Tag Archives: Vienna

Volksgarten

May in Vienna

May is one of the most beautiful months through the year. The spring is in its sublime moment and the Nature is blooming generously. If you are flower & plant fan like me, than you will love Vienna in May. All of the public gardens and parks in the city look like fairytale decor. Splendid variety of colours and aromas are transforming totally the urban vibe.

Volksgarten

In the heart of the city is located one truly enchanting place – the Volksgarten. It is very easy accessible by U3,station Vokstheater, exit Volksgarten. The area is quite wide, including two local restaurants and one big outdoor night club. In May Volksgarten is attracting a lot of visitors due to the famous rose garden inside.

Queen of flowers

Among so many different types of roses, the May roses are outstanding with its aroma and long beautiful blooming. Entering Volksgarden you can feel the divine perfume made by Mother Nature. The wave of rose scents its so strong and non forgettable. In front of your eyes is opening a stunning view of hundreds roses in different colours. Red, pink, purple, yellow, white, creme,orange … so many beauties waving their petals gently.

Afternoon chill

We chose to visit Volksgarten for a Sunday walk and we had great time! The atmosphere is calm and chill. Although there was a lot of people visiting, there was space for anybody to enjoy the roses and make dozen of photos and selfies. The arty and positive vibe is completed by street musicians playing instruments. My personal favourite is a lady with harp- it elevates the experience on another level!

Picnic or restaurant

In Volksgarten you can choose how to spend your time – laying in the soft grass and chilling or try a traditional Schnitzel in the local old school bistro.

Café Hawelka – a Traditional Place

Vienna’s coffee house culture is one of the UNESCO’s intangible world heritages. Coffee houses have a very special atmosphere “where time and space are consumed but only the coffee can be found on the bill”.

Café Hawelka is a traditional Viennese place in the heart of the city, close to the Stephansdom. It was originally opened in 1939 but, due to the war it had to close. In 1945 it reopened and it is open since then – like time has stopped there, it is a piece of history.

We wanted to go there because there is a famous Austrian song about it which was very popular when he was a kid and even before. Well, I can’t say anything, I wasn’t in Austria back then 🙂
This is the song:

It is really traditional, the way it looks, the service, the old pictures on the wall, the magazines on the table, the simplicity of the menu. Coffee is excellent, the Sacher is delicious but I prefer it at Sacher 🙂 Service is quite slow but the atmosphere worth it. Take your time 🙂

End of the Third Week

Time flies, today we arrived at the end of our third week. The next one will be the last for B1.1, then we can start B1.2. I will definitely continue and take a break in August maybe.

I see how much we could improve in a few weeks. Now we can ask help and recommendations in a store, talk about different opinions or write a complaint letter, even a presentation.
Every class we practice a lot and talk more and more. We were even learning about one of my favorite topics – pets.

Our group is great and every day we know a little bit more about each other by talking about exciting topics. I never thought that learning German can be fun 🙂

German is a very difficult language if you want to speak it well. I started to read a book, the “Little Prince”, and it is a very good practice. When I was learning French, My teacher recommended it to us because of its simple language. It was a great idea and it works with German as well.
I also started to watch a show, with subtitles of course, the Vorstadtwiber, it is very funny and entertaining. It is like “Desperate Housewives” in the USA, but a little bit more dirty 🙂 It is very popular now in Austria and about five rich women who live in the fancy part of Vienna.

I can recommend to practice and try to talk even more from now on, because at B1 you already have the knowledge to have conversations so don’t be shy!

This is us yesterday in the Parliament

A Special German Class – Our Visit in the Parliament

Two weeks ago on Thursday we had a day off because a religious holiday, Corpus Christi. It was up to us to decide whether we want to have an extra class on a Friday or just do something special together. We chose to visit the Parliament House on the Ring and we didn’t regret it.

First, a few words about the Austrian political system:
Austria is a democratic republic. It has 9 counties (one is Vienna) and people have the right to vote from the age of 16. Vienna is the capital so the ministries, the Parliament and a lot of important authorities are here. There are 183 representatives who are discussing the law. They belong to 5 main parties: the SPÖ, ÖVP, FPÖ, Neos and Die Grünen. The president choses the ministers, the chancellor and the secretary of the state.

Since December 2016 the president is Alexander Van Der Bellen who is the first green president ever in Austria. The elections didn’t go smooth though. Van Der Bellen won in May but the votes were counted too early so they had to repeat it in December – and he won again.

The building of the Parliament was completed in 1883 and has a Greek Revival style designed by Theophil Hansen. In front of it there is a statue of Pallas Athene, the Greek goddess of wisdom and knowledge. In the tympanum we can see Emperor Franz Joseph wearing a Roman toga.  The interior has the Greek style, too, with the statues, the columns, and the paintings. The doorknobs and the stairs are decorated with snakes, it means wisdom.

