DSC04419

A glimpse of our getaway….

We’ve been on a getaway. A blissful, island runaway trip – probably the longest holiday I’ve had in about 6 years. (No, tour guiding through Europe is not the holiday it appears to be from the outside!). I was on a self imposed internet ban for the majority of the trip, but now i’m back with a vengeance and just had to share a few photos to give you an idea of what a paradise Bali can be.

Sunset at Secret Beach

Fact: you cannot take a bad photo with sunsets like this.

There’s a good few posts to come for you, in particular a mention of how differently an Austrian approaches a holiday compared to an Australian (hint: VERY DIFFERENTLY!). To tide things over though here’s a brief photo collection for the start of the week – enjoy!

 

Paddleboarding

That’s moi, successfully Paddleboarding, whoo! S decided he ‘doesn’t like one board sports’ after a morning of failed attempts to stay standing

DSC04322

Rice paddy fields gear in action

DSC04347

Mt Batur from the lookout restaurant

DSC04402

Not quite nailing the self-timed photo…but you get the idea!

DSC04276Getting up close to the wildlife….pretty sure he wanted us to back off

 

DSC04339Overall holiday success, despite many, many awkward photos

 

 

 

Eurovision Song Contest 2014

Eurovision & Austrian Pride

I shouldn’t enjoy Eurovision as much as I do. Us Aussies can’t even enter into the contest – the best we can hope for is a guest spot appearance during the semi-finals (see this cringe inducing intro - the song is not too bad). Somehow though, the spectacle of trashy euro-pop and over-the-top theatricals has always been a part of my life and understanding of Europe.

Straya

We were a bit overly enthusiastic with our cliche’s. Here you can see a surfboard, footy players, akubra hats and a giant kangaroo bobble head. Maybe a touch too keen!

Being a theater student in Melbourne, watching Eurovision every year was a cult-like event among our group of friends. We would stay up to ridiculous hours, host Eurovision themed parties and enjoy the drama and outrageous performances, while passing expert commentary and awarding our own votes and points to each finalist.

When I first travelled through Europe in 2008 I vividly remember watching Eurovision in a trendy hostel in Lisbon, being so thrilled to have actual Europeans watching it with me – Turkish, French, Belgian and British backpackers crammed into the one television room. This was where I learnt about the political ‘alliances’ and underlying meaning of the way countries voted. Of course the free sangria supplied during viewing meant we were especially enthusiastic about the performances.

So when Eurovision rolled around this year, I had already been primed in the history of the competition and knew the gleeful joy of watching singers perform with acrobats and fake flames in the background. I knew that winning performances were those that had an equal balance of musical talent, over the top costumes and outrageous stage antics. And I love every ridiculous thing about Eurovision.

Romanian Dracula

Just a Romanian Opera singer dressed as Dracula – nothing ridiculous to see here. This was my favourite entrant in 2013!

Not at all ridiculous entry from Poland this year.  All about the music.

Eurovision

Circular piano. Wonderfully ridiculous.

I was invited to a fellow Aussie expats place to watch the contest with Margarita’s in hand and fellow Eurovision-enthusiasts. We’d of course seen the Austrian entrant Conchita Wurst in the papers all week in the lead-up to the competition and lots of positive press was hinting she may perform well, but no one was game enough to claim that she would definitely win.

A funny thing happened when the results were being finally being revealed – for what I can safely say is the first time, I was sincerely cheering and screaming for Austria, each time Conchita was awarded a point.  It became vital that my adopted country performed well – I had my first real spark of Austrian pride!

 Equivalent level of my pride

Of course I’ve seen Austria win medals in the winter olympics and perform well in world skiing championships – but none of those ‘world stage’ events meant anything to me. Eurovision however, was a game I knew. I understood the high-stakes, the glory and the impact that a winning Eurovision contestant meant. So, that night, if you were in the 2nd district you probably heard a mad bunch of Aussies and Expats squealing every time another 12 points was awarded to ‘the Queen of Austria’, Conchita Wurst. We laughed, we held our breath, we may have even teared up a little bit when she was announced as the winner – and my god did we cheer for her!

