien (Baden near Vienna). This name, however, is not official, but can be used to distinguish it from other cities of the same name such as Baden-Baden in Switzerland. Baden is famous for its mineral springs with a natural temperature of up to 36 degree Celsius, the Baden spa treatment and wellness.
Saying the truth, I had a biase against Baden, because I expected it would be "the imperial spa town", and it really has some signs, but basically it's nice and not too wealthy.

Rathaus square

Wealthy life: bathing, drinking and gambling - all in one.

Stadt Theatre

Pfarrkirche St. Stefan

Hairdresser's sign

Posted by vanessa 14:00 Archived in Austria Comments (0)

Vienna - From Mariahilfer to Josefstadt

rain 17 °C

Morning was rainy and windy. We just began to skate but rain forsed us to return home. It seems that autumn is here already.

Later rain stopped. Sitting at home was not an attractive idea and we returned to this "Burggasse area" - actually, it's not Burggasse, but area From Mariahilfer (7th district) to Josefstadt (8th district).

This is St Barbara, who is part of sculpture composition near church at Burgasse.

Do you khow why she turned her face out? I do! She disgusted to see how one angel is trying to strangle another one.


I have no idea what they sale in this shop, but I liked its design.
Unexpected. Isnt it?
And then... we discovered Terra Plana shoes! Wooow, perfect design, amazing technologies and very sucsessful brand (all green and natural and blah blah).

This (amazing!) shoe-shop is on Neubaugasse 12. The next building is lovely too - it is decorated with horse-riders. Here (on photo below) is one of many.

We walked randomly and have seen many beautiful buildings. They all are lavishly decorated.


This house at Mondscheingasse (on the photo below) is over-decorated. It could be elegant, but it looks funny because of size of decor. I can imagine how client asked the architect: " More, more, do it bigger! I want the most impressive house in Vienna and in whole Austria"


"Milk & Honey" - shop that sales unnesessary but COOL stuff.


Spittelberg is a quiet side street (near Burggasse). When you step inside - you forget for a while that you are in the city. There are beautiful old buildings, everything is lower then at main street and plenty of good restaurants and cafes. We had a lunch in "Boheme": classic, elegant and expensive. Place is stylish and food was tasty - we were not dissapointed.

Refreshed after lunch we continue our way

In Mexican culture death wears costumes.

Sweet square near Nepomuk chirch.

It's always fun in vintage shop! Like travel back in time.

Posted by vanessa 12:57 Archived in Austria Comments (0)

Rain, rain, rain again!


rain 25 °C

It's about the night riding (rollerblades) at weekends in Vienna.
We wanted to do it today, but it's the 2nd Friday afternoon rain. Ufffff.. I like rains, but it ruined our plans!

So, I'm sitting inside and I'm updating photos online.
Also this need to do, isnt' it?

To entertain you: here are my August photos (from left to right).
At the top: with Nina in Stadtpark, then with mom in the train.
At the bottom: with Andre in Hallstadt and with chimney sweeper in Hietzing!
If you used to think that taking photo with chimney sweeper is a bit weird thing to do, then you should learn that meeting with chimney sweeper brings LUCK! Immediately!

Posted by vanessa 08:03 Archived in Austria Comments (0)

Dinner with Nina & Franz

sunny 30 °C

Once again we had a very good time with Nina & Franz in their garden.
Late afternoon, between coffee and the dinner we did some "hiking" with Nina in local forest. It was a very nice walk, forest isn't big but untouched, and I prefer it undeveloped. My only complain was that forest sits on the hill - I'm not a fan of ups and downs. There were lot of mushrooms and we couldnt refuse collecting of them. Mushrooms will be tasted at the next day (let's see if all of them were eatable!)


Later, when cats were sent to sleep (and Portos aslep on N&F's bed lined with fresh sheets), we had a dinner with caviar and champagne, in addition of good conversation and other yammy pleasures. If you ask why color of champagne is bloody weird - so it was because of addition of blackberry liqueur inside. Ja, ja, es war sehr gut!

A wasp excorted the plate with caviar sandwiches from the moment of it's appearance. When sandwiches (finally!) were eaten and only few caviar balls stay on the plate, it took command of the plate. Wasp was steadily sucking caviar ball, rolling it forward and back. Then, making a short breaks of high-calorie foods, it was unconsciously crawling on the plate, not knowing the road, as if it were drunk or dragged.


