Monday, October 22, 2012

Albertina Musuem....

Neptune or Zeus fountain..which is it?

The south entrance I think.
I was taken by the fountain. A quick walk here main reason was to buy tickets at the opera house for the evening performance. And then a quick walk back to the conference place for some academic brain learning:)

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Subtle signs of renovation

Look at the windows

The cathedral of which are still undergoing renovation

Traditional Viennese food!

Pancake soup
This was taken on my second day in Vienna. This was dinner. And I picked this shop because I was so hungry and tired I just wanted to sit down and eat. It was a shop off the main street and had a small crowd already there. ( Very important! I wouldnt have gone to an empty shop) I picked the set meal which costs 11 euros I think minus the bubbly water I had. The soup was salty but warm and comforting. I thought it was nice but towards the end it just got too salty for me. ( I did however finish it in stages together with bites of the main dish)
Wiener Schnitzel and my map to the left of the picture
Here it is. Traditional Austrian fare. Instead of pork this was chicken. And the little coins of potatoes were a nice change from fried chips....and the lime was left alone because I wasn't too sure what to do with it. I think I did squeeze it onto the chicken eventually. But I preferred it without. It's very think ( I later read this was pounded slightly...tenderized I mean) and the whole entire meat is crispy. So I guess the oil must be nice and hot...and it certainly didn't taste of mucky oil ( like some recycled oil found in stalls in Malaysia) So, this was an enjoyable meal
Apple Strudel
This was pretty decent. We have great apple strudel in Malaysia too. So I wasn't too excited.  But I liked the main dish very much!!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Kumar and Clark visit PPUKM

Prof Parveen Kumar and Dr Michael Clark
We were honoured with a visit from the very famous Kumar and Clark on friday morning. Here they are signing autographed copies of their latest edition of Kumar and Clark. ( this post may appear odd in my series of posts on Vienna...but I just had to break the theme and post this special day)

Monday, October 15, 2012

What do you call your shop if it's near Mozart's house?


Der Liebe Augustin

Walking down a street on day 1
Welcome to Griechenbeisl , which is the oldest inn in Vienna dating back to 1447.(This I know from my mini-internet search just a while back). I found this on day one. This was taken around 8:15am with minimal people around. The folks I met were people walking in a hurry to open their shops. I was possibly the only tourist about at that hour. At that time I didn't know that, so I wrongly assumed Vienna was quiet and devoid of tourists. You can just make out the wet roads. It started raining again about 10 minutes after this picture was taken. This time a steady flow with got progressively heavier. And it continued right into the night. 
A random shot....which shows something of interest!
Okay let's try and write more about this place. Here's what I found:
Opening hours: daily 11am – 12.30pm
Kitchen hours: daily 11am – 11.30pm
Closed: only December 24

No wonder the place was all quiet and deserted at this hour:) You can taste authentic vienese cuisine here. And possibly imagine having a meal with the other famous folks who supposedly supped here as well. Here are the list of folks; Beethevon, Schubert, Strauss and Wagner.  Sadly I didn't enjoy a meal here. But on the up side. Going through my pictures and finding interesting tourist spots is very fulfilling in a weird way.

Do you see the words Der Liebe Augustin in the second picture?    In 1679 , the people of Vienna suffered from the plague. Nobody ventured out much. Liebe Augustin was a poet, bagpiper and minstrel would sing and drink.The story is that he passed out cold at the side of the road and was picked up by the plague sweepers and thrown into the plague pit.  He woke up ( shocked I'm sure by being surrounded by horrendously ill folks around him) played the bagpipes ( luckily for him he still had it ) until help came and he was rescued. He didn't die from the plague and lived for many years on. Did his humour or the wine save him from the plague??

