The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 8,700 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 15 years to get that many views.
Click here to see the complete report.
Those who follow this blog and/or my tweeting will be well aware of my passion for good coffee in general and Meinl coffee in particular. Another of my interests is the Vienna Secession movement which was a group formed in 1897 by Austrian artists and whose influence can still be seem throughout Vienna today.
Oddly the starting point for my daily train journey to work, on the S-bahn, brings together these two themes. The Hernals station is one of the buildings that formed the Wiener Stadtbahn which operated from 1898 and was designed by the leading Secession movement architect and urban planner Otto Wagner.
Hernals in within a short walk of the Meinl coffee factory and this is (I assume) why the station is the location for these classic coffee posters:
The Hernals staion:
Returning to the subject of coffee, over on the Meinl website (amongst other coffee info) is this delicious quote from a French diplomat about the beautiful drink:
Coffee ought to be hot as hell,
Black as the devil,
Pure as an angel,
Sweet as love.
Charles Maurice Talleyrand
(1754-1838 – French Diplomat)
I have to admit that I just don’t get enough exercise and spend too much time in the company of my computer. Thus when the sun is shining, on a warm Vienna evening or at weekends, I have little in the way of argument to ward off R’s ‘suggestions’ that we take a stroll. So in the spirit of ‘health and happiness’ I drag my ever complaining body into action for the greater good.
But wait. Is this the whole picture? Is ‘healthy walking’ around the Vienna Woods and the local area really so onerous?
Well actually if you put a smile on your face and ‘embrace’ the whole idea with enthusiasm there are many opportunities to turn such exercise into truly enjoyable excursions into relaxation and enjoyment. Last night’s evening stroll, for example, took us up over the hill into the 16th District and initially to the heuriger Leitner. Located next to vineyards overlooking the city, the heuriger provided us with a pleasant red wine as we took a break in our journey and enjoyed the surroundings. The food also looked appealing but unfortunately all the tables where pre-booked, however this gave me the excuse to suggest that we head for the Am Predigstuhl.
The Am Predigstuhl is an absolute gem of a small restaurant. As you walk along the Oberwiedenstrasse it’s possible to miss the entrance to the restaurant, which looks very similar to the private house on either side – though for those more alert than myself the sign painted on the wall next to the gate is a bit of a giveaway. The menu provides a more varied choice than you find in many small places and the food that arrives at your table is excellent. The atmosphere is relaxing with friendly and helpful staff. To accompany your meal the Am Predigstuhl has a very good selection of Austrian wines, with the need to choose providing the only moment of ‘stress’.
As the spring turns to summer and we take more and more of these ‘healthy walks’ I am discovering new stopping off points. Only last week as we walked over the hill in the direction of the 18th District, we dropped into the Schutzhaus am Schafberg which provided another lovely venue for an evening meal.
Even turning a stroll in the local area into a full blown walk in the Vienna Woods provides many opportunities to enhance the genuine enjoyment of the woodland – though you do have to keep one eye on the more over enthusiastic mountain bikers and joggers. As you walk through the woods you are never far from a coffeehouse, restaurant, or heurigen with all their delights for the taste buds.
All in all this walking business is definitely contributing to a rather nicely ‘balanced’ Vienna lifestyle.
I really should…..spend more time in the Museums Quarter:
A few of the images I’ve captured on camera whilst out and about in Vienna during April:
Coffee break during a walk in Vienna Woods
Austria Wien Football Club
Market in the 16th District
The pond comes to life
First Vienna Football Club
A view of Vienna from the woods
Walking in Vienna Woods
Suddenly yesterday H is dressing up as Robin Hood and going to school for a carnival, whilst at my school the announcement is made that lessons next Tuesday will finish at 1pm. The word Fasching is everywhere and I find myself culturally confused, once again. As I settle down with a coffee and my lap top, in the late afternoon, a story in the Austrian Times tells me that Fasching is less popular than it used to be, particularly in Vienna. The article still leaves me a little confused but I have discovered that ‘43 per cent of people living in Austria are celebrating the festival known as, Karneval in Germany and Carnival elsewhere this year’.
So with H excitedly telling me about the Rock Band that came to perform at her school party and describing all the fancy dress costumes that her friends had been wearing, I decide it’s time to do a little net based research. Why was I turning to the net? Well the responses from R to my questions boiled down to ‘well it’s Faching’. When pressed a little further she paused and said ‘everyone in Austria is miserable in February so we have a party or it’s something like that’.
Turning to Encyclopaedia Britannica I discovered: ‘Fasching, the Roman Catholic Shrovetide carnival as celebrated in German-speaking countries. There are many regional differences concerning the name, duration, and activities of the carnival. It is known as Fasching in Bavaria and Austria, Fosnat in Franconia, Fasnet in Swabia, Fastnacht in Mainz and its environs, and Karneval in Cologne and the Rhineland……… truly rambunctious revelry associated with Fasching usually reaches its high point during the three days preceding Ash Wednesday, culminating on Shrove Tuesday. The names of these final days also vary regionally………. After the Reformation, Protestant areas of Europe took exception to such Roman Catholic excesses, and carnival practices began to die out in them’.
So now I’m a little more culturally aware and ready for the party.