Monthly Archives: September 2016

Turismo o cultura

Turismo o cultura

Recién tuve la oportunidad de disfrutar de un lindo paseo por el Distrito 1 en la Línea Roja del ómnibus turístico que recorre la ciudad de Viena.

El punto de partida era la Ópera. Desde muy temprano comenzaron a llegar las personas interesadas, que de forma muy organizada hicieron una fila esperando el ticket que les permitiría abordar el ómnibus.

Fue una oferta gratuita del pasado domingo, para la cual había una palabra clave: “Denkmal”, que significa “monumento”, pues también era día de entrada gratuita a monumentos y museos de la ciudad.

Interesante recorrido de alrededor de una hora. Cómodamente sentado en el segundo piso del ómnibus, escuché una amena explicación de la guía de turismo sobre la historia y cultura de Austria, con la posibilidad de escoger el idioma de preferencia.

Pasamos por la suntuosa avenida del Ring desde la Ópera, el Hofburg, los Museos de Bellas Artes y Ciencias Naturales, el Ayuntamiento, el Teatro Nacional. Bordeamos el Danubio, supe que fue escenario del film El Tercer Hombre de Orson Wells y que fue un doble vienes quien actuó en las escenas por los alcantarillados.

Pasé todo el domingo recorriendo museos y monumentos. Recorrí los bellos palacios imperiales, la habitación donde falleció el Emperador Francisco José I, la Capilla; visité la Biblioteca Nacional; el Museo del Papiro.

Si observan la segunda foto podrán ver hacia atrás, a la derecha, frente a la Ópera, el edificio donde está la Academia de Alemán “DeutschAkademie”, privilegiado lugar del centro de la ciudad.

De la historia de Austria

De la historia de Austria

Austria tiene larga y compleja historia que se extiende mucho más allá de sus actuales fronteras.

Muy interesante es descubrir la apasionante historia, económica y cultural de Austria, desde la coronación de Francisco José e Isabel hasta el despertar de los nacionalismos y desmembramiento final del imperio en la Primera Guerra Mundial, conocer del Imperio milenario.

La historia de Austria está vinculada a la de la familia de los Habsburgo. En 1282, Rodolfo de Habsburgo (Rodolfo I, el recién elegido emperador alemán) dio a Austria (Alta y Baja Austria, Carintia, Estiria y Carniola) a sus hijos, Alberto y Rodolfo, inaugurando así la sucesión masculina de Habsburgo que continuará sin interrupción hasta 1740.

De 1815 a 1848, Austria, bajo el ministerio del príncipe Klemens von Metternich, dominó la política europea como la principal potencia tanto de la Confederación Alemana y la Santa Alianza (Austria, Rusia y Prusia). El emperador Fernando I abdicó en diciembre de 1848.

Fue sucedido por su sobrino, Francisco José I, de 18 años de edad que estaba destinado a ocupar el trono de Austria durante 68 años. Durante su reinado, Austria trató de establecer un gobierno central fuerte que unificara todas las posesiones de los Habsburgo bajo su liderazgo.

Este año se conmemora el centenario de la muerte del Emperador Francisco José I (1830-1916), quien desde muy joven fue una figura pública y fue convirtiéndose paulatinamente en símbolo y sostén de la monarquía austrohúngara.

Los Habsburgo mantuvieron su reinado sobre Austria, Bohemia y Hungría hasta 1918.

Austria

Austria

El nombre de Austria (en alemán Österreich) proviene del vocablo de alemán antiguo Ostarrîchi, que significa Territorio Oriental.

Austria, oficialmente la República de Austria, es un Estado continental situado en la parte meridional de Europa Central, comprende parte de los Alpes Orientales y de la cuenca del Danubio; además linda con la región del Mediterráneo.

Situado en el corazón de Europa, presenta diversos tipos de clima, paisaje y vegetación. Debido a su situación geográfica constituye, desde tiempos inmemoriales, un punto de intersección de las vías de comunicación entre las grandes zonas económicas y culturales de Europa.

Austria es un Estado federal integrado por nueve Estados federados, a saber: Burgenland, Carintia, Baja Austria, Alta Austria, Salzburgo, Estiria, Tirol, Vorarlberg y Viena. Su superficie abarca 83.858 km2.

