Monthly Archives: May 2018

der dachstein

This 1 day trip is one of the trips we would cherish forever with memories of Austria. A wonderful place for the entire family.

We were 3 families of total 9 people. So we rented a 9 seater mini van from Vienna International Airport car rental center. We started early in the morning and left airport at 8 am, since it was a 1 day trip for us. It took us around 3-4 hours to reach the foothill of der dachstein.

We went in peak summer. But der dachstein is one of the snow clad mountains in Austria as the peak is at around 3000 meters. One of the families was leaving Austria and there was a cute girl who wanted to play in snow before leaving Austria. So we decided to make it to der dachstein.

From the base we had to take cable car to reach the top. There was a snow storm when we started our cable car ! There was only snow to be seen around us everywhere.

There is an attraction called sky walk, basically a view point where you can see breathtaking views of the mountains and villages.

There is a suspension bridge from where you can get again marvelous views. But it was totally snowy for us. But that’s what we wanted too.

Once you cross the suspension bridge there is an ice palace. We had to be careful walking inside the cave. It was very skidding. The ice made statues and things in the cave were beautifully lighted and was again awesome. But it was very freezing to us that we had to leave soon. By the time we reached to our cable car point the clouds got cleared and we got those splendid views of the mountains and villages.

After we reached the base we drove to Amusement park Ramsau Beach. We played lot of games there like volley ball, football, table tennis. It was a total fun packed day for all of us. We wrapped up the day with a delicious dinner at the cafe “Waldcafé Lifstüber“. The trip back was quiet and sleepy for many. We managed to reach back to Vienna airport at 11 pm. We caught the last train from airport to Vienna as well.

Our trip in Austria

We made a trip in Austria for 4 days and it was lot of fun. We took a rented car from Vienna airport for means of transport. And used airbnb to book houses for accomodation.

Day 1 – Hallstadt :

We rented a car from Vienna International airport in the morning. And started our trip first towards Hallstadt. We wanted to see the salt mine. It was already afternoon when we reached Hallstadt. So we took the tour in salt mine. It was wonderful. Then headed to Liezen where we had booked a house in airbnb. The house was pretty and the host was very friendly.

Day 2 – Kaprun, Zell am See :

We left Liezen and drove through the country side to Kaprun. We quickly moved to Zell am See and thought of taking the cable car up to the mountains in Schmittenhöhebahn. It was already evening after getting down from Schmittenhöhebahn. Then we had drive to Innsbruck. On the way to Innsbruck we wanted to cover Krimml waterfalls. The waterfalls was a splendid view from the distance and was more beautiful when we neared it. It was almost 7 PM when we left Krimml waterfalls to Innsbruck. It was raining and it was a beautiful lonely drive in the mountains to reach Innsbruck. We reached around 10 PM.

Day 3 : Innsbruck : Swarovski Kristallwelten :

We had booked the house just for sleeping. We are out in the morning to Innsbruck city. We had a tough time finding a parking place and finally took the parking place in a mall as we could not find a parking place on the road. We approached the tourist center and they told either we can spend the entire day in Innsbruck town or we can spend the entire day in Swarovski Crystal World. We spent half an hour in Stadtturm in Innsbruck and took the 360 degree view of the town. Then we reached Swarovski Crystal World. What a marvelous place. It deserves a complete day for the entire family. Was awed being there. Sheer amazement awaits.

Day 4 : Villach, Bled :

From Swarovski Crystal World the 4th day plan for us was Lake Bled in Slovenia. So we wanted to stay at Villach. It was a 4 hours drive to Villach. Again we reached our airbnb house only at 10 pm. The navigation system in the car so accurate. It was a difficult address to find. In the morning we then realized we were in the middle of mountains. A stay we would never ever forget would be this only. Above the house was mountains and there were grasslands everywhere. We fell in love with the place that we decided to relax at the house for a while before going to Bled. Bled was just in the border of Slovenia. Only a shorter drive was needed.

We reached Bled lake. A pretty cool place. There is a lake and an island in the middle of the lake with a church. We walked around the complete lake. We took an electric boat ride. And we rowed a boat too. After getting the authentic Bled Cheese Cake we started our journey back to Vienna. Most of this part of the drive was only in Autobahn (Highway). So we managed to reach in the night at 10 PM at Vienna International airport.

Wow. What a trip. All the memories keep lingering now and then. Austria – What a beautiful country.

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Learn with fun at Deutsch Akademie

DeutschAkademie – mit spaß zum Erfolg!