Conchita winning as a bearded, cross-dressing sultry diva (with a killer tune) was the icing on the cake. Watching her genuine shock and honest acceptance speech made me miss all my LGBT, cross-dressing and theatrical friends from home – I wanted to run out to the nearest gay bar in Vienna and immediately join the wild celebrations!

The best part? Her win means that in 2015, Eurovision is coming to Austria. Whether its in Vienna or the countryside, you can bet your arse I’ll be fighting for tickets to make a lifelong dream of going to Eurovision finally come true!!

shock

The shock and excitement of seeing Eurovision in Austria got to Conchita too…

 

P.S Not only are we looking forward to Eurovision next year – but I’m now a shameless Conchita fan, we saw her live in Vienna last week and she is, indeed UNSTOPPABLE!! Some home-made videos to give you an idea of just how beloved she is now to Austrians…

 

 This is the crowd of Austrians singing along faithfully to their new Queen

The Queen herself showing us how its done!

 

 

 

 

 

pig is whistling

Sprechen sie Deutsch? The best Deutsch to English phrases

Although I’ve been in Wien for over 18 months now, I’m slightly ashamed to report that my Deutsch levels are probably not where they should be. I can follow conversation in groups of friends just fine, but spitting out phrases in return I’m still a bit clunky and basic. However, in my efforts to continually learn more I’ve collected quite a few phrases that when translated into English are brilliantly adorable and fun.

This is by no means an extensive collection and its likely the sayings are quite regional to the groups of people I spend time with. So, apologies for the dominance of Tirolian and Pfalz-ian phrases – they are what I’m regularly surrounded by. If you’ve got some equally brilliant and amusing translations please feel free to share and add to my collection. These are a few select favourites of mine that I encourage you to integrate into your every day lingo….

  Ich glaube, mein Schwein pfeift!

Translates to: I think my pig is whistling!

Real intention: I think I’m going crazy!

pig is whistling

 

Alles hat ein Ende, nur die Wurst hat zwei

Translates to: Everything has an end, only the sausage has two

Real intention: A philosophical phrase, spoken when something sadly comes to an inevitable end

 

Sausage

I have no idea what is happening here, but it is hilarious

Das ist großes Kino

Translates to: That’s real big cinema

Real intention: That’s really, really impressive/cool

Es ist gut Kirschen essen mit dir

Translates to: Its good cherry eating with you

Real intention: I’m thoroughly enjoying this conversation with you

 My sister and close friends enjoy some seriously good cherry eating at Christmas!

Das Leben ist kein Zuckerlecken

Translates to: Life is not a sugar licking

Real intention: Life isn’t always easy

Choccie Cupcakes

  Sadly life is not always cupcake…

Geh dahin, wo der Pfeffer wächst

Translates to: Go where the pepper grows

Real intention: Kindly, er, rack off!!

To round out, these are three of my favourite sayings, guaranteed to always make me giggle because I adore them so much!

Du alte Wursthaut

Translates to: You old sausage skin

Real intention: Ah, you reliable old friend of mine. This became a catch-cry of our family over Christmas once the English speakers found out the literal translation, so much so that nearly every sentence was being finished with ‘You old sausage skin!’ and a hearty pat on the back.

 Du bist der Deckel zu meinem Topf

Tanslates to: You’re the lid to my pot

Real intention: You’re my perfect match. A very sweet phrase to use when describing your partner…..slightly cheesy but completely adorable! Who knew Deutsch could be so cute??

The lid to my pot

The lid to my pot – who will no doubt hate that I shared this ridiculous photo!

Du frech Dachs!

Translates to: You cheeky badger!

