Monthly Archives: February 2017

Do’s and Don’ts In The Viennese U-Bahn

When in Rome, do as the Romans do, states an ancient saying. When one is traveling, this should be the main motto, regardless of a destination. If you want to fully enjoy your experience and leave a good impression, being somehow aware of local rules is necessary: an excellent example of such rules is the Viennese U-Bahn etiquette, which locals are, apparently, very rigorous about. I’ve gathered a few essential tips about the Viennese subway behavior for you, in case if you want to avoid some heated comments in the local dialect.

1. Kein Essen, bitte!

Some of us might occasionally be guilty of Kebabs, Falafels or those take-away noodles, but let’s be real: no one likes this odd smell of food going through the whole carriage. Train your willpower and save your food for devouring it somewhere else.

2. The left side is for walking

Where I come from, no one cares about the golden escalator rule: stand on the right side, walk on the left one. Having lived in Europe for 2,5 years, now when I come home, I understand the passive aggressiveness of Viennese, when the left side is occupied. Please, just don’t.

3. Leave space for baby strollers

Viennese U-Bahn trains have secured plenty of space for buggies, so when you see one, you should make some room for it. Mums and dads will appreciate this, seriously. You’re free to stand there when no baby strollers are in your sight though.

4. U-Bahn is not a music venue

While this one is quite obvious and definitely universal, many still fail to follow it: please, keep the volume in your headphones loud enough for you to hear it, but quiet enough, so that other passengers don’t notice it. And definitely don’t use speakers for the purpose of enjoying the latest Justin Bieber’s hit – others might slightly dislike it.

5. NO to free rides

While it might be tempting to skip the ticket purchase and set your hopes on your luck, you should always travel with a valid ticket – it’s a no-brainer. After the feast comes the reckoning, as they say, so buying a ticket is the best way to say danke schön for the excellent Viennese transportation system.

Enjoy your rides!

 

 

 

Running Route: Modling

I am not sure how many people know about this cute little town (even though they insist to be a city) located south of Vienna; if you have not yet visited Modling, you should! It is only about 20 minutes away from Hauptbahnhof with S bahn. I often visit Modling mainly because my boyfriend’s parents still live there. Second of all, the town is a nice little escape from Vienna once in a while. Also for those of you who run, Modling is a fresh change to your running route. From my previous post, I mentioned Vienna City Marathon, and how I started to train for the race. My regular running route in Vienna is Belvedere and Stadtpark area with some variations, since I live in the 5th district near Haupbahnhof.

Modling is a nice change to train for long runs. There are many easily climbable mountains and cute old buildings. Normally I would run through the town center andto Anninger or Burg Modling. I know the picture is from before Christmas of 2016, but the view on top of the mountain is definitely worth the trouble of running up that big steep hill. Running in Modling on weekends is nice for a few reasons. First of all, the air feels so much better than that of Vienna; second, running up and down the hill will give you nice muscles, so you can run faster on your race day! Besides running, Modling is a cute little down with a nice Italian restaurant called Pino and Medieval ruins.

Tips on Getting Your Stuff Shipped Here…

Earier I wrote about the ball season, and I tried to get my old long dress shipped to Vienna for the ball from my old home. That is when all the issues began. Supposedly, when you ship something to Austria from abroad outside Europe, it will roughly take about 10 business days. However, my dress was not here even after three whole weeks, which made me very nervous. One morning, the mail man came and delivered my dress about 4 weeks after it had been shipped, asking for me to pay 94 euros!! So what had happened?

The mail man told me that the money is customs fee, so instead of paying right away, I decided to pick up my package at at the post office. I researched how it works, and I thought it would be a cool thing to share.

  1. You only pay customs fee if the product is brand new. So for example, if you ordered something abroad, you probably have to pay the customs fee.
  2. You have to pay customs fee if the product is of high value and is expected to stay in Austria permanently.

However, neither of the clauses applied to my case. So the Customs assumed that the product will be in Austria permenantly and is of high value (number 2), even though my dress was not at all of high value. Also my cousin in the US made a crucial mistake of using his old Amazon.com box, causing the customs to assume that my dress is brand new (ordered abroad).

Eventually, I talked to the customs and mailed them a copy of my visa (working holiday) to prove my temporary stay in the country, and a picture of me wearing the dress in 2012 and recently at a ball (thankfully I had different hair). So hopefully this tip will prevent you from going through the same trouble!