The guided tour through the building took about an hour and it was very interesting. We saw where the politicians are working, speeches are held and laws are made. It was in German but our guide tried to speak a little slower – it helped a lot. If you want to schedule a visit, hurry up, in the middle of July they will close, due to renovations, and will only reopen in 2020. Till then, they move to the Hofburg.

My Favorite Places in Vienna – Donauinsel

I’ve been running regularly for more than 6 years now. When we moved to Vienna, one of my first things was to find a great place for running. I checked on-line, and three beautiful places were recommended. First was the Prater, which is wonderful, but too far from my home. The second was the Schönbrunn, but it is always packed with tourists. (Don’t misunderstand me, I like tourists, but running around them can be a bit tiring). The third place was the Donauinsel. It’s a very narrow (only 70-120 m), 21 km long island. At the first time I fall in love with it. (And I also started to run on an island on the Danube).

The Donauinsel is not a natural island, it is the part of the city’s flood protection system. The works started in 1972 and finished in 1988. The Neue Donau is practically a long swimming lake, not a river. If you are on the island, you see the difference between the color of the water on the left and the right side. It can also be seen on Google Maps. It is a recreational area with a lot of restaurants, a water park and various activities on the water (windsurfing and boat rentals are also available).
You can lay under the Sun and tan from late spring till early autumn or just have a drink in the grass while watching the water. You won’t be alone, don’t worry 🙂 There are always a lot of people.

For running, it can offer different distances, remember, it’s 21 km long so it’s only up to you! I usually start at the Neue Donau station at U6, then head to the south. I’ve already met rabbits, baby swans and ducks.

This weekend there is a huge, famous and FREE festival, don’t miss it! I will be there 🙂 www.donauinselfest.at

This Danube is really “blue”

 

Swans with their babies

Our Class

Vienna is an international city, and you can see this in the Deutschkurs, too. People are from Romania, Iran, Indonesia, Japan, Spain, Mexico, Ukraine and Hungary (me). Different cultures and habits meet every day. Last month there was a woman from Tanzania. I love to hear the stories from all over the world like what their motivation is, how their hometown is or how they met their loved one.

People are studying at the university, writing their PhD, or just trying to find a better job. German is not an easy language and takes hard work to improve.

This is the second week of the course, it started a week later, but at least we had some time to go over everything again. At B1.1 we practice and talk even more, German started to become the part of our lives. I don’t use English anymore in the city and that makes me feel more confident. Though last time we went to a spa the waiter in the restaurant didn’t understand my “school German” so I had to ask for help 🙂

Just find the perfect company for studying

Why did I chose to learn German?

When I married to a handsome Austrian man it became clear that, some time, maybe not in the very distant future I will have to learn German. Just to be able to communicate with the family or raising kids together.
Well, we were living in California, so I wasn’t very motivated. I wanted to show him that I’m interested in his culture so I started an on-line course but, I didn’t get further than the basics.
The city where we lived was founded by a Swiss man though, and a lot of German people moved there to find their luck during the gold rush. It has a huge German community (from first generation Germans to German descendants), they have an official beer fest, most of the women own at least one dirndl (sometimes more) and Heidi is a really common name. The local Turnverein offers German lessons and they are sold out fast.

When my husband got his new position in Vienna, I was shocked. I knew that without speaking the language I won’t find a good job and I didn’t want to sit at home. So I decided to learn German in all my free time but, I was too worried so I drove to San Francisco instead 🙂 It calmed me down, our moving date seemed far enough. We had only two months left…

So I came to Vienna with a very basic knowledge (level A1.1)
which of course wasn’t enough for anything. We started to look for courses. I wanted something very intensive where I can feel motivated and we practice a lot. My husband found DeutschAkademie, it had really good reviews so we decided to give it a try.
I had to write a test to see which level I could fit in. In March I started A1.2. I knew most of the things already but I couldn’t use them, I recognized the words but they didn’t come to my mind in everyday situations, I mixed up the articles and the “Personalpronomen”.
Our teacher was wonderful. Patient over all 🙂 We were practicing a lot, we were forced to talk, create sentences, use the proper articles.
I absolutely loved it! Slowly, my German started to improve. First I was too shy to talk, what if I mix up the articles or use dativ instead of akkusativ? Well, who cares? Just talk as much as possible and it will get better.

Last week we visited my mother in law again and we could have our first real conversation! I was very proud of myself – also my husband. Hard work really pays off 🙂

Find someone who can support you while studying:

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Eine kleine Vorstellung

Hallo, liebe Leute!

