Wednesday, December 31, 2014

December Sunset

On December 23 I happened to be in the street at the time of the sunset and the sky really put on a show. Later on I heard on the radio that these gorgeous sunsets are a December phenomenon. So this is already the last photo for 2014. This year really flew by... I hope you have nice plans for New Year's Eve and wish you a very happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Baby, it's Cold Outside

Can you see the prevailing cold in this photo? The daily maximum temperature currently is -5°C (41° F) and you have to wrap up warmly if you want to leave your apartment. Yesterday I braved the cold and took a short walk along the Old Danube. As you can see in this photo of the DC Tower and the Donaucity, Vienna is even covered with a thin layer of snow.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Christmas Illuminations #3

The red Christmas lights in Rotenturmstraße are absolutely eye-catching.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christmas Illuminations #2

Normally the 73m high Ringturm is a rather unspectacular (one could even say ugly) office building, but during Christmas time it is decorated with lights in the form of a Christmas tree.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Christmas Illuminations #1

In Vienna the merchant associations of the shopping streets have to coordinate and pay the Christmas illuminations in large part by themselves - that's why the illuminations show great variety. In this photo you can see the Christmas lights at the "Golden Quarter", the new luxury shopping area in the ciy center.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Better Late Than Never...

It's a tradition of mine to visit the Christmas Market in front of Schönbrunn Palace on Christmas day. While all the other Christmas markets close on December 23 or 24, this one is open until December 26. The palace is a very beautiful backdrop as you can see here! At the market you can find traditional handicrafts, Christmas decorations, unusual gifts as well as food and drinks. One of the stands offers bees wax products.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!

In Austria we are celebrating Christmas this very night: The tree is set up and lit for the very first time, the presents are placed beneath the tree, the family gathers around the tree and usually sings Christmas carolsThe Christmas dinner traditionally consists of baked carp. I wish you all a very merry Christmas!! Frohe Weihnachten!!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

It is High Time...

... to buy the Christmas tree, even if in Austria we usually decorate it not until Christmas Eve.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Another Christmas Market

The Christmas Market in front of the city hall with its 150 sales stands is Vienna's biggest Christmas market. Yesterday I passed by at 4 p.m., and as you can see, it was well attended.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

4th Sunday of Advent

"Somehow not only for Christmas, but all the long year through, the joy that you give to others is the joy that comes back to you.´" - John Greenleaf Whittier

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Winter in the MQ #2

Here's one of the so-called "ice pavilions" where you can warm yourself up with punch and indulge in delicious treats during "Winter in the MQ".

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Winter in the MQ #1

If you need a change from the traditional Christmas Markets that dominate the city-scape elsewhere, the MuseumsQuartier Wien is the perfect address: During "Winter in the MQ" (until December 23) the MQ restaurateurs serve up unusual punch varieties and delicious treats in so-called "ice pavilions", DJs provide a diverse mix of music, there's an ice curling rink and a race track for remote-controlled cars, and video projections on the facades bathe the MuseumsQuartier in a very special light.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Ho Ho Hoo!!!

Unfortunately it's not easy to find beautifully decorated shop windows in Vienna. This one at least says "Merry Christmas"...

Sunday, December 14, 2014

3rd Sunday of Advent

"Christmas is most truly Christmas when we celebrate it by giving the light of love to those who need it most." - Ruth Carter Stapleton

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Winter Sunset

Usually I'm still in the office when the sun sets in winter, but yesterday I called it a day early to do some Christmas shopping. When I saw the beautiful sky above the shopping street, I quickly went to a park nearby to take some photographs. I wasn't the only one to do this, the social media were flooded with photos of the spectacular sky.

Friday, December 12, 2014

At the Empress' Feet

After a visit at the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Fine Arts) you currently can have a walk around the Christmas Village at Maria Theresien Platz. With the Kunsthistorisches Museum on one side, the Natural History Museum on the other side and a statue depicting Empress Maria Theresa in the center of the square this is an impressive location.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Museum Corridor

Last Sunday I went to see the excellent Velázquez exhibition at the Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Fine Arts). On my way out I passed the corridor that leads to the collection of Greek and Roman Antiquities.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


Vanillekipferl are small, crescent shaped biscuits, usually made with ground almonds or hazelnuts, flavoured with vanilla and dusted with powdered sugar. They are traditionally made at Christmas. In the window of the K. und K. (Imperial and Royal) Court Confectionary Bakery "Demel" they are presented in a very special way.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Welcome to Vienna

During the Advent season Vienna is a very popular destination for day trips and holidays because of the numerous Christmas markets all over town. In December 2013 Vienna registered 1.153.000 overnight stays. The hotel in this photo is located in a narrow street in the city center, and of course it is festively decorated.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Carrying Home Christmas Gifts

Today is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, a public holiday with much arguing: Since 1995 the retail stores have been allowed to open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for Christmas shopping (In Austria normally stores are closed on Sundays and holidays. For more information about opening hours, please click here) and usually it is one of the best selling days during this time of the year. Many people will carry home a pile of Christmas presents...

Sunday, December 7, 2014

2nd Sunday of Advent

"Christmas is not just a day, an event to be observed and speedily forgotten. It is a spirit which should permeate every part of our lives." - William Parks

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Saint Nicholas & Krampus

In Austria today is Saint Nicholas Day. During the night Saint Nicholas filled the children's boots with gifts and sweets, and at the same time checked up on the children if they were good, polite and helpful last year. Saint Nicholas is usually accompanied by Krampus, a demon-like creature warning and punishing bad children. If the children were not good, he puts a tree branch in their boots. I remember to have been rather shocked when I got a tree branch once... No Krampus in this photo...

Friday, December 5, 2014

Supermarket of Art

Art makes you happy - that’s the motto of the Supermarket of Art. Young and well-known artists alike offer their original works for sale here. The assortment ranges from drawings to watercolors, acrylic and oil paintings to sculptures, artworks in wood, fabric, plastic or metal as well as photographs. Prices are moderate and run between € 59,- and € 330,-.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Dreary Days...

We haven't seen the sun for weeks now. The days are humid and dreary... I have to admit that by now this weather has a negative impact on my mood...

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Chocolate Shop

The Viennese Chocolate Factory "Wiener Schokoladen Manufaktur Leschanz" is located in one of the oldest shops in the city (since 1844) and is specialized in high-quality-products. Almost the whole assortment is handmade in the oldest Viennese industrial park, built in the era of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Counting The Days

In Austria we don't only have Advent wreaths for the countdown to Christmas, but also special calendars: The Advent Calendars have 24 "windows", each of them reveals an image, a poem or a small gift such as a toy or a chocolate item. The first "window" was opened yesterday (December 1), the last will be opened on December 24 (Christmas Eve).

Monday, December 1, 2014

December Theme Day: People in Their Workplace

When the days are getting colder (usually in September) chestnut stalls pop up all over Vienna. These small one- or two-man stands don't only sell roasted chestnuts, but usually also roast potato slices, potato wedges and potato pancakes. Yesterday afternoon this lady had her hands full to serve the hungry walkers in Kärntnerstraße.
Click here to view thumbnails of all participants in the theme day.