Austria comparte sus fronteras con ocho Estados cuyos habitantes pertenecen a los grandes grupos étnicos europeos germánico, latino y eslavo, con excepción de los húngaros (magiares) que forman parte de los pueblos uraloaltaicos.

Las fronteras del Estado austríaco tienen 2.706 km de longitud de los cuales 816 km son lindantes con Alemania, 466 km con la República Checa, 107 km con Eslovaquia, 354 km con Hungría, 330 km con Eslovenia, 430 km con Italia, 166 km con Suiza y 35 km con Liechtenstein.

Austria presenta cinco grandes regiones naturales, a saber:

Los Alpes Orientales
Los Prealpes y Precárpatos
La región subalpina del este (parte de la llanura panónica)
La cuenca de Viena
Las elevaciones de granito y gneis (parte del macizo de Bohemia)

Practice, Practice, Practice

As is the end of the month, there is also the end of our classes. Usually, Deutsch Akademie classes start at the beginning of each month so the ending of the month coincides with the one of the class.

I still cannot believe another month is gone, and I am already finishing the A2.1. course. This course was a little bit different, in the first week, we had a teacher and the other three weeks another one. There was no problem with that, while both of them are really nice persons, with different teaches approaches but positive in work and mind.

We made some plans for our last day. In the first part of the day, we are going to have a normal class, with some recap and a small test, and in the second part, we will have a picnic in Burggarten.

Even though we don’t receive grades, and I am confident that I am going to do well at our test, I do have some emotions and feel a little bit stressed. I’d wished this day had some more hours, so I would be capable to repeat all the grammar rules learnt until now, I could review some verbs or nouns…. Hmmm, I dug all my older materials and I am going to make a short recap.

In the same time, I cannot wait the picnic, Burggarten in a really nice park and is a great idea for ending a level with some spare time in nature.

How do you prepare for your test? Or, how is going to be your last day?14439026_1273331979352134_1370303179_o

This little tradition called Schuletüte

Every country and/ or family has its own special tradition on the first day of classes. South Korea has a little ceremony on the first day of first grade. On the first day of the first grade, for some reason, my family gives the child a new pair of shoes. Of course, Austria has a very interesting tradition for school children entering the first grade.

A couple of weeks ago, if you were out on the street early enough, you probably saw children holding huge cones. These are called Schuletüte; its literal translation is school cone. Children of Germany, Czech Republic, some parts of Poland and Switzerland, and Austria receive a big cardboard cone filled with candies, school supplies, toys, and other goodies on the first day of first grade. I find this little tradition so adorable and is over 200 years old!

img_5047Not just for school children starting first grade, sometimes it’s a good finishing gift or a gag gift. (Mainly I couldn’t find a picture of him with his first Schuletüte) My boyfriend got his second Schuletüte after his finished high school exam (Matura: high school exit exam in countries in this part of Europe) as you can see in the picture. He had candies and other goodies not meant for children.

They sell those cones of different sizes and colors and patterns online and you can stuff them with whatever you want! So if you have a friend who’s starting school this fall, why not surprise with a cute and kind little gift of Schuletüte?

Make friends and “compete”

Deutsch Akademie offers a wide range of activities which help you learn German more easily.

They are offering a free online course where you can find lots of exercises for every level. Here, they also have some online lessons with audio training.

Deutsch Akademie is organizing each month a Stammtisch, an evening out with all their students. Lots of creative games are prepared by the team. And, as a participant, you can win some interesting and useful prizes.

While Deutsch Akademie is offering some alternatives for learning German. Another, very used app, which can be used by you as an individual, or you can follow your friends is… Duolingo. It is a free language learning that includes a language-learning website and app, as well as a digital language proficiency assessment exam. I used Doulingo for a while, but I stopped. I intend to use it again, and maybe we can compete together. My name is IvonaCostan.

There are so many alternatives for learning a language online, it is quite difficult to use or fallow all of them. My advice would be to choose one which fits you best, and then keep working with that when you have some spare time.

For sure it is better to speak German every time you have the occasion, but most importantly with people which have a high level of Deutsch knowledge.

Taking a course in Deutsch Akademie is a good decision. While we are working in small classes, in 3 hours, all the people have the possibility of speaking with each under the supervision of a teacher.