Real intention: You cheeky little so-and-so. This is now a popular phrase in our household for any number of crimes, whether it’s stealing the last piece of chocolate or ‘forgetting’ to put your shoes in the cupboard. Incredibly useful in most domestic scenarios.

Badger cam
Evidence of actual badgers stealing chocolate – the threat is real.

One of the best things that all these phrases have taught me is how the German language (with its Austrian dialects) is always referring back to nature and food – the two great loves of the Deutsch speaking world!!

I’m sure there’s many more regional and gorgeous Deutsch sayings out there and I can’t wait to learn more. I’d much rather spend a day discussing dialect phrases than an hour in Deutsch school learning grammar rules so please, feel free to share your favourite phrases in the comments below.

 

Sausage image credit:

photo credit: Mr Jaded via photopin cc

Cupcake image credit:

photo credit: FUNKYAH via photopin cc

Snowy Schönbrunn

6 steps to Survive an Austrian Winter

We don’t do snowy winters in Melbourne. Its more like, windy, grey and maybe a low of 7 degrees celsius. Nothing so serious as a snowy Austrian winter. Although Vienna has been remarkably warm this year, its still a lot bloody colder than Australia. So, when my family came across for their first Austrian winter, I offered them the following survival tips:

1. Invest in a decent jacket

Critical decision at the start of winter – what will be your jacket of choice through these long, dark, icy months? My heart always wants to get something fashionable but my thin cold skin needs the most effective gear in the business. Last year S got me an unbeatable Dynafit jacket and I haven’t been cold since. Seriously I can ski in this thing, walk to work, wear only a t-shirt underneath and it still keeps me warm. I love it – but its not exactly high fashion. My family took the same approach – warmth was #1 priority over look!

Snowy Schönbrunn

I’m so cosy, I can frolic at the Gloriette!

2. Shoes will save you

A decent pair of warm boots will make or break your winter. You spend so much time trudging through slush, trying not to slip on ice or simply standing outside in the cold when you’re drinking Glüwein at the Christmas Markets, that a decent pair of shoes is essential. Ideally a warm, comfy, fur lined pair of knee-high boots will do the trick. Otherwise you’ll be wearing thick socks a lot, paired with soggy runners and probably be in a really really bad mood the whole winter!

3. Protect yourself

In the snow you need to protect your skin from the sun on those beautiful clear days. Sounds unlikely but trust me on this – sunburn from snow can be a surprise horror as the reflected glare from the white snowy ground hits your unprotected skin as much as the rays from above. Save yourself from the panda-eyes effect by using sunscreen on those gorgeous blue bird days.

4. Accessorize darling…

In Australia I thought winter was all about wearing lots of cozy layers and big thick jumpers and coats. Here, I’ve learnt that its the little things that make a huuuuge difference. Winter accessories are a must – you 100% cannot leave the house without a scarf, hat and gloves or you will freeze. The icy winter wind will sneak down your neck, your fingertips may turn purple and without a hat you can forget about ever feeling your earlobes again. The most shocking thing I saw over our Christmas break was an Irish lad skiing without gloves….I don’t know how his hands survived. Accessorize every day!

First night in Vienna

Mum and Dad luvin’ their hat investments…

5. Use the right products

S managed to terrify my mum into thinking her lips were going to freeze and fall off completely when he shared this particular tip, but it is an important one. In winter you need to use different moisturizers and lip balms than you would in summer. A lot of beauty products have water based ingredients, so if you use them in winter weather you will only dry out your skin/lips, causing more pain than you had in the first place. Apothekes here in Austria sell winter lip balm for about €4 so treat yourself to the right products. I promise your lips won’t fall off!

6. Get into the Spirit

Winter can be cold, grey and wet. Or, if you have the right attitude it can also be beautifully white, magical and the perfect time to develop new skills. This is my third winter in Austria and there’s at least 3 new skills I’ve developed in that time. My skiing has improved massively – only possible in winter. I’ve gained an excellent ability for choosing delicious Glüwein – only possible in winter. I’ve ice-skated outside a hilltop palace – only possible winter.