Appropriate to the name we are learning Deutsch with fun for sure from day 1 ! Our group has 12 people. And we have been learning with lot of group activities which are sheer fun. I have mentioned below a couple of activities/games which kept us engaged in learning.

Shopping conversation :

We had an exercise for how to carry out conversations in a shop. The whole class is split into pairs. In each pair of students one will have to act as a shop keeper and the other will be a customer. Well this would have been a normal conversation. But a model of the shop is set up by the instructor. She has brought plastic vegetables, fruits, beverages and other groceries in plastic. There was also a cashier desk with a mock card swiper, scanner to scan the groceries. It was real fun. We had a lot of laughter throughout the session.

Finding a word :

There was another game in which one person is made as a seeker who is made to step out of the class and the other persons in the class are shown a word. Those in the class should help the seeker to find the word. But those in the class should not give the exact word, but only clues. It was real fun that the word given to us was “thief”. Some gave very weird but funny clues that the whole class was laughing for a while.

Apps I use to help my Deutsch learning

For an English speaker learning Deutsch requires few apps to be used for translation, grammar, vocabulary. I am using few apps which helps in my learning.

linguee.de

I got to know about this app from a Deutsch Akademie staff who did the preliminary tests before joining the course. I use this app to translate English words to German. The beauty of this app is that it gives a lot of sample sentences. I referred this to a batch mate and she likes it very much.

duden.de

Our instructor has provided this to us to refer to any Deutsch word for its meaning and grammar. Recently I asked a question about the deklination for the adjective rosa. My instructor mentioned that it is rosa only for any case and any gender. On checking duden.de it is mentioned as “indeklinables Adjektiv”.

Promt online translator

I use this website http://www.online-translator.com/ and the corresponding mobile app to translate unknown sentences. You can scan images with Deutsch words or you can speak in the mike in the mobile app to translate it to English.

Google translator

I mostly do not use this often. But for translating PDF documents from Deutsch to English this is far better than nothing. It provided similar features like PROMT. Both PROMT and Google Translator are free apps.

Vocabulary Trainer

When I was learning ice skating in Kagran I came to know about an app for improving vocabulary on a daily basis through a friend. This is the website https://www.languagecourse.net/. There is a mobile app too which I use mostly during commuting. This is very effective indeed.

Reverso

When I wanted to check the conjugation for the verbs I came across this website http://conjugator.reverso.net/conjugation-german.html. When I downloaded the corresponding app i started loving it. The killer feature of this app for me is that you can listen to the sample sentences in both Deutsch and English. You can upgrade to a Premium version with a cost which would make the app advertisement free, provide you a way to learn and remember your search results for a longer period of time.

Duolingo

I started my Deutsch learning with this cool app. This is a very popular app for learning Deutsch, at least to get started. I love the flash cards too.

Instagram

There are a quite a number of accounts who share Deutsch things to ease the learning. Just search for the word Deutsch and/or German and you will find lot of them to follow.

Pinterest

I find this very interesting with pictures. You will get suggestions based on your history of the searching.

Youtube

There are a number of Youtube channels through which you can learn German. I personally like “German with Anja” and “German with Jenny” a lot. I am a patron of both of them ! There are many other channels too like “Learn German”, “Learn German with GermanPod101.com” and so on. Once you are in a channel you can look for related channels and sky is the limit !

Menschen

If you buy the books from Hueber https://www.hueber.de/menschen you can use this app to scan the pages to listen to the audio of that exercise. Usually it makes sense to use this app if you practice exercises with Hueber books. The books will provide CD, DVD for both course book and exercise book. But on the go, you can easily use this app without having to carry CD, DVD everywhere.

DeutschAkademie

And last but not the least the free app from Deutsch Akademie itself. You can practice a lot of grammar and exercises.

Schönbrunn Zoo…

Schönbrunn Zoo is the oldest continuously operating zoo in the world and it is in Vienna !

Where is it?

it is along with Schönbrunn zoo located near the end of the metro line U4. For the palace you can get down at the station “Schönbrunn”.

How to get there?

For the zoo either you can get down at the U4 station Schönbrunn and walk through the palace garden to the zoo. Or you can get down at the U4 station Hietzing and walk a little to the zoo.

Tickets?

You can buy a day ticket. At the moment the cost is 20 Euro per adult. But if you are staying in Vienna I would recommend the year pass which costs 49 Euro per adult. With the yearly card you can visit any number of times !

For the complete information check out the website https://www.zoovienna.at/en/zoo-and-visitors/visitor-information/.