Ich heiße Irene, aber ich bevorzuge mit dem Name “Irena” genannt werden.
Tatsächlich komme ich aus Görz, eine Stadt getrennt in zwei Teilen: ein Teil liegt in Italien und der andere in Slowenien. Die zwei Bevölkerungen (die Slowenen und die Italiener) sind so gemischt, dass es unmöglich ist, sie erkennen. Zum Beispiel spricht meine Mutter slowenisch und mein Vater italienisch (und ein bisschen Deutsch, weil er aus Südtirol kommt).
So ihr könnt mich sowohl “Irena” als auch “Irene” nennen. Beide sind richtig!

Meine Freunde aus Görz und ich haben Weinachten in Wien gefeiert!

Seit Oktober wohne ich in Wien. Ich bin hier gekommen, um Deutsch zu lernen. Das ist der Grund, weil ich DeutschAkademie besuche, aber leider für die letzte zwei Monate könnte ich nicht!
Ich hoffe, dass ich in dieser Zeit nicht alle vergessen habe. Es ist wichtig zu praktizieren, deshalb habe ich entscheidet, im Blog zu schreiben.
Glücklicherweise gibt es in dieser Stadt so viele Möglichkeiten, auf Deutsch zu sprechen und Leute zu treffen. Wir werden zusammen sehen, wie man machen kann.
Außerdem am 8. Mai beginne ich noch den Kurs. Ich kann nicht mehr warten darauf, die Stufe B2.2 zu ergänzen!

So fordert mich in diese “Wanderung”! Genießt mit mir das Leben in Wien!
Bis nächstes Mal!

Liebe Grüße,

Eure Irena/e

Secrets of the Innenstadt

Warm days are slowly returning back to Vienna: days are getting longer and you can already feel this warm spring wind blowing in your face. I guess now we can start preparing some space in our closets for the winter jackets, and take out the comfiest shoes for long walks – you’ll need them!

One of the best areas in Vienna to go out and explore is, of course, Innenstadt. You can easily spend a whole day wandering around here because of countless activities and sights you can find here: Rathaus, Hofburg, Opera, Stephansdom, Graben, Kärtnerstrasse, museums and many other things. This would be your typical tourist walk though. There’s another, less known side of Innenstadt: quiet, calm and almost devoid of people.

One minute you’re standing near Stephansdom, another – you’re in absolutely peaceful and charming old area, where it’s so quiet, that you start lowering your voice almost to whisper, too. The area I’m talking about is located right near Stephansplatz: what you need is basically just to dive into one of the surrounding arches, big doors, or just follow tiny streets that are spreading from the cathedral.

It’s easy to get lost here, but you’ll enjoy this feeling of purposeless and carefree wandering around. Try doing this walk on a warm spring day and flee away from the big city while not even leaving its borderlines.

Music Keeping You Alive

It’s an open secret, that Vienna can rightly be considered as the capital of classical music. Long time ago composers of XVIII and XIX centuries came to the city under the patronage of the Habsburgs, and Vienna became the European capital of classical music. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven and Johann Strauss Jr. were directly involved into the musical life of Wien and left an invaluable mark on history. That is why, there is a numerous amount of music halls and concrets on daily basis. What is more, you could listen and feel the power of music in churches. St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Church of St. Charles and many others became regularly the venue for various concerts. Some days ago I visited St. Peter’s Church.

The Peterskirche is hidden in one of the streets which depart from the general and central Graben, on Petersplatz. The curch itself is amazingly beautiful, a pair of inclined towers on both sides of the dome and its bright colour give an unusual and picturesque look. The church is a place for free organ concerts and performances of choirs from all over the world. Also Orchestra called «Classic Ensemble Vienna» plays a program that includes works written by Mozart, Beethoven, Bach and Vivaldi. Daily at 3 pm and on weekends at 7pm the St. Peter’s church pleases its visitors with organ music for free or for church danations. With this incredible atmosphere and beauty inside the church, the music gives an additional charm. Organ music so fascinates you that you are unable to move and goose bumps appeare. There are no words!

Each person at least once in the life has to hear it!

Best Wishes!

Valeriia

How I Fell in Love With A… Library!

What comes to your mind when you hear the word “library”? I, personally, instantly think of a bunch of students, who are consuming liters of coffee, stressing about their deadlines, and spending days living as hermits somewhere between library shelves. What if I told you that a library can be a breathtaking and inspirational place?

Österreichische Nationalbibliothek

Yes, like this. Pretty amazing, huh? Welcome to the State Hall of the Austrian National Library – the home for more than 200,000 books, the oldest of which date to around 16th century! Located in Hofburg Palace, this library/museum is open for the public eyes all year long. In the same building of Hofburg you can find the Literature museum, the Papyrus museum and the Globe museum.

Österreichische Nationalbibliothek

Obviously visitors can’t touch any of the objects inside, but the good news is: you are allowed to take pictures, so make sure to capture this gorgeous interior in your memories and on your cameras!

Austrian National Library – State Hall

P.S. This Sunday (February 19th) the Library and all museums will be free of charge, here’s the link to the event. You don’t wanna miss this!