Ice skating at Wilhelmenberg

Ice-skating very carefully at Schloss Wilhemenberg

Overall a cold winter is what you make it – so embrace the many wonderful opportunities winter brings and enjoy it- no one ever had fun spending 3 months inside whining!

What’s your best survival tip for winter? I’m sure I’ve missed a few crucial ones so let me know your strategies in the comments.

Happy New Year!

A quick shout out to all of you wonderful folk on New Years Eve to wish you all the best for 2014. My 2013 was pretty incredible – in large part due to each and every one of you who reads this little blog. Thank you so much and may the New Year bring you much joy love and happiness! !

Xxx

P.s We’re currently in Tirol in the middle of family visting and skiing mayhem so posts are a little slower but hopefully these quick snaps will tell you why there’s not been much time to write. ..enjoy!!
image

image

image

Melk Hochwasser

Austria Says Thanks

Austria is not renown for Thanksgiving or patriotic fanfare, but they sure as hell know how to thank the people that make their country great. I was lucky enough to see this first hand at a special President’s event: ‘Austria Says Thank-You’ or ‘Österreich sagt Danke’.

The event was put on by the Federal Ministry of Labour last weekend as a thank you for all the volunteers who helped during the horrific Hochwasser (high water flooding) that hit Austria earlier this year. The Hochwasser floods were extremely catastrophic for large parts of Austria, Germany, Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic. Any country placed along the Danube was at risk from flood waters that reached over 8m high and smashed all previous records for flood levels. Homes were destroyed, lives were lost and the summer of 2013 started with a wet and rainy disaster. To get a scope of the damage and impact, you really have to see the photos:

Melk HochwasserThe historic city of Melk – normally an elevated village!

Hochwasser Krems

Boys Hochwasser

We were very lucky, living in Vienna, away from the worst-hit parts of the Danube and our families were in safe areas. Understandably, after the peak of the flooding there was a hell of a lot of clean-up to do. That’s where the amazing Austrian spirit comes in.

Thousands of people offered to help – of course because this is Austria, everything was extremely well organised  by some incredible volunteer organisations. The one that S and I are closest with is Team Österreich, a volunteer offshoot of the Red Cross. What they do is very simple – you register your details with them, and they send a text or email when they need help. No obligations, just a straightforward way to help those who need it. S had his first experience with them in the aftermath of Hochwasser.

The weekend after the worst of the flood, hundreds and hundreds of people met at 6:30am on a Saturday morning, offering their manpower to clean the cities and areas destroyed by the flood. Team Österreich co-ordinated everyone into organised groups, assigned them to the necessary areas and provided food for the day. The volunteers were sent where they were needed most – to buildings that had flooded, and streets where mud and debris had collected:

Team Österreich bucketsVolunteer Army geared up and ready to help!

(All images of volunteers taken from Team Österreich’s Facebook page, you can ‘like’ them here)

Mud

Clearing mud from….everything.

Food providedVital sustenance!

It was a mammoth effort – made possible by organisations like Team Österreich, Caritas, the Rotes Kreuz and many many more.  Their efforts, organisation and co-operation with the authorities made it possible for people to make a real difference, and do so safely. Without them, the Emergency Services would have been hampered in securing the safety of affected areas, and individuals would have endangered themselves by trying to access flood affected areas individually.

This was impressive enough in itself, then, last weekend, we got to be a part of the best thank-you event I’ve ever seen. The Federal Ministry for Labour & Social Affairs hosted a rock star event to award the volunteer organisations. Complete with the Austrian President, full scale stage lighting and giant TV screens, a celebrity host, catering, an über-cool warehouse venue and kickass award trophies for each volunteer organisation. Every volunteer was invited up on stage to have a group photo with the President when their organisation was given an award. Yep, we met the Austrian President on a casual Saturday morning – I was beyond impressed. Look how cool it was:

Marx Halle

Huge Warehouse Venue at Marx Halle

My mister

A very spunky volunteer who you may recognise…

Catering Effort

Delicious catering put on for the volunteers

Head of Rotes Kreuz

General Secretary of Rotes Kreuz, Dr Werner Kerschbaum, with the Presidents Thank-You trophy

Stefan in crowd!The whole of Team Österreich accepting the Thank-You. My mister included.