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Frick in Vienna

Proud to sell English books
I won't write much about Frick but I will say this. I went to two different branches. But this one at Graben was lovely. The steps were inviting and you get to walk across to another side of the building. No I didn't buy anything here. Books are definitely cheaper in Malaysia.
At Graben

Love the steps

Cosy arrangement of books

Thursday, October 11, 2012


The exit from the u-ban to the open space
My googling the night before led me here. Main place of interest was the museum quarter. It was wet and windy. I was really pleased I caved in and bought an umbrella on the first day. Otherwise I would have ended up wet and cold. And I may have bought a "vienna" umbrella. Instead I have a lovely navy blue umbrella plain and simple which may be used for many years to come hopefully.
Volkstheater Neustiftgasse 1ViennaAustria on a wet morning!
This I saw en route to the musuem quarter. I didn't google the exact directions so I wandered about a bit. So here's what I've since found out about this building.  Volkstheater was opened in 1889. And it is one of the largest theater in the German speaking world. It seats 970. And now I really wished I had caught a musical here. And did you know, only German language shows are produced!

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


 I was slightly tempted to try coffee at Starbucks in Vienna. Would it be better than Kuala Lumpur? What do you think?
Would have bought this...if I had brought a bigger luggage
What I did do was walk in to look at their selection of mugs. I found this...which would have been nice to bring home.

Traffic in Vienna

Horses are the pacemakers in Vienna
A nice sunny day and perfect for a carriage ride through the streets of Vienna. Lucky folks! Not so lucky for the Golf and bus cruising along at 15km/hr behind the horses. Very patient folks. No honking I think it might scare the horses. ( humans probably immune to the sound by now especially if you're a visitor from a city where honking when bored isn't frowned upon too much)
Interesting dressing...obviously walking to work
This is the view walking towards the cathedral, Granben would be to your left. That shiny building is the Haus building I spoke about earlier.

What century are we in? A vendor selling concert tickets 
 A sweet girl standing very still and very poise waiting to sell tickets to interested persons.
Tourists....( I was one of them for a short time in between talks)
As the weather became better, the people started coming out to the streets. If you happen to be walking in the opposite'ld be faced with an uphill task of walking without bumping into any other person.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Narrow space

Narrow entrance to two different shops
I shall start this Sunday evening's session at the imac by doing something frivolous ie blogging. ( I'm meant to be updating the year 3 bluepring but am taking a break BEFORE starting work) Here's an interesting entrance to the show shop I was interested in. Have you ever seen anything like this before? I think this was taken in one of the small streets about 5 minutes away from Graben.
Very skilled parking
Many German made cars in Vienna. Here are just two of the more frequently seen cars, a merc and a volkswagen. They certainly seem very comfortable near each other:)

Saturday, October 06, 2012


As seen from Graben
 I knew this was important. Yes I did! And so I have a shot of this Baroque era church to add to my collection. I actually have two shots on two different days. But this one was the nicer of the two. Once again I didn't go in because I was hungry and wanted some food.  If you realise this is possibly a very early church which has stood here since the second half of the 4th century you may well get excited about this shot too. It's actually squeezed in between some buildings so I could be forgiven for thinking it's just another church. Yes yes...philistine that's what I yam!

What you see if you face the Street
This was the only reason I took some shots...because there were others ( who obviously did their homework) taking pictures. More before I decided to whisk my camera out to take some shots.

Maltese Church

If you walk along  Kärntner Straße , which as a tourist you will feel duty bound to may come across this church. I missed it the first time I walked down the street. My shallow mind and eyes zoomed in only on the possible shopping along this lovely pedestrianized street. The entrance is just that. A size of a single dooe with empty beige walls on either side. The sign to the right of the picture above is small. I only found out this place was listed on Tripadvisor when I googled places of interest in Vienna.( After returning home from trip). Hehe! Moral of the story, either you google extensively before your trip...and like me take pictures of interest to you and proceed to have fun when you get home.
A closer peek inside
In the reflection you can see the souvenir  shop opposite this church and people walking past without realising what they are walking pass.
With the zoom mode
I didn't go inside, something I'm regretting now. So here's a picture I took from the main door. You can see it isn't very long and the altar looks very grand and it attracts you somehow. This piece was painted in 1730 which is a pretty long time ago. This is a Roman Catholic Gothic church. ( What does Gothic mean? Remind me to google that after posting this.) And it has been restored in stages, the last being in 1998. There's a little bit of history for you. You won't find this place listed in the top list of places to visit in Vienna. So I'm pretty proud of myself having luckily taken a few pictures.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Haas Hause

Focus on the shiny building to the left of picture
Haas Hause is where you find Zara. As you exit Stephansplatz you will see this. It sort of sticks out from the rest of the older architectural buildings around it. It was listed in the places in see but as you may have guessed I wasn't too bothered reading all that before wondering about. As a result there's no complete picture of Haas Hause.

