In as much as Austria has a variety of nationalities, its capital city, Vienna is characterised by a presence of different modes of transport. What is most interesting is that one still sees a range from Middle Ages vehicles through to the most recent innovative electric buses plying the city center (the ring). Despite transportation improvement throughout the years, the oldest horse-drawn carriages popularly known as tangas, are still one of the most popular vehicles in Vienna. If you are touring the city and you haven’t ridden in a horse-drawn cart, you need to do so. They park in Stephansplatz next to Stephansdom. Grabbing one of these makes touring the first district a novel experience for visitors…
Temperatures might drop well below zero, but there is still a lot to do in Vienna. The most important thing when going out is to dress up warmly, -not forgetting gloves and a hat.
With the Danube being frozen over long stretches, as seen above, it was a good opportunity for Viennese
to make sport out of it. Some people skated, while others rode and played with their children on the river ‘ice jam’.
The beautiful blue skies added to the beauty of the scenery.
After such outdoor activities one can keep warm by grabbing a cupbof coffee from at the Imperial Butterfly House (schmetterlinhaus.at). For those whose are not coffee lovers, a warm cup of tea can do the trick. To learn more click here. Afternoons are never as comfortable as when one has something sweet to go with a good drink. Let’s see what I can find in some of Vienna’s Cafès.
Enjoy your week!
Now that we have entered 2017, what is new in your life? The idea is to continue with what is good, noble, progressive and praiseworthy. Don’t do carry-over from 2016. That is, negativity about life, challenges and drawbacks should be left behind. Starting 2017 with positive reslolutions is the best thing one can do for themselves and those around them. Today is a new day and we all have a chance to start afresh.
No matter what obstacles or failures you might have experienced in the last year, determine to start afresh in all spheres of life. Dare to dream anew, knowing that everything is possible to those who believe. Then plan and act on your what your believe to achieve your goals.
Today I woke up late, as is always the case on the first day of New Year. On opening my bedroom curtains, the first thing I saw was a tiny round sun struggling to shine behind some clouds in the midst of thick fog. It got me thinking: Why don’t we, human beings, also thrive in our challenges? Why does the sun still shine even in unfavourable condotions? It might lose it’s beautiful rays, but it shines on upon us when it’s daytime.
This year I determine to shine on despite challenges that might come my way. My resolution is to be the best that I can be in whatever circumstances. You may also choose to do this and much more in 2017.
I hope you have a productive and wonderful year.
It was a wet Christmas Day today, and there was no snow in Vienna. All this was compensated by floods of whites, silver and golden Christmas lights all over town. The traditional red and green lights were almost non-existent this year.
We took some photographs on our trip around the town centre.
Below is Hotel Imperial.
Temperatures were as low as minus 6 degrees celsius although it felt warmer than that. Low temps did not discouraged us from taking a glimpse of what was happening out there. There wasn’t much activity though. Most families were indoors. We are all thankful for a time as this.
Above: Around the ring
On this festive day, I tried a special duck casserole dish from Duck, bacon and onion casserole It did wonders to complete the festive atmosphere!
I hope you enjoyed your Christmas Day, doing various activities, incuding being thankful, kind and loving.
Most of us spent the last 4 weeks buying presents for family and friends. Some werre decorating their homes and shopping for special ingredients. While others planned for activities for the big day – Christmas.
There were also parties in homes, work places and public places, all in honour of Christmas. Finally, Christmas Day is here, and for those who have a tradition of opening presents on the day are busy doing so. wea re also opening ours today!
Merry Christmas to you all! May the joy, peace and hope of Christmas fill your homes and hearts now and in the New Year to come. May true meaning of Christmas be a reality in your lives:
“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,… And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” Isaiah 9:6
Enjoy your Day!
Russian Blinis: My first attempt!
Recently, we learned how to prepare Russian Blinis and it was a lot of fun! This is a simple recipe that dates back to 1892 in the Russian history of food. It is popularly known as ‘four – three – two – one’ recipe because of the ingredients involved. Although blinis were traditionally baked long ago, nowadays they are mostly fried.
You will need: 4 eggs, 3 Tbs (Any other oil will do), 2 glasses milk, 1 glass flour (use the same size glass as the one for milk). – hence the name!
For seasoning – salt and sugar. For stuffing you will need ground beef, onions, black pepper and garlic. Another choice of stuffing can be cottage cheese, jam or Nutella. This is good when you are making dessert.
Brown onion and garlic in a pan. Add meat and fry until golden brown. Season with salt and pepper.
For batter: Blend or mix the 4, 3, 2, 1 ingredients well. The batter will be runny. Heat a nonsticky pan that has been greased with oil. When there is a hint of smoke from the pan, indicating it is very hot, reduce heat to low and scoop the watery dough using a spatula, and pour gentle inside. As the other hand is pouring, the other one is rotating the pan so that the contents fill the whole base. Avoid pouring too much to make one blini. About 4 to 5 Tbs of dough is enough. When it has browned to your liking, flip the blini and do the other side. Turning it too early can deform the blini!
Wrap cooked stuffing inside your Blinis. You may drizzle with fresh herbs like dill or parsley.
Enjoy and have a good weekend.
Ushering A Brand New Season – Winter comes with Christmas
The Fall is almost over and winter is kicking in. It is getting colder, and more gloomy. We must not allow what is happening in the atmosphere and around us to influence our inner feelings. We can choose to be joyful and enjoy every moment of winter like any other season inspite of everything.
One thing I like about Viennese, is that they know how to celebrate the coming of winter and Christimas just like any other season.
This weekend saw the opening of various Advent markets all over the city, although others had opened a week ago. We visited Rathaus and took some shots:
Trees which have ben stripped of their leaves; now clothed in bright lights. The effect the lighting system casts on objects and the dark background was spectacular!
There is different exhibition stands, ranging from housekeeping items, games, craft to food and drinks. The most popular stands are those selling warm punch – both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. A great way of keeping visitors warm in the cold weather.
The best time to be outdoors these days in Vienna is after 2p:m till late (esp. if you need to take a story photgraphy. The photgrapher who inspires me is Leanne Cole. Click here to view her photos. Across the road tehre is thsis great theatre
Never refill and reuse plastic bottles! Refilling plastic bottles with water or any liquid could be harmful.
They can encourage bacteria to breed. Moreover, they can keep germs. We also tend to rinse these bottles instead of washing them thoroughly. There various ways to reuse plastic bottles that make more sense than refilling them with liquid.
Plastic bottles made into jewellery vases and hangers. This is one cool way of reusing plastic bottles.
Instead, I am now in the habit of using glass bottles/jars and I feel they are safer than their counterparts.
I love the curvy look of this honey jar!
Throwimg them away will be a waste, I think. Some yoghurt jars are too beautiful to put into a trash! Some shops allow you to return the bottles for a fee although it’s very minimal. I opt to use them to store dry herbs I buy from various markets. Above are some of my latest repackaging of the latest collections of herbs.
Things to remember:
1) Clean the glass bottle properly
2) Towel the bottle and leave it to dry gor more than 24 hrs on a drying rack.
3) Whatever you are refilling in the bottle must be dry stuff (We shall come back here with info. on how to repackage liquid safely. Yes!)
4) Label the bottle to avoid confusion in your cupboards. You can use stickers or whatever you have to stick labels.
Enjoy Christmas markets, different kinds of punch and glückwein.