We left them in darkness and in mood, going from there by train - which makes feeling of visiting villagers, even formally it was Vienna.

Posted by vanessa 14:37 Archived in Austria Comments (0)


The ax under the bench

semi-overcast 24 °C

I found a new (at least new for me!) beautiful area in Vienna.

The street calls Burggasse, it's sitting between Volkstheater (Museum Quartal) and Mariahilfer (main shopping street), possible to reach with U2 or U3 tube. Russian Proverb says: "found an ax under the bench" (нашел топор под лавкой) - meaning that you discovered ( think that you discovered!) something already popular.

Burggasse lies in 7th district, in very centrer of Vienna, nearby to other tourist attractions, but usually it's not mentioned as a main tourist trap. The street itself is large and noisy, but still very attractive: plenty of excellent restaurants, cafes and pubs - one is better then another.

There are also art galleries, designer shops, street-sports (my favorite), misterious antique shops and the best hardware shop in Vienna - Petzolt. Actually, we were watching for this Petzolt (nuts, screws, saws, axes and others) and found much more then it.

Side streets are absolutelly sharming - I wish to turn every corner and enter each door I seen.


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

Skate the island

A day on wheels

semi-overcast 24 °C

Today we rolled through the island.
We were skating in direction of Vienna Woods, aiming to reach the end of the Donaisle and to spend all day rolling forward, until we could not continue and should return home by metro/bus.

But The End of The Island suddenly appeared faster then we expected, so we were forced to do some changes in original plan and turned into the city, skating along the canal in direction of Sweden Platz.

Actually, it's already NOT at the island.

Colorful Spittelau by Hundertwasser - unfortunatelly this shot took against the light, so no colors are visible.

Lotsa beautiful graffiti samples along the river and canals, but I want to show it separatelly, in "Graffiti" entrance!

Posted by vanessa 07:57 Archived in Austria Comments (0)

Water Tower

sunny 20 °C

67m high and 17m wide, the Water Tower in Favoriten (10th district) was built in 19th century. At this time the only water-pipe, providing Alpine water to Vienna, was not enough for rapidly increasing population of the city. It mostly used during 10 years, until the new water-pipe was istablished, and later used only for emergencies.

In 1956 the Water Tower was oficcially closed and started to fall into dissapear. In 1990 it returned to life and now it used as look-out tower and exhibition space. It's very nice landmark outside, but not much to see inside and may be interesting for the specialists only . White walls, all clean and renovated and 200 m of ramp (steps) circulating along the walls.

Posted by vanessa 10:07 Archived in Austria Tagged vienna Comments (0)

Going with no camera

What a pity!!!

19 °C

Couple of days ago, rollerblading on the island, we have seen large family of swans - I tried to score them, them were about 20 birds. And again I was without camera on me. What a pity!

There are swans on Danube (living on my island), but I took this shot in another day and there are only few of birds.

Then I have seen a duck and a young swan, who were watching each other, simmetrically floating on waters - nose to nose. That's was funny and could b a great shot too!

Another great shot was missed at the same day: German ship A'Rosa Mia was passing on Danube. This ship was painted by very special way: yeah, kitchy, but still sweet and it made me smiling. I was lucky enough to find the photo online, but it's not in Vienna (and not my photo of course). Hope you can see - there is huge smiling red lips, holding a red rose.


Few oustanding shots from nude beach (FKK area on the island) were missed!

A middleage man, still in good shape and with proper hairdress, watering the grass on the hill (!) near the river from huge water can. His naked muscular silhouette, combined with a huge watering can, is in perfect harmony with the peaceful and clean Austrian lawn. If I only could to take photo - it could be the best shot of the year!

The 2nd: SUNNY ASS
Another man is bicycling up to the hill. His ass is shining in the sunlight. Was really spectacular!

Posted by vanessa 14:53 Archived in Austria Tagged photography Comments (0)

Stadtpark, Vienna

I'll be back!

sunny 24 °C

After cake-attack in Café Prückel Nina, my mom and me crossed the street and went to Stadtpark.

my mom & Nina

Entrance to Stadtpark.