You may ask. What is so special about this building? It was designed by Hans Hollein and it is meant to reflect St Stephan's cathedral, It's all pretty exciting and you may read it all

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Donnerbrunnen fountain Vienna

I don't have many pictures because it didnt know it was a landmark until now
Yes I've been a little obsessed about finding names for the numerous shots I took in my speedy walk through Vienna during the ERS. Pretty proud of my legs having walked so fast and far and my camera for directing me to objects of interest. This was taken while walking about the First district in Vienna...which I've since read is where most tourists spend their time. ( Here's an interesting fact, the Vienesse consider an address from the first district to be equivalent with an academic degree or a noble name. ) Can you blame us? There's enough architecture and (ahem) shopping to keep you from wandering far. The fountain itself looks mighty nice but the surrounding wasn't grand. They had car parks and roads so it's sometimes depending on traffic occluded by cars. 
Here are some facts about this fountain:
1. It is actually called Providentiabrunnen ( ya a mouthful I know). The sculptor was Georg Raphael Donner. 
2. It was featured in " Before sunrise" starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy.
3. The four figures represent the four main rivers of the Austrian heartlands. The two male ones are those of Upper Austria and the femal ones lower Austria
4. These are actually copies made out of bronze. The orginal figures are housed somewhere else. Very long name I can't remember.

This building caught my eye before the fountain.
This is a supermarket. A bit upmarket I know this from peeking through the glass walls. I didn't go in because what would I do with a piece of raw meat in a hotel I tell you:) I read somewhere that the the locals do not buy in bulk instead they choose to buy daily and have fresh stuff. An interesting thing. I want to practice this...I think. 

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Palais Palffy

The entrance of the building
First a little bit about Palais Palffy, it's opposite the Hofburg and it is meant to be a Palace but I think that's wrong. It was small and very unpalace-like. If you google this name, you can find very little about it. Apart from the fact it was once owned by a family called ( no surprises...Palffy). Mozart performed his first concert here at the age of 6. So yes because of this very fact, this place deserves a mention.
I arrived early.
This was one of the few times I arrived a good 40 minutes before any concert. Got scared of the dark and also worried I may not be able to find the place. The picture above is the little ( and yes I mean small) room we were ushered in for the performance.

Taking a bow before playing
They played like angels although one small comment if you will allow me, I think the costumes could have been better. I thought they were a little amateurish but I didn't dare voice out more until I stumbled out a blog which totally knocked this entire place down. And adviced folks this was a scam ( yes I felt stupid reading that thinking I had been conned) and the tickets were overpriced and the entire feel was like a school concert.

Okay so maybe the costumes were a little less professional and the dancing ( yes they had a spot of ballet paus de deux) wasn't so perfect, but I enjoyed the pitch perfect playing and the songs very much. So no..I have no regrets attending this concert. An experience!


Steffl taken from a distance (Smokers they're everywhere uurgh)
What so special about this department store? Mozart lived and died here. And he also wrote and completed The Requiem and The Magic Flute here.Currently located at Kärntner Straße 19. It was founded in 1895. It owes its name to the Stephansdom tower.And yes I bought my two Longchamp bags here for a very good price. 
The glass was a scary experience
 This was the glass lift in Steffl. I took it because I was tired. So I travelled from level 6 right down to the basement with my nose almost pressed against the glass just to see what it was like. Not so good for the tummy but I got a nice video shot:)
Longchamp WOOT!
Got all excited when I saw this. I confess ...spent some time here oo-ing and ahh-ing over the price. The sales person was lovely. She diplomatically stayed away and offered her services intermittently at just the right time ie to get the ones at the higher shelf for me.
The view from the toilet at level 6 Steffl
The ladies at the Steffl was at level 6. Yes now you know why I went all the way to Level 6. A good experience. Clean and with wide glass windows you can see the buildings across clearly. Imagine...(again yes I'm mozart-obsessed) Mozart may have seen this view all those years back. Maybe his inspiration came from this. Who knows? The man was a genius!