Category Archives: Travel

Vienna in January: what to do in winter

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.

Keeping warm..

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!

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Soviet War Memorial in Vienna

The Soviet war monument, found at Vienna’s Schwarzernbergplatz, comes out best  in photographs when taken from a distance. This is because of its size and the fact that it is located around beautiful sights and grandiose buildings. The monument is commonly known as Helden der Roten Armee.20160923_155249The semi-circular white marble stone, among other spectacles, features a 12 metre high figure of a Red Army soldier. The monument was opened in 1945 to commemorate numerous Soviet soldiers who were killed in the Battle for Vienna. It marks victory over fascism. 20160923_155144The fountain at the place is aalways an outstanding feature. But when it is sunny, photography around the area can be very pleasurable. From  a right angle one can even capture a rainbow or two and a variety of artistic shades.

It is interesting to note that the Helden der Rote Armee in Vienna was built by war prisoners and local workforce. 20160923_154919The greyish circular stuff inside the fountain is some type of stone which also adds to the sight’s beauty.20160923_154820The skies were very clear with scattered ligh clouds on the day the photos were shot. That is, a couple of weeks ago. For days now, it has been drizzling a lot ande any serious photography has not been inviting.

Below is an alley close to our place photographed on the same day, but in the evening. The lighting along the lane came out nicely reminding one of a deserted hallway in a horror movie. It was also a bit quiet out there –  showing early signs of autumn (Herbst).20160916_201709

The newly completed supermarket and restaurant in the neighbourhood makes for a bright and glowy scenery in the small business centre of the 21st district of Vienna.Its presence makes the place to look busier than it has ever been before.

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Chinese Luno Festival on the Danube Island

img_5038Photo: / E. Jonathan                                      China Magic – Temple of heavenly Peace in Beijiong

This year Vienna Afrika Tage took place adjacent to its usual place on the Danube Island. Most patrons were asking: why the change of the venue?

A few days later into the Afrika – Afrika festival, a brand new Chinese “Luno Festival” started  to take shape slowly but surely. Organisers were setting up building structures and figures to create a fantastic wow of colour. It finally opened its gates on September 1 and it will be on up to the 9th of October 2016. Yes! six weeks will see the Danube Island tranformed into Chinese magic kingdom and culture of fantastic lighting, colour and music.

img_5023Photo: E. Jonathan                                    The lit Dragon creation at the Luno festival

Taking pictures at this sight can be fun by one has to adjust their wisely to caputure the spectacular creations and to bring out the artistic touch. Below is the dragon from a closer range. img_5024Photo: E. Jonathan

At the moment families and tourists throng the venue of “Chinese Magic – Festival of Light” as it celebrates its European premiere in Vienna.

img_5040Photo. E. Jonathan                  House-sized lit, in the form of Vienna State Opera & Johannes Strauss

 

The festival also offers a variety of Chinese cuisine.

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A Car Nearly Striped of Wheels at the Weekend

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In Vienna motor vehicles are permitted to use designated bays along the rail so long they use them responsibly, following traffic rules. If car drivers park along these roads they must make sure they leave enough space for trams to pass unobstructed. In any case, the rail doubles as road for motor vehicles.

At the weekend, when riding on one of the trams to the Prater Park, we witnessed drama involving a tram and a private car.

It was late in the afternoon after wandering around town that we got into tram number 1 at Schwedenplatz. On reaching Rudolf von Alt-platz, in the third district, the tram stopped for longer than usual and all passengers were wondering what the problem was. After some time, the tram driver announced that the delay was caused by a small private car that was parked too close to the rail line. Sure enough, if he’d tried to pass, he’d have knocked off the rear view mirror. The motorist had parked their vehicle inconsiderately.

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The tram driver pressed the horn several times to alert the owner of the car in case they were somewhere close by and had a legitimate reason to have parked there and that way. The owner was nowhere to be seen.After waiting for sometime, the driver made a number of phone calls. After about ten minutes, the fire brigade truck and a police arrived within minutes of each other. They all talked with the tram driver in low tones; probably trying to establish if the driver of the offending vehicle had been given enough time to rescue their car. Before the police arrived, the firemen seemed to be discussing whether to lift the tiny car out of the way, but they seemed not to be in agreement. All parties took photos of the car’s number plates.

As spectators and the police watched, one fireman went back to the fire truck,  took out cutters, and went straight to the offending vehicle. It remained to the spectators’ imagination to guess what he was going to do to the car. Suddenly, the owner emerged from nowhere . She was a woman in her early fifties. She signalled the police and the firemen to move aside, to which they compiled. Without addressing any of the people around, she unlocked her car, got inside and drove away mumbling inaudibly.

“What will happen to the woman after this?” That was the question in most spectators’ minds.

Was she going to get away with it after the firemen and the police had been summoned to the place because of her?  What about the delay which might have cost Wiener Linien some money?

One spectator volunteered to give answers: ” I don’t know. I hope that Wiener Linien won’t  send her a bill for delaying the tram and that the fire brigade department and the police will just let her off with a written warning for wasting their time.”

‘”How sad that somebody can risk their car  and a possibility of pumping out  a couple of thousand Euros because of careless parking. She must have been very upset-minded to park her car so close to the rail line.” That was what one passenger said.

After that dramatic incident, the train continued on its route.