It's the sculpture of golden Johann Strauss in the park. One of the most beaten signs, a popular tourist spot for photography. Ops, it's no Strauss anymore, only fence around. What happen? Johan, alike everybody else, need some time for make up and renovation. I really liked the poster on the fence - the personal note from Johan to public.


Posted by vanessa 21:13 Archived in Austria Tagged stadtpark johann strauss niña johann_strauss i'll_be_back Comments (0)

Vienna: park, church and psychatric hospital in Am Steinhof.

overcast 19 °C

Kirche am Steinhof - Jugendstil's holy lemon

The Kirche am Steinhof (aka Kirche St. Leopold) sits high atop the Baumgartner Höhe at the city outskirts. Locals jokingly refer to this splendid site as “Limoniberg,” or Mount Lemon, on account of the church’s glistening gilded dome that beckons from afar. This art nouveau masterpiece was built by architect Otto Wagner from 1903–07 on the grounds of Vienna’s Steinhof psychiatric hospital. Actually it one of the most beautiful churches in Vienna, less known because it not-central location.

I like Steinhofgründe (Steinhof grounds) aside of hospital too. It looks natural, more likely countryside, then park in the city. Compare to famous Vienna Woods , which is cut with asphalt paths like a big green cake, decorated with garbage sideburns and costy because of quality restaurants and cafes everywhere - Steinhofgründe seems almost undeveloped. At this time we even seen deers in Steinhof. Deers feel so safe that don't mind presence of people.


Posted by vanessa 21:49 Archived in Austria Comments (0)

- Krems, Stein and Tulln

Daily trip with family

semi-overcast 27 °C

Three towns in Lower Austria, all nearby. Actually they are the "gate" to Wachau Valley, which lays between Krems to Melk. I did this Krems-Melk way by ship, going with Danube, but it also possible to make by bicycle. There are 40 kilometres in length and it was already settled in prehistoric times. Wachau Valley is the origin of the wine growing tradition in Austria, and, if you ask me - they product great wines there!


is the biggest of this trio and the most interesting : few museums, shopping street, nice architecture of Gothic and Baroque times.


is a village that connected to Krems, actual part of Krems novadays. Stein is charming, and it is my favorite from those three. Because of Stein was built in 16th century, it what they call here Renaissance, and it is - it is really North Renaissance.


Tulln is also very nice. It is a bit less known for mass tourism, mostly Austrian come there for short daily trips. Some architecture and some river life, petite train runs thrue the streets, but actually it's walkable and very little place.


Tulln is the birthplace of great Austrian artist Egon Schiele and you may visit Schiele Museum.

Also there are 12 km of Water Park for walking, cycling and water-ways (the best choice) by canoe or by pedal water-bikes.

Hearthy food in local tavernas.

Posted by vanessa 18:37 Archived in Austria Tagged tourist_sites Comments (0)


sunny 25 °C

Angelica invited us to dancing party regards of tree "round" birthday dates in the family: parents got their 60th this year, and Cristine (Angelica's sis) - her 30th birthday. It was organised by very special way - in the mood of 50th (1950th), in the "Piper's Ballroom" on Hofmühlgasse.

Many people were dressed in style of 50th.
Angelica took her family to special 50th staff store
and all of them were dressed with original accessuares.

Then came champagne, cakes and dance party.

Kids were involved too and 2yo Gabriel had much fun and didnt agree to stop dancing. Their family is very warm and special. I like to feel a part of fam.

Posted by vanessa 14:11 Archived in Austria Tagged party events birthday Comments (0)

- Trains

Travelling by train in Austria and Germany

Trains in both, Austria and Germany are excellent! Comfortable, running at time, clean, good connections, very helpful staf in information offices. I found also great possibility to travel cheaper for group. "name" ticket in Germany. You pay (price) EU and can travel during the day (on-off) and this price with company up to 5(!) ppl. We used it only two of us in the way from Munich to Salzburg.
Austrian variants of same group travel are: "name" and "name". For details you should ask in train staton or conductor - sometimes it's not cheaper then regulat single ticket and that exactly the reason to ask them.

Posted by vanessa 10:14 Archived in Austria Tagged train_travel Comments (0)

- Linz

semi-overcast 26 °C
View Austria - Summer 2010 & ISRAEL - all around on vanessa's travel map.