The Endless Charm of Graz

I’ve heard many times from Austrians that Graz, a city about 200 km southwest of Vienna, is the best city in the country. Having visited it a while ago, I have understood why this opinion is so popular. Although I wouldn’t compare Graz and Vienna, I absolutely think that a trip to this city is among the best ones that you can do while in Austria.

Graz and Vienna are so, so, so different. That’s why I think it’s a bit unfair to compare those two and decide on one’s superiority. Graz is small and quiet; its streets are narrow, buildings are not that colossal and churches are very modest. But all of this makes the atmosphere so incredibly warming, comforting and welcoming. Even people are somehow different here: you won’t see a big city rush in Graz, but rather a chilled and relaxed mindset and vibe.

One of the highlights of Graz is Schloßberg (see the picture above), a hill with a fortress right in the heart of Graz. You’ll have to manage many steps on the long staircase, but the view is absolutely rewarding and pays off all the effort. It’s a wonderful area to walk around, enjoy nature and fantastic scenery.

One more thing that I absolutely recommend to visit in Graz is Kunsthaus, a contemporary art museum. It is named “a friendly alien” by its creators, but you’ll have to see it for yourself to understand the origin of this name 🙂

Other than that, I would simply recommend to stroll around the city and make sudden discoveries on your own. I feel like Graz is perfect for this.

It’s Time To Say Goodbye!

This will be my last post, and it is even a little sad to leave you!
For me it was the first experience of writing a blog, and I enjoyed it! Primarily I consider this blog as my diary, in which I shared my thoughts and knowledge with you. I tried to tell more about incredible places, interesting facts, or simply  my personal thoughts. I do hope that my posts were informative, and give a chance to find something new about Vienna! What is more, I was a self-developing by preparing for new posts or by reading other people’s interesting blogs.

Vienna from DC Tower

I would like to thank Deutsch Akademie and I have already advised it to some of my friends, who are soon planning to enrol for courses. The location of courses is a huge benefit, just near Opera or Mariahilferstrasse. What is more,  they offer most optimal time to practice and perfect schedule for everyone. They will properly determine the level of language by testing. From my own and my friend’s experiences, they offer high-qualified and great teachers. All workers are always smiling and willing to help with anything! Textbooks and topics are well selected, and related to relevant everyday issues. And the most important thing is the clear result and improvements, which you will see in the nearest future. Thus, I highly recommend it!

Best Wishes,

Valeriia

 

Beauty In Details

Obviously, Vienna is truly beautiful in its details. It requires a lot of effort and time to make every detail. These details made Vienna an unforgettable place to live, wherever you look you can find decorations like window frames, doors, gates, statues, fountains and much more. We are getting used to them and often pass by these details, even not noticing them. In this post I would like to share with you one of these details, from which I can not take my eyes off. This is “Power at Sea” fountain.

This fountain is located at Michaelerplatz near the main gates to Hofburg. This fountain was created by Rudolf Weyr in 1895. He is Austrian sculptor in the Neo-Baroque style. There you can also find “Power at Land” fountain at the opposite side of Michaeler Wing of the Hofburg, which is created by another sculptor Edmund von Hellmer.

The fountain illustrates the heroic nude woman with a garment, which stands on the ship. Below her, the monster crawls out of the sea. One man seems to fall down to the depths of the ocean and another old man is looking at him out of the rock and trying to save.

I believe it is highly significant to notice details, then environment around will sparkle with new colors!

Best Wishes,

Valeriia

Leopold Museum. Death And Life

During the night I was lucky enough to visit the Leopold museum. Honestly, the main goal was to see  “Death and Life” by Gustav Klimt with my own eyes.  And yes,  it has exceeded all expectations!

 

⇐As usual, Klimt used a huge number of colors and shades. You can distinguish two bodies in the painting: lonely thin creature with a skull is the Death, and the warm mass of living bodies located at each other as a  single unit, from a baby to an old woman, illustrates the Life. You can stand for long in front of the painting and observe all details, but I will continue to give a short overview of the museum.

The basis for the collection of Leopold Museum is the collection of art collected over the years by spouses Leopold – Elisabeth and Rudolf. Rudolf Leopold worked as a successful ophthalmologist, but in Austrian history he remembered as a passionate art lover and collector.

Museum is located on Museumsplatz 1, and built in the shape of a nice white cube. In addition to Gustav Klimt, the main asset of the Leopold Museum is considered an exhibition of paintings by Egon Schiele, as it is the world’s largest collection. What is more, there you can find a lot of the other paintings by famous artists.