What methods do you use for learning German by yourself? Do you have a favorite program or app?

duolingo

So you want to be sneaky…?

Though beautiful and historical, the city has many other elements that are simply too old and need a modern touch. Vienna’s public transport system is very thorough, but its ticketing system is a bit outdated. Frankly, it is so easy to hop on an U-Bahn and bim for free because the city has no systematic way of checking tickets. I don’t think there are many free riders in the city, but once in a blue moon when ticket checkers are in buses, U-Bahn, and bims, you will see free riders getting busted. And those ticket checkers are ruthless!

I want to start off with this story. My friend Aaron studied abroad in Vienna for a semester a year ago, and his classmate had to experience this mishap. Let’s say that kid’s name is Jakob. Jakob’s family was visiting Vienna for a few days, so he got his family members weekly tickets. Jakob wanted to show off his German skills so picked German as the language for the ticket machine. Later that evening, each of them had to pay 120 euro fines. Why? He got dog tickets for his family…

img_7804The other day, my boyfriend had to take Badnerbahn to go to Ikea, where is located one station outside the Vienna city limit, so you have to get a ticket for that one station. On his way back from Ikea, he didn’t get a ticket, thinking “it’s only one station, and checking is not likely.” Rookie mistake… For some reason, whenever you have a reason to get busted, those ticket checkers always show up. He got busted. Once the Badnerbahn left SCS (where Ikea is), they began to check for tickets, and there goes 70 euros…

Don’t take chances people! Like my boyfriend, your trip to Ikea may cost you a lot more than you’d think…

Some music from Mr. Obama

I have not hidden sympathy for the Obamas.  I follow them on facebook, instagram, twitter and where I can. But nope, not yet stalker :P.

They are charismatic, smart, and they are making good PR. I will not comment their political decisions and actions, because I consider there are people more advised to tell something about his eight years activity in the oval office.

On 11 August 2016 the US president gives his summer playlist tweet, daytime and nighttime.

How do I listen to music all the time and all the while looking constantly new songs or old, but I conquer, I recognized it was a moment only good to (re) find some music to listen to in the days ahead.

I started with the first song in daytime playlist, second and I said I could make a playlist. I arrived at nighttime and I thought I could make a playlist. Or I could have one, consisting of two.

whitehouse_nighttimefinal

The President Summer playlist for daytime consists of:

  1. LoveHate Thing– Wale
  2. Smooth Sailin’– Leon Bridges
  3. Elevator Operator– Courtney Barnett
  4. Home – Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
  5. Many the Miles– Sara Bareilles
  6. Tightrope – Janelle Monáe
  7. Classic Man – Jidenna
  8. So Ambitious – Jay Z feat. Pharrell
  9. Me Gustas Tu– Manu Chao
  10. Forever Begins– Common
  11. The Man– Aloe Blacc
  12. As We Enter– Nas & Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley
  13. Sinnerman – Nina Simone
  14. U Got the Look– Prince
  15. Rock Steady– Aretha Franklin
  16. Good Vibrations– Beach Boys
  17. Don’t Owe You A Thang– Gary Clark Jr.
  18. Man Like That– Gin Wigmore
  19. II B.S. (edit)– Charles Mingus

 And the nighttime one consists of:

  1. If I Have My Way– Chrisette Michele
  2. Espera – Esperanza Spalding
  3. Tell It Like It Is– Aaron Neville
  4. Alright – Ledisi
  5. Trapped By A Thing Called Love– Denise LaSalle
  6. Lady – D’Angelo
  7. So Very Hard to Go– Tower of Power
  8. Midnight Sun– Carmen McCrae
  9. Cucurrucucú Paloma – Caetano Veloso
  10. Green Aphrodisiac – Corinne Bailey Rae
  11. I’ll Be There for You / You’re All I Need– Mary J. Blige / Method Man
  12. Lover Man– Billie Holiday
  13. Criminal – Fiona Apple
  14. Acid Rain– Chance the Rapper
  15. My Funny Valentine – Miles Davis
  16. Do You Feel Me – Anthony Hamilton
  17. I Get Lonely– Janet Jackson
  18. Lean In– Lizz Wright
  19. All Day Music– War
  20. Say Yes– Floetry

So, give them a try and maybe you will find something you like. You can consider that the playlist is made by one of the most famous and powerful man on Earth.  All the songs are easy to find on YouTube or other music channels, but in the same time, White House uses Spotify to share some of the member’s playlists.