Close up!

S up-close to the Prez and Barbara Stöckl (Austrias Oprah!)

It was an unbelievable and unexpectedly awesome event – free food, drinks, beer, coffee and some wonderful speeches from the President and hosts, who revealed that over 3.3 million Austrians are volunteers. In a country of just 8 million that’s pretty damn impressive. They proved that even if Austria has nothing to do with Thanksgiving as a holiday, they can definitely put on a feast and spread the loving and thankful spirit for people who deserve it most.

If you’re keen to get involved with Team Österreich, check out their website here http://apps.teamoesterreich.at/. They always need volunteers, particularly in Vienna to help run their donation ‘supermarkets’ every Saturday night. Food is donated by supermarkets weekly and needs to be collected in vans and setup for  distribution to the less-fortunate every week. Team Österreich does the orgnanising, they just need your hands and help. Particularly during the holiday season this is a worthwhile way to spend a few hours of your Saturday.  Who knows, you might even spot S or myself down there!

Autumn Arrives

It may be fleeting, but Autumn is here and it is spectacular. We spent the last two weekends wandering around the city centre, re-acquainting ourselves with Viennese life and enjoying the slightly less crowded tourist hot spots. This is just a short photo post for you, to get a feel of Vienna right now, we’ll get on to the juicy stuff later this week!

Autumn at Hofburg

Behind Hofburg Palace

Families relaxing in Burggarten

Am Hof

Apartments that look like castles in Am Hof square

Austro-Hungarian Eagle

The Austro-Hungarian two headed Eagle – seen above entrance gates at Palmenhaus

Autumn means one delicious thing – Pumpkin time! Americans may hangout for their Pumpkin Spice lattes from Starbucks, but here in Austria its a little more traditional. Kürbis festivals (pumpkin festivals) are everywhere, celebrating that mighty vegetable the pumpkin. Most importantly, the festivals provide an excuse to sit, talk with friends and drink good wine while enjoying local products.

Kürbis Festival

Herbsfest at Freyung Platz

Kürbis Festival stand

It’s not a festival unless wine is involved!

Of course it wouldn’t be a Viennese weekend without coffee and cake. We went to the historic Cafe Leopold Hawelka to indulge my coffee addiction. Apparently it used to be a hot spot for artists and intellectuals, with big names of post-war Austria like Hundertwasser, Enest Fuchs & Oskar Werner. visting often. The place even lured English speaking legends like Arthur Miller and Andy Warhol into its smoke-filled writers corners. Once the famous song about the Cafe was released in 1975, it became a known tourist spot and the appeal for ‘real’ artists diminished.  They still serve damn fine coffee though, just beware the very Viennese waiters who will ignore you for a while!

Cafe Hawelka
DSC02332

Modern day visitors soaking up the atmosphere

DSC02331

The main attraction -Kaffee & Kuchen

All round, I have to say Autumn is close to becoming my favourite season in Vienna, if only for the amazing colours everywhere in the city. I hope you’re enjoying your Autumn just as much!!

Autumn Leaves

Thank You!!

Yes YOU! To any and every one who shared, liked, commented, followed, showed their friends, posted on Facebook or generally got excited about my post 28 Ways to be Austrian. I am so completely overwhelmed with the incredible response it got and especially pleased that so many Austrians enjoyed it! With over 200,000+ views and a brilliant comment thread to say I’m grateful would be a massive understatement. So THANK YOU ALL!!