Additionally, there is a youth café with the dance floor in the museum. That day a DJ was playing a live music which made my visit even more memorable. Have a look at Leopold museum and you will discover many new things about the Austrian art.

Best Wishes,

Valeriia

Craving Some Extreme?

In the heart of the famous Wiener Prater amusement park there is an attraction that you absolutely can’t miss: Prater Turm. Unless you’re afraid of heights, of course. It’s basically a giant, 113-meters high, carousel: you’ll get an amazing experience (and an amazing view) by slowly spinning your way from the ground to the top of it. Additionally, you’ll get a good shot of adrenaline – some extreme won’t hurt and will surely add some diversity to your daily life.

Still hesitant and not sure if this is for you? Well, I’ve got one last thing to say. This amazing adrenaline rush costs only 5 euros! This might be a game changer 🙂

The high season in the Prater starts very soon – on the 15th of March, so all attractions, including Praterturm, should be opened from this day onwards. Save the date!

Thank You, Winter!

Very soon a spring will come, but have not yet made a post about winter in Vienna. It is an open secret that Vienna is beautiful at any time of the year, and in that way winter was not the exception at all! Of course I need a lot of words and time to describe the whole winter, all events and adventures on Vienna in details. That is why, I will try to pick the most impressive ones and  share a few thoughts with you.

X-mas Parade at Mariahilferstrasse

Vienna is the best place for calm winter pleasures, especially in December before Christmas holidays. Winter in Vienna attracted me by a surprising comfort and nice charm, nothing was storming or rushing. Winter streets of this city were quiet and calm, so I was just walking around for hours being impressed by its beauty! Аnd of course I need to mention the cozy Christmas markets!

Rathaus Christmas Market 

Vienna can truly show off more than a dozen of Christmas markets all over the city, each of which has its own very special and unique spirit. There you could listen to music, drank warming drinks, bought gifts and souvenirs. Christmas mood was just in the air.

Prater during the Perchtenlauf

While writing this post, I have realized that I miss it! However, I have to add a few negative thoughts about winter overall. To be honest, as a resident from the north and cold country, I missed snow and unique winter fresh air, and sometimes a lack of bright colours affect my mood. Nevertheless, I’m glad to have this experience! Photos show clearly how winter in Vienna looks like, very unpredictable and magical! Now it is time to explore Vienna in spring!

Best Wishes,

Valeriia

Vienna Is Full Of Surprises

One sunny day I was just walking over the bridge across the Danube. Then I casually raised my eyes and saw this beauty!

I have never seen it before, so it was such a nice surprise! Afterwards, I started to google about what place I have just found! It was St. Francis of Assisi Church (or Kaiserjubiläumskirche) and I now would like to share my findings with you!

As I have already said, this church is located on the banks of Danube river. I believe, it is a spectacular decoration of the Mexikoplatz in Vienna’s Second district. Historically, St. Francis of Assisi Church was built in 1900 in honor of the 50th anniversary of Emperor Franz Joseph’s reign. Honestly, I didn’t decide to look inside, but what I saw outside completely satisfied me.

The building itself is a Romanesque Revival architecture, and it looks spectacular with red tiled roof in contrast to the grey walls. It is one of the largest church in Vienna, but it is probably  emptiest one, as you can hardly meet tourists there.

I hope for someone I also make a discovery of this incredible place!

Best Wishes,

Valeriia

Walking Around Karlsplatz

One of my favorite places in Vienna is Karlsplatz, despite the fact that it is probably one of the busiest places in Vienna. Karlsplatz is named after the church located here. In turn, the Karlskirche got its name after the Italian priest Saint Carlo Borromeo.

The church building is incredibly beautiful. A wide white staircase leads to the temple, at the both edges of it there are figures of angels. On both sides of the church two monumental pillars are located, decorated with spirals, on which different stage of Carlo Borromeo’s life can be seen. Inside, the building is decorated with frescoes, paintings and a large main altar in the middle.

More than that, you can find Otto Wagner Pavillons, Künstlerhaus, Techni sche Universitat, infront of which there is Resselpark. This park is a good place to meet friends, relax, or just sit alone with your own thoughts. You can find a lot of people in the park, but many benches are installed in a long distance from each other. Many people are sitting around an oval pool with group of sculptures by Henry Moore round it, which connect Karlskirche and park Ressel. So, can’t wait for warm days to come there again.

 

Photo of Christmas Market in Karlsplatz

Best Wishes,

Valeriia