There are quite a number of animals. You would need an entire day. My favorite spots are :

Aquarium – just near the entrance

Panda

Penguins

Oh and if you have the NÖ card then you can 2 more attractions in the same area.

  1. Schönbrunner Panoramabahn
  2. Wüstenhaus Schönbrunn – You can visit this as many times as you want with the card.

Adjective Deklination

We are taught a very important grammar lesson this week – Adjektiv Deklination.

I will write about adjective declination with Indefinite articles – ein, kein in this post. Will write another for definite articles and no articles.

Even though it looks difficult this is really easy if you could try this way. The requisite for this is that you need to know what gender the noun is.

Step 1 : First form the table for definite articles der, die, das in all 3 cases Nominativ, Akkusativ, Dativ. Use an appropriate noun for each gender.

Table1-DerDieDas

Step 2 : Then form another table for indefinite article ein in all 3 cases for the same nouns. However keep a space between the indefinite article and the noun. This is for an adjective which will have to be declined.

Table2-EinKein

Step 3 : If you could make these 2 tables then the deklination is so simple.

  1. For Nominativ and Aakkusativ the endings of the corresponding definite articles have to be applied to decline adjectives.
  2. For Dativ the ending is always en to form adjective declination. Is it not super simple?
  3. For Plural below important rules apply :
    1. If the plural form of the noun does not end in -n then in Dativ the plural noun should be made to end in -n. Example : Bücher -> Büchern 
    2. If there is no indefinite article kein or possessive word sein/mein/dein before the noun then in Nominativ and Akkusativ, the adjective will take the endings of the definite article.Nominativ : kleine Bücher. The definite article is die for nominativ plural. So klein becomes kleine.

      Akkusativ : kleine Bücher. The definite article is die for akkusativ plural. So klein becomes kleine. This is just as in nominativ.

      Dativ : kleinen Büchern. den is the definite article for Dativ plural. So klein becomes kleinen. Also per rule 1 above Bücher becomes Büchern.

    3. If there is indefinite article kein or possessive word sein/mein/dein before the noun then in Nominativ and Akkusativ, “the adjective will always take the ending -en” and “kein/sein/mein/dein will take the endings of the definite article”.
      Nominativ
      : meine kleinen Bücher. The definite article is die for nominativ plural. So “mein becomes meine” and “klein becomes kleinen”.Akkusativ : meine kleinen Bücher. The definite article is die for akkusativ plural. So “mein becomes meine” and “klein becomes kleinen”. This is same as in nominativ.

      Dativ : meinen kleinen Büchern. den is the definite article for Dativ plural. So “mein becomes meinen” and “klein becomes kleinen”.

AdjektivDeklinationForIndefiniteArticles

Wachaubahn

Wachaubahn is one of the attractions you get for free with Nieder österreich card. I have explained about this awesome card in this post nieder österreich card : NÖ card and the benefits of it.

What is it?

It is local train between Krems and Emmersdorf. The train goes along the Danube river, going through mountains.

How to go there?

First you need to reach Krems. Travel in a cheaper way using Einfachraus ticket. In the same blog which I have provided in the top of this post, I have detailed about this super awesome ticket.

The train makes 3 trips from Krems to Emmersdorf and 3 trips from Emmersdorf to Krems.

This is a day ticket. So get down at multiple villages and enjoy. Checkout the timings in the page https://www.wachaubahn.at/fahrplan-whb.

At Emmersdorf after getting down go towards the SchiffStation (ship station). There are some staircases. When you get down the staircases on your left is a restaurant. We wanted to get something vegetarian. We chose a noodle. It was top class. We really loved it.

With the NÖ card, there are a number of attractions in Krems as well. On 1 side of the river is Emmersdorf and on the other side is Melk. Melk is a lovely place in Austria. Just walk across and you will reach Melk. We did not have time for this. Again with NÖ card there are a couple of attractions in Melk – abbey and the garden around abbey. This itself deserves half of the day. Attractions in Krems requires 1 day. So plan a 2 day trip and you would love it.

For more details about this Wachaubahn attraction visit the page https://www.niederoesterreich-card.at/a-wachaubahn

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ViewFromWachaubahn

MeInsideWachaubahn

Einfach-raus-ticket

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Person versus Activity, Strand versus Ufer

We are taught an easy grammar this week, that is, forming persons or activities from verbs.

Person :

From certain verbs ending in n, if you remove -n and replace it with -er then it becomes a person. And the person formed is always a masculine. To form the corresponding feminine in most cases you would need to add an -in to the masculine word.

Few such verbs are :

laufen, sprechen, malen, backen, fahren, mieten, denken, beraten, führen, verkaufen.