 

I’m also very happy to announce that the post led to me landing a dream job with a wonderful company – Tour Radar. Unbelievable. Thank you, all you delightful blog readers out there, for being an integral part of this exciting change! I will keep you updated as the new challenges and delights of the job unfold.

For now, I’m in Melbourne reconnecting with my hometown for 10 days – so stay tuned for some Australian- based posts and photos…. until then have a  Happy Monday!!

xxx

C.

Hofburg

Weekend in Wien…pt 2

So, you’ve had a taste of Schönbrunn Palace, a swim on top of the city and enjoyed the heights of Prater Park. If you missed it, check here.

Now for the seriously cultured side of Vienna.

Head first to the Museums Quartier, or MQ as it’s known to the locals. A hub of Museums surround an enclave of cafes and comfy hang out spots within a gorgeous courtyard. This place is always energetic and inspiring.

Official photography from MQ site http://www.mqw.at/de/presse/pressefotos/das-mq/

To fuel the next few hours of looking at art, its imperative to indulge in good coffee. I’m sure that’s why MQ has so many funky cafes, the better to fortify yourself for artistic discoveries!

Graceful Art Excitement

Artistic Prep time in the Leopold Cafe…good to go!!

The Leopold Museum is currently housing a magnificent exhibition of Schiele & Klimt, two big names of the Vienna Secession art movement. An artist friend of mine (http://sarahmasson.com.au/) was in town recently so it was the perfect excuse to finally check out the famous works.

Klimts art is pretty unavoidable in Vienna – he’s a hometown sensation, born and raised in the 14th District of Vienna. Consequently, all souvenir shops are plastered with cheap reproductions of his most famous paintings. 

Pretty sure he never envisioned his work on Tins of Tea

The exhibition in the Leopold is a fascinating exploration of Klimt & Schiele’s lives, well worth spending a few hours exploring. Personally,  the Schiele piece ‘Couple Embracing’ was my favourite, with Klimts  ‘Life and Death’ a close second.  If paintings aren’t your thing , MQ also has museums dedicated to Dance, Architecture, Musical Theatre, Modern Art and even a KinderMuseum for children.

After such a stretch of time inside, you’ll be in need of some sunshine & fresh air – head to the skies my friends. There is a wonderful rooftop cafe about 5 minutes walk from MQ where you can see across the entire Ringstrasse of Vienna. Dachboden comes with views over some of Vienna’s most famous monuments: the Natural & Art History Museums, the Rathaus, the spire of St Stephans, Hundertwassers’ Heating Tower, the WWII era Flak Towers

Dachboden

Stunning blue skies not guaranteed daily!

Rathaus ViewViews over the civilised intersections also included.

The bar itself is very comfy, lots of cosy couches, big communal benches, the terrace is glorious (if you can get a seat) and they serve excellent local cocktails – try the Kaiser Spritz or a Hugo!

Dachboden Terrace

The first of many family rooftop reunions – even Dad is stoked!

From here you can round out the cultural day with a wander into the city centre, known as the 1st District. Stop by the historical Hofburg Palace en route for the must-have photo opportunity. The Hofburg was the winter palace and seat of power for the Habsburg dynasty, and the modern day President of Austria still has his residence here. Its grand, imposing and still as stunning today as when the Kaiser was in power

Hofburg

Spot the symbol of Imperial Austria up top – the double headed Eagle holding a crown 

Maria Theresa

Maria Theresa – mother of modern Austria & Marie Antoinette – will give you her benediction on the way by

Then get up close with some statues, fountains and spectacular architecture in the 1st District

Chilled TritonTriton is looking a bit weary…

Hofburg Palace

...looking at this view all day must be exhausting for him… 

The 1st district is full of historical buildings, cobbled streets and ‘Fiaker’, the traditional horse & carriages of Vienna . Wandering up little alleys is the best way to find hidden treasure bookshops, cafe’s and artisan stores.  More about my favourite stops to come in a future post! Wrapping up your short weekend in Vienna with a leisurely stroll through the historical centre is the best way to soak up the spirit of a city hundreds of years in the making.

