Monday, December 31, 2018

Happy New Year!

Wow, so another year is over! I hope you have a wonderful New Year's Eve and a sweet 2019!

Sunday, December 30, 2018

2018 Christmas Lights #6

Since 2006 Vienna's most georgeous Christmas lights can be found on Graben in the city center.  Each of the 10 chandeliers weighs 400 kg and consists of 20.000 LEDs. Tomorrow they will light the "New Year's Eve Trail": From 2.00 p.m. until 2.00 a.m. the city center will transform into a giant party zone. Dozens of gastronomers will serve punch and culinary treats, there will be numerous entertainment areas with show programs, waltzes, operetta, rock, pop, DJ lines and hit music. In the afternoon Vienna's dance schools will offer crash waltz dancing courses on Graben and transform it into an idyllic open-air ballroom.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

2018 Christmas Lights #5

This huge bow on a building opposite the Vienna State Opera is not only an eye-catcher but also one of Vienna's most photographed Christmas decoration.

Friday, December 28, 2018

2018 Christmas Lights #4

The red Christmas lights in Rotenturmstraße are rather impressive - every year again. Some years ago an ex colleague of mine called the huge red balls "frightening" ;-)

Thursday, December 27, 2018

2018 Christmas Lights #3

Even the five star Hotel Sacher in the city center was decorated with Christmas lights. Can you see the two nutcrackers at the entrance? 

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Better Late Than Never...

As the weeks before Christmas are usually rather stressful at work, I don't have the time to go to Christmas markets. Luckily, the market in front of Schönbrunn Palace is open until December 26... So I braved the strong breeze yesterday and headed to Schönbrunn.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

2018 Christmas Lights #2

While in other parts of the world Christmas is celebrated today, for me it's already over as my family is not very much into celebrating exentensively... I'm still on vacation though and will enjoy Christmas Day as best as I can...

Monday, December 24, 2018

Merry Christmas!

In Austria we celebrate Christmas this very night: Traditionally we set up the Christmas tree and light it for the first time, gather around the tree, may sing some Christmas carols, unwrap the presents, have Christmas dinner and maybe go to the Midnight Mass. In case you are interested in my programme: I will start the day with a brunch at my aunt's and spend the evening with my parents. I hope you a merry Christmas! Frohe Weihnachten!

Sunday, December 23, 2018

4th Sunday of Advent

"Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind.
To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, 
is to have the real spirit of Christmas." - Calvin Coolidge

Saturday, December 22, 2018

2018 Christmas Lights #1

The Christmas lights in Mariahilferstraße, Vienna's biggest shopping street, haven't changed in quite a while... Today will be a very busy day in all shopping streets and centers as it's the last day with normal opening hours before Christmas. In Austria the shops are closed on Sundays and on Christmas Eve they will close in the early afternoon.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Winter at the MQW 2018

If you don't like kitschy Christmas Markets, you can enjoy the "Winter at the MQW": in pavilions in the inner courtyard of the MuseumsQuartier Wien you can savour punch specialities while listening to a diverse mix of music provided by DJs, or you do some ice curling or pilot remote-controlled cars on a a race track. There are also video projections on the facade of the Leopold Museum.

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Silent Night...

It's time to get into the Christmas spirit! We could do that by singing the Christmas carol "Silent Night" (German: "Stille Nacht, heilige Nacht")... It was composed 200 years ago by Franz Xaver Gruber to lyrics by Joseph Mohr in a small town in Salzburg, Austria. The carol has been translated into about 140 languages and was declared intangible cultural heritage by the UNESCO in 2011. The song has been recorded by a large number of singers, the version sung by Bing Crosby allegedly is the third best-selling single of all-time. The window display of a confectionary in the city center shows a sweet version of the parish church where the carol was first sung in 1818.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Snowy Schönbrunn #3

The last photo from my walk in the snowy gardens of Schönbrunn Palace... Walking up this hill you will reach the Gloriette.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Snowy Schönbrunn #2

The way up the hill to the Gloriette was rather icy on Sunday. Whereas I managed to go up quite easily, I then slipped on the flat ground... The children had a lot of fun sliding down the hill towards Schönbrunn Palace...

Monday, December 17, 2018

Snowy Schönbrunn #1

During the night from Friday to Saturday we had the second snowfall of this season. Let's hope that there will be more snow around Christmas! When the city is covered with snow I usually take a walk in the gardens of Schönbrunn Palace...

Sunday, December 16, 2018

3rd Sunday of Advent

"Christmas gives us the opportunity to pause and reflect on the important things around us." - David Cameron

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Northern Lights

The current installation "Northern Lights" at the art space of the Swarovski Kristallwelten store in the city center was created by Austrian fashion designer Susanne Bisovsky. The installation evokes an arctic storm blowing open the doors and windows of an imaginary Russion dacha. The ladies of the house are wrapped in glittering robes that sparkle with thousand of crystals.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Winter Trees

The new quarters that I showed you the past days are located right next to the large Prater park where the trees currently look like this...

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Student Hall of Residence

This dormitory, located next to the University of Economics and Business and the Sigmund Freud University houses 149 apartments in 12 different categories, a gym, a sauna, a party and a music room, a "quiet room", a bike storage room and a laundrette. Sounds like a good place to live in...

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

University of Economics #6

Next to the Viertel Zwei there's another new area: The campus of the University of Ecnomics and Business, opened in 2013. It consists of six group of buildings, each of them was designed by another architect.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Sunday, December 9, 2018

2nd Sunday of Advent

"Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, 
and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful." - Norman Vincent Peale

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Pink Car

The current window display of the K. u. K. (Imperial and Royal) Confectionary Demel was inspired by the exhibition project "Sagmeister & Walsh: Beauty" at the Austrian Museum of Applied Arts. The exhibition investigates why people feel attracted to beauty, how they can deal with it and which positive effects beauty can have. I haven't yet seen the exhibition, so I dont't know which role plays this pink car, but it's definitely an eye-catcher.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

A Last Photo of the Snow

Here's another photo from last Saturday when the city was covered with a thin layer of snow. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Nothing Can Stop Them

If you take a close look you can see that the snow - and the rather cold temperature - didn't prevent some people from cycling and jogging... 

Monday, December 3, 2018

How December Started

That was what we woke up to last Saturday. December started with the first snowfall of the season.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

1st Sunday of Advent

Today is the first Sunday of Advent which means that every good Austrian lights the first candle of the Advent wreath. Every Sunday until Christmas we light another candle so that on the last Sunday before Christmas (which we celebrate on the evening of December 24) all four candles are lit. 

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Know Your Status

December 1st is World AIDS Day, an international day dedicated to raising awareness of  the AIDS pandemic and mourning those who have died of the disease. In Vienna you can currently see the posters of the new "Know Your Status" campaign that focuses on the UNAIDS 90-90-90 objective, according to which 90% of people with HIV who know their status should be receiving anti-retroviral treatment. Therefore the campaign deals with the steps that need to be taken after the diagnosis and creates awarenss for what the afflicted are facing on a personal, social and medical level. The testimonials of the current campaign, shot by Austrian photographer Andreas H. Bitesnich, are Paris Jackson and Austrian actor Philipp Hochmair (in this photo).