Author Archives: Sobkoon Kansarngworn

Bike Tool Station

In Vienna, people can ride a bicycle throughout the city in a safe bicycle lane. It is an efficient mode of transportation with a healthy exercise. You can also further explore Austria outside Vienna with your two wheels. In Niederoesterreich or Lower Austria, you can enjoy seeing towns with your bike. For example, you can ride a bicycle along the Danube River from Vienna directly to Tulln. You can also take a train with your bicycle to other towns.There is a time when you find your bike needs some simple maintenance or reparation, as low air-pressure tire, loosing brake cable, unstable saddle, etc. No problem! The region of Niederoesterreich kindly provides 20 bicycle self-service stations (Rad-Service-Stationen für Niederösterreich). Some of them are stationed at a railway stations; for example, Melk, Korneuburg, Schwechat, etc. Some of them are in town. Each station is equipped with an air pump and bicycle tools. You can use them for free! Moreover, you can also get an online help on using tools for your bike by simply scanning your mobile phone to a QR Code at the Rad-Service-Station post, or go to www.bikefixtation.com.

Jogging Track

There are many running tracks in Vienna. They are not only for running or jogging but also for cycling, skateboarding, rollerblading, or walking. After I moved to Schwechat two years ago, I found a nice running track in my neighborhood. On a nice-weather day, I start jogging from my house and join a beautiful track along the Schwechat River. The track leads me to north and cuts through the center of Schwechat. Both sides of it are green with trees. My usual distance from my house to the north of Schwechat is around 3.5 kilometers. Therefore, the returning laps count around 7 kilometers. It is good enough to make my day.

 

Free and Fun

In the Donau Park, children can enjoy a big playground with various recreational equipment. They range from seesaws, different adventurous slides, different balancing equipment, climbing spider nets, bars and rings for swinging movement, sandbox, stomping melody plates, different types of swings, playhouses and etc. Children find this equipment not only as having fun but also as challenging their physical movement and trying to conquer it with or without parental support. I am immensely amazed of their designs which help not only kids’ physical strength but also enhancement of their muscular skills. I believe that the latter is certainly connected between their brains and Gross Motor Skills. Personally, I discovered this by observing my daughter gradually gaining improvement in each playground equipment every time she had visited there.

I see this Donau Park playground as a big present from the city of Vienna (I guess). It is free for all kids. Moreover, each equipment and installation, from time to time, must be certified for safety use by a well-known certifying institute; for example, TUEV company. Even if fun is all around in this place, parents are also responsible for their children safety.

Bio Products

In Vienna and other Austrian regions, people have a choice to buy food and other consuming products which are produced under saved and controlled environment. These products are called Bio, in other word, “organic”. They are safe from overuse of chemical, genetically modified mechanism (GMO), and etc. Products are lined from fruits, vegetables, animal products, cosmetics, and household cleaning substances.

In general supermarkets, Bio products are shelfed among others, but you can simply distinguish them by their clear “Bio symbols”. There are also Bio shops and supermarkets which sell only Bio products. My favorite one is Denn’s Biomarkt. It is a German Company, but they are located in many locations in Vienna.

Bio products are regulated and monitored by the European Union (EU). Therefore, you can be ensured of safe consumption and better taste from Bio food products.

Vienna Panorama

There are three altitude locations that you can see Vienna with a bird-eye view. They are Cobenzl, Kahlenberg and Leopoldberg. All of them are lined along with a sole Wiener Linien Bus number 38A Line. Even if they are located outside Vienna, but you can arrive there by a Wiener Linien Bus without extra charge.

From the U4 Heilingenstadt station, you can take the Bus No. 38A up the hill with both side views of beautiful houses and buildings. The bus will further lead you to a nice view of forest, leaving a residential area behind. Some parts of the road were made of classic cobble stones; however, the majority of them has been replaced with asphalt and cement material. A first view point you can stop is Cobenzl. There are restaurants and coffee shops which you can have lunch or dinner or can sip a cup of coffee and leisurely view a vineyard (Weinberg) below your horizon. Then, taking the same 38A bus furthers up the mountain to Kahlenberg. Upon arrival at Kahlenberg, you will see a hiking track which can lead you by foot or by bike to Vienna. Behind a popular view point of Kahlenberg stands a holy church namely Sobieski. It was honor after a name of the late Sobiesky King of Poland, who set Vienna free from the Ottoman Empire invasion.

Walking towards a broad terrace of Kahlenberg, a beautiful panorama of Vienna is in front of your sight. Many tourist attractions can be viewed as Saint Stephen Cathedral, Rathaus, Vienna International Center, Donau Park, Danube Tower, Danube River, New Danube river, Old Danube river and etc. On a nice weather day, you can even see a plane taking off or landing at the Vienna International Airport.

 

After fulfilling yourself with a beautiful panorama view from Kahlenberg, please do not rush back to Vienna. You may consider take the same Bus line to Leopoldberg. At Leopoldberg, you will enjoy a better view of the merging two lines of new and old Danube rivers. I went there at least three times and have never gotten bored of walking along the stairs surrounding the Leopoldberg Church while viewing the Danube in different angles.

