Category Archives: Entertainment

Summer nights in front of City Hall with a film


The Vienna Music Film Festival is taking place in the Rathausplatz. I was in the platz for a bite to eat yesterday and took a few pictures but I’ll be heading back to enjoy some films on Vienna’s warm summer nights.

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Here’s a link to the Festival programme

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Filed under Entertainment, Festivals, Music, Vienna Life

Me, a Ball and the bow tie


Haven’t been to a Vienna Ball since we moved back to the city but it’s time to correct that omission.

This evening it’s the Vienna Medical Doctor’s Ball and we are going to be joining friends for what will hopefully be a wonderful event at the Hofburg, lasting till 5am.

Now I’m the sort of person who is happy enough wearing a suit but tends to leave the tie in the wardrobe and this evening my moth eaten collection will continue to remain there. However, I will for the first time in my life be going forth wearing a bow tie. How this strange new experience works out I shall report in a future posting – maybe. But as Whovian’s would quote, the Doctor says “Bow ties are cool”.

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Filed under Entertainment, Vienna Balls, Vienna Life

Climate Change – good for some Austrian businesses in the UK market


Interesting piece here in the ‘Austrian Times’ about Austrian know-how helping the UK to adopt Passive House technology, as the country seeks to reduce its CO2 emissions by making new building energy efficient and sustainable.

Austria is said to be one of the leaders when it comes to sustainable building. As the ‘Austrian Times’ highlights,  ‘….at Ecobuild in London, the leading trade fair for sustainable building, Austria had the biggest presence with 500 square metres of exhibition space and 28 exhibiting companies on one group stand. A further six Austrian companies took part independently. From solar energy solutions, bio-mass heating, heating pumps, windows, the Tirol wood companies and pre-fabricated houses, the “Made in Austria” brand dominated with a strong presence.’

Thus while there is continuing concern in the country about the impact of climate change on key sectors such as Tourism (with its high value winter sports threatened by the loss of glaciers and reduced snowfall in the Alps), other important areas of the economy look to benefit from the export of Austria know-how.

For those in the UK who want to tap into more home-grown expertise and creativity then they merely need to take a trip to the wilds of South Holland, in Lincolnshire, and the eco-dynamism of Jeremy Harrall and SEArch Architects

 

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Filed under Architecture, Climate Change, Entertainment, Green, Vienna Life

Ice, shovel, hockey sticks…..what else?


If you head down to Vienna’s Old Danube, don’t forget to take a shovel……

When you’ve cleared the ice of the snow, put on your skate’s, and have donned your Vienna Capitals shirt, then the Ice Hockey practice can begin….

or you could just stick with skating but mine out for the dog walkers….

Alternatively, you could just take a stroll……

Sailing with a boat is right out……

but if you’ve remembered your pump….

you can go sailing across the ice, pulled along by the breeze…

However, there is something to be said for good old fashioned skies…

 But it’s not the place for a quiet sleep…..

and some take flight….

But if you are looking for peace and quiet you’ll need to avoid the nearby Danube as its something of a busy, working river….

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Filed under Activities for kids, Entertainment, Environment, Vienna Life

Ice World


Back in February 2011 I spent a few enjoyable days sitting around the City Hall square, here in Vienna, whilst H had fun on the giant ice rink that had been placed in front of the Rathaus. This year’s ‘Vienna Ice World’ kicks off tomorrow (20th Jan ’12) and lasts until the 4th March 2012. Here’s the link for more details.

I expect H will be dragging me down to the 7,000 m2 of ice on a regular basis. Here are a few pictures from one of last year’s trips to the City Hall rink:

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Filed under Activities for kids, City Centre, Entertainment, Sports, Vienna Life

The Dutch, me & winter destinations


You don’t have to like winter sports to enjoy spending time in the Alps.

A report in today’s derStandard names Austria as the top destination for winter sports according to a survey by a Dutch tourism website. Personally, winter sports and I go together as naturally as oil and water. However, living in Austria, winter is probably my favourite time of the year and I enjoy spending time up in the mountains.

Whist I may not participate in most of the traditional sporting activities of tourist and locals, I do find plenty of things to entertain, amuse and inspire me on my trips to the Alps.

One of my pastimes starts by travel up the mountain on a cab car with the morning skiers, strolling slowly over to the restaurant, taking up residents at a table by the window, and ordering the first coffee/strudel combination of the day. If you want an alternative winter sport let me explain.

Now some of these restaurant/cafe huts can have the look and feel of a factory canteen, whilst others have that traditional look associated with Hollywood Christmas movies . For this particular ‘sport’ either type of venue will do but you need a table with a good view of the ski lift(s).  Ideally, if they have one, your table should also be near a roaring open fire to add an additional layer of snugness and smugness. After having settled down with your coffee you can turn your attention to the warm-up game. This one is called spot the Brit and it’s not that hard to pick up your first points. You turn your attention to the endless queues waiting for the ski lift(s) and simply look for the ‘skiers’ who seem to be continuously failing to reach the front of the ‘queue’. These are the novices Brit’s who will take some time to overcome their ingrained desire to stand and progress in an orderly fashioned. Gradually you can observe them coming to the realisation that the word for queue when translated back into English from German re emerges as the word scrum. However all this, as I say, is by way of a warm-up exercise. The skill in this particular window ‘sport’ is to pick a dozen or so subjects and commit them to memory. This is a relatively easy exercise as you will have plenty of time to get to know your chosen targets – most people on the slopes spend hours standing/shuffling in the scrum for the pleasure of a few minutes going downhill on their bone breaking device of choice. You can then take up to an hour’s break reading a book or catching up with twitter (reception is often excellent in such locations whilst oddly and annoyingly none existent in some parts of Vienna!). It’s important not to spend more time on these distractions or you can miss the chance to pick up points. Three points are awarded for ever person who comes off the slope in under two hours and one point for those that last a full two hours. An additional three points are gained for each individual who spends more time then eating and drinking than they did on the ski slope. On a sunny day these points are also awarded if the individual takes a seat outside and after eating then joins the others around them in the ritual by which you spend a long period of time with your eyes closed, head tilted towards the sun. If you are playing this game competitively then the skill is in selecting those rare individuals who will provide you with an automatic 30 points. These are the ones who actually spend more time on the slopes than sitting around enjoying the food, drink and sun – but they are a truly rare breed and not easily spotted.

For a more energetic time on the mountains I would recommend taking a stroll along (safe) paths ways from the ski slopes. The frozen landscape, the beauty of the mountains and the peace of the walk is often without comparison. It also happens to be health, cheap, fun and you still end up in the ski hut drinking and eating but without the frustration of the queues and the pain from the bruises. For something even more special take a stroll through the winter landscape after dark on a clear night. Venturing out into the icy landscape and seriously sub-zero temperatures to observe the night sky, the woods and mountains under moonlight, the stillness in the dark, are all truly worth leaving the warmth of your accommodation and afterwards there is always a mulled wine to warm you up again.

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Filed under Entertainment, Holidays, Sports, Vienna Life

Vienna Thriller Night


Thanks to a bout of flu it looks like I’ll miss tomorrows (20th Sept 2011) 7th Krimi Nacht (Crime Night) begin staged at Cafes across the city. Personally I would have been heading for one of my favourite venues Cafe Schopenhauser in the 18th district.

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Filed under Coffee in Vienna, Entertainment, Vienna Life