Listen some good music and gain power for some German vocabulary or grammar rules!

Photo credits to WhiteHouse.Gov

Cooking in Vienna…

As sushi took off as a stylish and trendy cuisine in this side of the world, many Japanese restaurants began to flood into big and small cities of Americas and Europe. Then, other Asian cuisines became popular as well. Vienna, along with other major cities, has many Asian restaurants. However, not all restaurants, of course, do not live up to expectations or give too many modifications to the original dishes or overly priced. What’s the solution then?

About three weeks ago, I found a Korean grocery store (also sells other Asian products), and just last week, I found a Japanese grocery store by TU, within a walking distance from Deausch Akademie actually. One of the things I liked a lot about those places sell fresh homemade tofu. Many Korean dishes use tofu, so I grew up eating it a lot. But tofus sold here are not the freshest and are extremely overly priced.

Anyway, so this week, I decided to use this opportunity to make some homemade Japanese ramen. You will be surprised how easy it is actually. I got ingredients from the Japanese and Korean grocery store (you can get all from one of them, but I had already had some ingredients from the Korean supermarket). Then, some vegetables from Billa. One of the most important part of the dish is Chashu, which is slow cooked pork belly in soy sauce and ginger.

img_7787Another perk of living in a city is all the small grocers! The other day, I took a walk around my neighborhood and found this butcher. Considering they sell rather fresh meat, I initially thought it’d be pricey. Surprisingly, it was super affordable probably because they don’t have any middlemen. Being in a city, you can afford fresh ingredients and support small business owners like the butcher around the corner of my apartment. And if you have the will, you can skip on those overly priced Asian restaurants!

#CoffeeInACone

If you are a coffee, chocolate or ice cream lover… I am sure you will going to be delighted by the of having a coffee in an ice cream cone. This three products are well combined and served together from the beginning of the 2016th. Now, I wonder… when we will have this kind of coffee in Vienna?

The idea was brought to live by Dayne Levinrad in Johannesburg, South Africa. After spending four years as a coffee consultant in different places around the world like Brazil, Los Angeles or Australia, Dayne decided to open The Grind Coffee Company where you can serve this revolutionary coffee drink.

The cones are made from four different chocolate compounds, and prevent the cone from leaking for about 10 minutes.

While I am not a big coffee lover, I do love ice cream as you probably know from my previous posts and I am really interested to find a place where I can serve a coffee in a cone. But, you need to pay attention because in about 10 minutes, the coffee will melt through the chocolate, creating a mess.

If you find a place with this service… please let me know. In the meantime, I will enjoy coffee, chocolate and ice-cream  (while the weather still allows me) separately.  coffee-in-a-cone

Photo credits to Coffee in a Cone Facebook page

40 Jahre Reise zum Regenbogen

Unter das „40 Jahre Reise zum Regenbogen“ Motto steht das diesjährige Gastspiel des renommierten Circus Roncalli vom 15. September bis 16. Oktober auf dem Wiener Rathausplatz.

Anlässlich seines 40-jährigen Bestehenes erwartet die Besucher ein besonderes Programm. Die weltweit besten Akrobaten, Artisten un Clowns und anderem aus Kanada, Venezuela, Russland, Frankreich und der Ukraine, stehen nun in der Manege des Circus Roncalli.

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Vivi und Lili, die beiden Töchter von Bernarn Pauls, sind fixe Bestandteile der Show und werden das Publikum mit ihren artistichen Darbietungen in Staunen versetzen.

Atemberaubende Akrobatik, absolute Körperbeherrschung, viel Humor, fantasievolle Kostüme and fein abgestimmte Live-Musik des Roncalli-Orchesters verleihen der Show ein besonderes Flair.

Vorstellungen finden von Dienstag bis Samstag um 15 und 19.30 Uhr sowie am Sonntag un 14 und 18 Uhr statt.

Karten gibt es gier: Ö-Ticket, Wien-Ticket oder direkt bei der Kassa auf dem Rathausplatz und kosten 18-72€.

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Feieren Sie 40 Jahre mit Circus Roncalli!