Tag Archives: Vienna

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!

Farewell to Year 2016

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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.

 

Festive Mood

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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Summer Perspectives

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Summer is here and may it give all of us a new perspective about how to live a happier and more positive life.

This weekend the hottest temperatures recorded in the city of Vienna were up to 36.C (96,8.F) and the forecast was even 37.C for some areas. I hope we won’t hit a new high after the record breaker, “all-time high” temperature of July 2013, which was 39,9.C (103,8 F).

The barbecues were at full swing along the new Donau and further out, close to the part of the Donau Auen National Park. Actually, one of my associates and her friends were having a good time with full barbecues at a place called Lobau at the weekend.

The cold gloomy days are over and we are all looking forward to more days of sunshine and time to be outside before the next fall returns.
It was interesting though to overhear some individuals complaining about the heatwave we experienced during this weekend. Some were wishing for the past season, winter. I was also caught doing the same thing. After some consideration, I realised that humans’ worst folly is not knowing exactly what they want and forgetting to live life as it come, enjoying every bit of what it is worth.

My pastor’s sermon last Sunday hit the nail on the head. It was as if he knew how some of us were ungrateful for the season we were in and had forgotten that everything has its own time. Then, I thought of putting down here and share some of the summer perspectives he talked about:

#1 “Don’t use emotional energy on things you can’t control.”
I realised that it is equally important to know what one can and can’t change, otherwise they waste their energy unnecessarily, leading to an unhealthy life.

# 2 “Don’t waste time your mistakes or failures”
To err is human as the cliché goes. What counts most is trying one’s best not to repeat same mistakes, but to learn from them. At times the voice of condemnation keeps on whispering phrases to pull us down. Instead, listening to the voice that says ‘you can turn this around and make something out of your mistake’ must guide our steps always, especially this beautiful summer. Always be positive this summer and things will take a right about turn. Moreover, God still loves us even if we make mistakes.

#3 “Be happy when others do well.”
Those who celebrate others’ success most times also succeed in life whereas haters may even feel sick for their unhealthy feelings. This can also lead to bad behaviour intended to pulling others down. At times we even criticise others for the sole reason that we see them more blessed than us. The most harmful thing one can do is comparing oneself with others. This summer let’s celebrate others as they do well and see ourselves blessed.

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#4 “Decide not to complain or criticise.”
Live is full of opportunities to complain, but this summer let’s make it a point not to complain but be grateful of all we have. We can also be content with the little we have. Today (09/07/15) I looked at a disabled couple holding hands, happy as they strolled along with other holiday makers in the first district. I felt at times I complain when I am supposed to be thankful about what I have. The pastor even said, “If you feel like criticising others, look at yourself in the mirror and see if you are perfect.” That I am not, I wonder who is out there? However, God’s power is perfected in our weakness, if we let Him be God in our lives.

#5 “Believe God wants to give you favour.”
Our behaviour, which we know is not pleasing to God will make us to feel far away from Him. We need to know that God is always close to us. He is love. What we need to do, beginning this summer, as we barbecue, go for weekend excursions and to places like Schönbrun and the like, is to pray and ask him through His Holy Spirit to help us change our perspective and see things from His perspective. Reading the bible will help us hear His voice. As we do all this, we must trust in the Lord that He has good plans for us all. (See Jeremiah 29:11).

Finally, cheer up! Things could be worse, but because God is in control your tomorrow will be bright.

I hope these points from my pastor and my brief thoughts on the summer perspective will add to your enjoyment and joy this year’s summer.

Happy Summer!

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.

Super Summer – The End of Thunderstorms

It’s mid-summer in Austria, but of late there has been occasional thunderstorms. It has been raining mostly in the afternoons and at night.

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When will real summer come once again? This is the question many have been asking themselves after the recent storms that left the Danube very high with murky waters that made swimming a health risk. However looking at yesterday’s weather forecast for the next few days, there is cause for swimmers, sunbathers and Spaziergang to rejoice.Starting from today, Thursday, tempearatures are expected to go beyond 30 degrees celsius.
Actually, looking through our kitchen window as I take a break from writing my book, ‘The Return of a Diaspora’, and sipping some mint tea, I can see lots of blue sky and the sunshine that we had so much missed in the last few days.

However, those who like going for walks or hiking up the mountains may leave raincoats and umbrellas at their peril. I say so from experience. On our last visit to Punkersdorf and the villages beyond it, last week, we were caught unawares in the rain and soaked to the skin. Forewarned is forewarned.

As fine weather can be short-lived here, let me leave this book writing business for later. Now, it’s time to go outside. The idea here is to get out as soon as one sees sunshine, otherwise the weather can suddenly change before one does so. Probably we shall visit Africa Africa, where they are show casing African paraphernalia, food, music, you name it. The spot is on the green near the Millenium City. Africa Africa programme will go on for two weeks and today it’s the sixth day, I think. Time allowing, we will go on to Rathaus, the city hall where a lot is also happening this summer. It is a colourful festival with an excellent atmosphere created by the big outdoor screen at the square outside the city hall. Those who loved classical plays, this is a place not to miss. There is also a wonderful selection of world food and drinks that are reasonably prized.

Walking around the Rathaus park can be soothing, with shady trees under which one can rest and enjoy nature. The gardens and palaces around the Rathaus offer breathtaking views. Who knows, I may capture panorama scenes with my new iPhone and post them later.

For now, enjoy the rest of your summer, get as much fresh air as possible whenever you can.

Tourist Numbers on the Increase in Vienna as Summer Sets in

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Among other things, Vienna is known for its rich educational and cultural background. The enlargement of the EU, open trade internationally and its geographical location has placed the city in the centre as a business hub. It is not surprising, therefore, that Vienna is one of the most popular cities in Europe during the summer period.

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It is also a peaceful city and one of the best to live in. Tourist attraction places are in abundance in different districts of the city.

Summer in Vienna is wonderful and restaurants with outside terraces work well in the warm weather. However, whenever you go for an outing never leave a cardigan, umbrella and/of a raincoat.

Today (Friday the 13th), the weather is excellent for walking and cycling, especially in the first district. For a light lunch, we visited a popular gourmet sausage stand at Schwedenplatz. They serve the popular cheese sausage called Kaserkrainer. Most people love to wash it down with beer – stiegl, but I enjoy it with a cold drink of coca-cola. Those who love pizza and kebab also visit the same place. The atmosphere is great. You can meet people from all over the world.

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The other day we shared a stand with this easy-to-talk-to couple from Los Angelo’s. Anyway, it’s as if this weather has a lot to play in individuals’ behaviour. Everyone is jovial and more talkative in summer here. A very big contrast to the behaviour and experiences in winter.

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I somehow agree with Natalie Paris who says, “…if you are interested in quality cuisine and culture … then you should come to Vienna.”

Enjoy your summer.