Staying longer in Wien? Then check out these suggested activities: Wachau Day Trip or Schloss Belvedere

Krapfenwaldbad

Wiener Weekender

Some friends of mine were asking me about the best way to see Vienna as a tourist. How to find something ‘other than classical music and Schnitzel’.  Slightly outraged on my adopted city’s behalf, I replied that there is a huge variety to Vienna, you just need to know where to look! So, to prove the many wonders of this incredible city, I devised a plan for a  Weekend in Wien….

Right, it’s summer, you’ve had a long overnight journey and the last remaining days of sunshine are calling you to the water – but you’re traveling, you need see the city too! The perfect solution to this dilemma? Krapfenwaldbad:

Krapfenwaldbad

Beautiful people guaranteed to be in attendance

Krapfenwaldbad has incredible views over the city of Vienna, being perfectly placed near the top of the Kahlenberg Mountain. There are multiple swimming pools, the main one being nicely deep & cold for swimming . Don’t expect anyone to be doing laps though, this is serious ‘see and be seen’ territory for the young trendy locals. It’s also relaxed enough that you can while away the day in relative peace. There’s an on-site cafe & bar too, so any and all your chill out needs are attended to. Plus, did I mention the crazy awesome views?

DSC01473

Pool Views

That’s all of Vienna at your feet!

Ok, now that you’re relaxed after a day spent poolside, let the tourist activities begin! First, there’s some really excellent gardens to spend a morning roaming around….

Gloriette & Gardens

That little building up top is a Gloriette, where Emperor’s have breakfast – ‘cos being an Emperor is kickarse!

…which are conveniently attached to the glorious Schönbrunn Palace. Schönbrunn was the Habsburg’s Summer Palace, which, when you see the size of it, tells you just how awesome it was to be Royalty in the Golden Age. The best Apple Strudel & Iced coffee in Vienna can be had in the cafe to the left of the entrance – trust me I have done thorough research on this.

Once Schönbrunn has been conquered, you may find yourself in need of a drink, or just  a change of location for further drinks- based activities. The über cool Donaukanal is the perfect location. Wander down the canal steps from the city centre and you’ll find brilliant street art, a huge choice of bars, pop-up shacks selling different food & drink, all nestled beside the gorgeous Danube Canal.

Donaukanal

‘Beach’ Bars – bit different to beaches back home!!

Pineapple Street Art

Danube Street Art

Wicked street art along the Kanal paths

Once you’ve satisfied your inner hipster with a few riverside drinks, I’d round out the day at the the historic Prater Park. Prater is a huge nature reserve and set amongst this leafy gloriousness  is Vienna’s famous amusement park,  home to the worlds oldest Ferris Wheel, built in 1897:

DSC01537

With some slightly younger specimens in front of it.

The park itself has been set up with adults in mind as much as children.  Along with loads of awesome rides, there’s gigantic Beer Gardens to meet all your Beer & Pork Knuckle desires.  There’s also adult games like  Bowling, Mini-Golf, Clubs if you’re very keen  and terrifying rides for thrill seekers:

File:Prater Turm 01 .jpg

Fear. Pure and simple. 

That up there is the Prater Turm, which I absolutely refused to go on, right up until I was strapped in. It was at once terrifying and beautiful – at 117m, this is the world’s highest flying swing. The pay-off you get for braving it is stunning views over all of Vienna. It only gets nauseating on the way down, when, near the bottom, they speed up the pace of the chairs swinging in circles. But if you can stand that for 2 minutes, the view is well worth it!

Prater Turm

Super cute old fashioned token to ride!

After all that adrenelin, rounding out the day with a sugar hit is highly reccommended.

sugarrr

Fairy floss and chocolate fruit on a stick = heaven.

Exhausted yet?? Well stay tuned…part two of your awesome Weekend in Wien will be posted next!