Activity :

From certain verbs ending in en, if you remove en and replace it with ung then it becomes an activity. The ending -ung is always feminine !

Few such verbs are :

beraten, führen, wohnen, registrieren, erholen, lösen, lesen, entspannen, übernachten.

Interestingly the person Profi is always masculine. So if you refer a woman as a professional then it should be also in masculine – “Sie ist ein Profi” !

Strand vs Ufer :

Strand is beach. Ufer is shore.

Meer is sea. See is lake.

Strand is to Meer :: Ufer is to See.

das Meer => der Strand !

der See => das Ufer !

MeHappyAtClassDoingExercise

Sports in Vienna: Squash

Sports in Vienna

For me Vienna has definitely strong sport vibe! You can see so many people jogging in the parks or cycling bike on the streets. The infrastructure of the city is very well organised and the streets are clean and maintained. There are also easy accessible open air fitnesses free of charge – all you need is motivation 🙂 If you decide to attend sport, requiring venue, the choice is also quite good: high level gyms, swimming pools and group classes and racket courts.

Squash

Squash is an English sport with long tradition. It can be played by 2 or 4 people,inside or outside, which makes it ideal to share moments with family and friends. Squash is intensive, elegant and fair. This sport really can make you sweat and what is better than that for keeping up the good shape!

Club Danube

When my boyfriend surprised me with a squash racket for Christmas, I was really “oh wow” because I have never played this sport before but somehow I knew that I am gonna like it:). Very soon after we started visiting Club Danube to play squash. I have to tell that since very first moment I loved the place! It has so old school atmosphere and is very easy accessible by U3, station Erdberg. This is the closest to our home, BUT there are another ones in Alt Erlaa, Alte Donau, Donauzentrum, Hütteldorf, Ottakring and Sportpark (http://www.clubdanube.at/).

The price for 30 minutes, Friday, Saturday and Sunday (the whole day) is only 8 euro! I am saying “only” because in the country where I am coming, Bulgaria, is 3 times more expensive.

The girls on the reception are really nice, it is very clean everywhere and the atmosphere brings you back in some German movie from the 70s 🙂

Bring your clean sport shoes, shorts and t-shirt. If you forger your bottle with water, don’t worry! In Club Danube they sell drinks, protein bars and light food.

 

 

Spring in Vienna

Spring is fully underway and what better way to spend it than walking through vineyards and drinking wine! The 19th district is home to a number of Heurigen (plur.) and beautiful walking paths. What is a Heuriger (sing.)? Since there is no equivalent in English, it is basically a seasonal wine tavern. These establishments have a special license that permits them to sell wine and juices from the recent years supply for a given period of time. Most Heurigen are open for 3-4 weeks at a time.

To celebrate the Heuriger season I decided to hit up Feuerwehr Wagner in Grinzing. Feuerwehr Wagner is a nice classical-style Heuriger with great food and great wine. I got a white spritzer and some typical Austrian salads and tongue. Yes, you read that right, beef tongue to be more precise was offered on the menu and was surprisingly delicious. I highly recommend checking it out.

Why I chose Deutsch Academy?

Learning Deutsch

When I came to Vienna, at the end of January 2018, I had passed A1 level Deutsch course in my country, Bulgaria. Learning the language was and it is my biggest priority. I think this is fundamental for the proper integration in the local community. During the first two months, I wanted to dedicate my time to recap of my A1 knowledge and to choose the best school to continue. I have made online research for Deutsch language courses and selected a short list of the best ones. My criteria was optimal time and duration, reasonable price and easy accessible location.

Deutsch Academy

When I visited for first time Deutsch Academy, I felt immediately the positive vibe of the place. The corridors were full with people from all around the world who want to learn German language. Even it was rush hour there was no stress or long waiting, everything happened quickly. The girls in the office are just amazing! I really loved how they do their job – with attention to every student and smile on the face. They speak perfect English so the communication is easy and smooth. When is your first time in the Deutsch Academy you should make an entry test so they can offer the most suitable level. I think the test is quite accurate, I have entered in A2.1 (which is perfectly fine after A1 in Bulgaria).

Details

The cost is 270 euro for one level (=one month). You can pay cash on the desk or via bank. The duration is 3h with 15 minutes break. There are different options for timing, I chose 11:45-14:45 (I feel my brain fresh in the middle of the day:) The groups are made of up to twelve people but my experience till now (2nd month) is that always finish less students. Location is one of the best possible in town – in front of the Opera. Easy accessible by U1, U2 and U4, station Karlsplatz.