Visiting Linz wasn't in our original plan. We supposed to stay for a night in Wels and move to Enns at the next morning (today). But there appeared that Wels was too little and not too welcoming place to stay, and for arriving Enns, which is pretty near, we should go via Linz anyway.

We arrived Linz about 6pm yesterday, slept in Haus Walthraud and even make a short sightseeing walk at the evening. Linz is big city, there r plenty of places to see.

Here few words about the hotel.
We didn't book anything for advance and spontaneity is tricky in August - bcause it's vacation time. One hostel was completely full, another didn't even answer on call (was full as well?). We wanted to stay on budget but still hoped to live in walking distance from the center and from Rail Station. We got the first which cost reasonable (50EU for double room) and location seem ok too. The only disadvantage was shared facilities, but not a big deal - it is always very clean and in well condition here, in Austria. We walked from the Train Station about half an hour (not include supermarket where I stuck for a while), then arrived the big square and found the hotel. House-keeper opened our doorbell rang and took us 2 turnes downsteirs. There were some surprises: our room was in basement floor (windows at height of the hips of walking ppl) but it was really spacious, originally planned for 3 ppl. The room had equipped kitchinetta inside, was fully renovated and clean. As I expected shower and WC were spacious and clean too. It was some smell of the old building in the bacement, but you gettting used to it in a minute after entrance. This hotel also has little inner garden with small plastic pool and place for BQ - not very relevant for us, but nice to find. We even had TV and WIFI connection in the room! And, the most important we discovered that we live in the very center, just into tourist map! So, at general it over our expectations. Another discovery made us smiling: it was small metal door on the wall of our room (probably for ventilation?) with name Kafka on it. We didn't yet decide what it supposed to be, but it gives to our visit Kafkean tone :-)

As I already said facilities were out of the room, but near. I awoke very early and planned to take a shower. When I stepped out of the room the electricity was off and disable to switch it on. (Basement - dark as the asshole!). Restroom also was in complete darknes. I went upstairs, played with every switch around, went down and played with switchers there - no result. It was too early to awake anybody (4:30am), so I should b creative. No, I didn't have a flashlight. I switched light on in the room, risking to awake Andre and opened the door as wide as I could. Then I opened the door of the restroom and visited there in extreme conditions. I guess it looked comical.

Here r few words abt the city of Linz.
Linz is the third-largest city of Austria and capital of the land of Upper Austria (Oberösterreich). It is located in the centre of Austria and devided 2two with Danube River. The city was founded by the Romans. Linz always was important trading point connecting several routes. During 3 years in XV century it even had status of the capital; survived the plague and wars XVI-XVII centuries and revived again in the XVIII century. Linz is large industrial, transport, cultural and educational center: universities, theaters, museums, architecure of XIII-XIX centuries.
Adolf Hitler spent most of his childhood and youth in the Linz area. To the end of his life, Hitler considered Linz to be his "home town", and envisioned extensive architectural schemes for it, wanting it to become the main cultural centre of the Third Reich. In order to make the city economically vibrant, Hitler initiated a major industrialization of Linz shortly before, and during, World War II. Linz still looks like busy industrial city, but doesn't have imperial splendor. Compared with Gratz it is not equal nor in any beauty or grooming in either greatness. Linz doesn't have playfulness and secularity of Vienna and it is not quiet and comfort enough for living as a small town. It still has own beauty and places of interests, but no charm. Linz is a heavyweights, serious and busy working city with busy traffic and sooty facades. We left the gloomy city with a light heart and run to the last stop in our trip - small Enns, which supposed to be a gem.

Posted by vanessa 09:00 Archived in Austria Comments (0)

- Wels

sunny 30 °C

Very hot day, about 30C.
We hoped to leave our backpacks in hotel, but couldnt find the place for us. So we did all sightseeing with backpacks on us (thanks God they are little n light - we travel with minimum staff). Town is beautiful and well-preserved, worth a visit, but it's pretty small, we have seen it all in few hours, when 1/2 of this time spent on search after the meal. Lunch issue was weird there. In many places they suggested lunch (soup, salad and main course) for very modest price of 6-7EU, but it was not avaliable anywhere! It was only 13PM and each place we were asking for a meal they said "Sorry, it's finished". It never happen to us before and made me thinking that maybe they just didnt want straingers (we were with backpacks) there?

Posted by vanessa 08:13 Archived in Austria Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

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