Viktor-Adler-Markt

Generally, people in Vienna go shopping for their grocery in common supermarkets; such as, Merkur, Penny, Billa, Hofer, Lidl and etc. In these supermarkets, you find fruits, vegetables and other merchandises on shelves. After you select and take them into a shopping cart or basket, you proceed to a cashier counter, get a robotic greet from a cashier and pay your stuff with cash or card. It is well-organized, efficient and businesslike.

If you seek for an out of ordinary grocery shopping place, let me bring you to the Viktor-Adler-Markt. It is located in the 10th District. From the U1 Reumannplatz station, you can reach it by foot. There are two main sections of this market. First section is a market which sells meat and poultry, fish, spices, Mediterranean and oriental products, cheese and bakery products, and you can also buy clothes and shoes here. The other is a Farmer Market which is my favorite. Along the Leibnitzgasse line two rows of various and colorful fruit and vegetable stalls. It is amazing to see merchants loudly calling and presenting customers to buy their fresh seasonal vegetables and fruits.  Moreover, I am so happy that there are some tropical vegetables available almost the year. There are other animal products like chicken, eggs and ham, but they are not the main actors of the show. I always buy coriander and dill which I eat them raw or cook with my Thai food. Their aroma gave me the same feeling as though I had bought them from a local market in Thailand. Only sightseeing in this local market atmosphere can be very pleasant; however, it is not easy to leave the market with your empty hands.

From Monday to Saturday, you can visit the Farmer Market in the Viktor-Adler-Markt between 0600 – 1300 hours. However, it is better to arrive there early to get fresh vegetables and fruits.

Beaver Rescue Mission

A wooden garden bench leaned inside the pool

Schwechat is a small town outside Vienna and well-known by people as an area of Vienna International Airport (VIE). I have moved from Vienna to Schwechat since 2016. Surprisingly only 20-minute drive from the city center, I am surrounding by a pleasant nature embrace. There are some wild birds visiting my garden. Wild ducks swim in the stream behind my house. Moles inhabit underground in my garden. Hawks hover over an S1 highway. In one fine evening, amazingly I found a beaver casually swimming along the stream.

Mr Beaver

Mr Beaver swam in the pool

On Saturday 6 October 2018, I was about to mow a lawn in my garden. A poor beaver was found inside my dirty swimming pool. Assumingly, he probably smelled strange of water inside the pool and accidentally dropped himself into it. My wife and I tried to scoop him up with a big basket, but he was too big to fit in it. Moreover, he did not trust us to get into the basket. On Sunday 7 October 2018, in the morning I leaned a wooden garden bench into to pool in order to lead him out. However, he did not care to try. Finally, I called 122, the Volunteer Fire Brigade of Schwechat (Freiwillige Feuerwehr Schwechat). Full squad of firemen arrived shortly with a big fire truck and a fire van. They were all well equipped and wore not only elegant uniforms but also kind hearts in order to rescue the poor animal out of the pool. Two firemen went into my pool with a big plastic bag and managed to take Mr. Beaver inside it. He was finally set free to the stream behind my house.

 

 

Beaver rescue in Heute dated 8 Oct 18

In case you might read a Heute newspaper dated Monday 8 October 2018, you would find this rescue mission on page 10 and 11. I could not thank the Schwechat fire brigade less!

Experiencing my Ways in Austria

My name is Sobkoon Kansarngworn. I come from Thailand. After 13 years of working in my country, I decided to move to Vienna, Austria and took a job in one of the best cities in the world.

Autumn in Leopoldsberg

Almenwelt Lofer

I still remember the very first day I landed on the land of music, beautiful and classical architectures, efficient public transportation, invaluable natural resources and a German speaking country. It was a raining evening in September 2006. I took an airport bus from the Vienna International Airport (VIE) to the city center. Both side of the roads were amazingly green. At that time I worked in Cyprus where most of the country was dry. Therefore, the scenery gave me freshness and energy. At night, I casually walked in the first district and suddenly found a stunning gigantic Roman church in my horizon. The Saint Stephen Cathedral has settled in the middle of the Stephanplatz Square as though it had sprung up from the ground.

Dropped friends from OEBB train

 

 

Having living in Austria for 12 years, I discover a kindness of the country to people who live here regardless of their origins, races and nationalities. We can enjoy commuting with one of the best public transportation in the world which costs you as low as one Euro a day for a yearly ticket. During school holidays, many places offer parents and children to visit for free or for a little amount of entry fees. Travelling outside Vienna or to other European Countries with OEBB trains provides you not only an efficient train services but also various “Vorteil” (benefit) card categories for price reduction. These are only brief advantages you can simply find in this lovely country.

To explore and to enjoy more in Austria, I realize how important the German language is. After taking inconsistently five German classes for the last 12 years, I am still not satisfied with my German proficiency. Therefore, I am furthering my German study in the Deutsch Akademie which facilitates me for professional teachers, intensive courses, time flexibilities, peer classmates, class atmosphere and demanding responsibility (homework, review of a lecture from the class and etc.). I strongly believe that I can achieve my goal in German in the near future.