I left WU library late last night, and somehow with the lights and the fog it looked like a ufo. 🙂
All day was like this. But then, I was in the library all day, so it didn’t affect me much.
Yesterday I went adventuring around Wienerberg in the outer 10th District, and found this rather pretty building. I had to find out more about it, and so I went to trusty Wikipedia, and this is what it told me:
The water tower was drawn by Franz Borkowitz and built in 1898-99. It used to be a part of a bigger building complex, and supplied the areas in the 10th and 12th district that were too high up to be reached by the water in the Wienerberg reservoir. This was a time when the city was rapidly growing, and the water usage with it.
It was in use until 1956. Inside the tower nowadays there’s an exhibition space, and it’s used for events. There are free tours of the tower 7 months of the year, so if you’re super keen some googling will tell you when there is a tour next.
Last year they built a water park for kids to play in next to the tower.
This weekend I took Friday night off to check out this event that’s been on at the Rathaus. It’s pretty nice, it’s free and you get to hang out in a seriously pretty building.
Just stunning. There were a bit too many kids for us to be tempted to go back on Saturday or Sunday, but I bet it was fun for all the kids that got to run around the big halls and stairs!
This one tells me to get out of bed most mornings. It’s always ringing at 7am, so I know if I’m not out of bed by then, I really have to get out. Sometimes though, it tells me that it’s time to go to work. If I’m already up and eating breakfast and ready, then I have to go when it rings in order to catch the bus to Kahlenberg.
What do you do when it’s a national holiday and everything is closed? You go to a museum. Today I really felt like going to see some rocks and fossils and animals, so I ended up here.
The buildings themselves are just amazing. This is the dome in the middle.
A fish with the best ever name
So many fish
And bugs… I love beetles. I spent a long time staring at the beetle collection.
Just amazing. This isof course just a tiny sample.
I got myself an annual pass, so that I can come back to explore more. It only cost 27 Euro. Really good value!
This market is located right smack in the park between Kunsthistorische and Naturhistorische Museum in Vienna, around the large statue of Maria Theresia.
It’s also extremely close to MQ and their winter village, so the view of the MQ from the market is really nice. 🙂
We came here for the Punsch a few evenings ago, to meet up with people before they disappear for Christmas. The Punsch and Glühwein at this market comes in these really cute boot-like cups, so it looks smaller than the other markets but I reckon it’s about the same amount once you get down into the boot. No complaints about the blood orange Punsch or the apricot Punsch!
The backdrop of the market is really impressive, with the two beautiful museums at each side.
Not to talk about Heldenplatz on the back end of the market!
As far as shopping goes, I think this market has some really nice stuff. I got a cable for my advent star here two years ago, from a stall that sold the same type of stars as I had got at the spittelberg market. And they have some really nice stuff for the tree, as you can see.
With an unlimited bank account I could do some serious shopping here for the tree. Oh well.. some day! 🙂
They also have some nice natural decorations around the place. I like that because it’s a little bit different to what I have seen so far. This place had lots of very nice smelling decorations, with cinnamon, cloves and whatnot. It smelled really nice to walk past. 🙂
And Alex came away with a little hedge hog from this booth. The guy makes everything from wood that he glues together, and the animals really look cute! They are quite light, so I suspect there is styrofoam inside that he pins things to and then glues the wood together around it, but hey, they look really good. So why on earth not!
I was thinking this girl will probably get snow-blind from working in this booth… lol.
Food options are also good here, with varied alternatives. although I’m not sure I would trust this cook. 😛
To sum up: A nice all-rounder, good shopping and good Punsch. It’s not extremely large, but that just makes it more manageable. What they have is nice, so if you need to get some Christmas shopping done in a hurry and want to grab a Punsch while you are at it, this is a nice place to go, where most of the booths have really nice stuff.
One weekend in December there is the artisan’s Christmas market at Schloss Neugebäude out in the 11th by Simmering. It is actually not that hard to get to, it’s a short bus ride away from the end of the U3 line. Last weekend I brought my friend there to see what it was all about.
The Rennaisance castle makes for a very nice atmosphere, but at first sight we were rather puzzled that this could be called the artisan’s market… we didn’t see any crafts anywhere! In fact, all we saw were some punsch stands, food places, and one guy making wooden ornaments on the spot. Peculiar!
The explanation was that most of the castle cannot be seen from the outside. We went down under the big tower, and found huge halls filled with christmas ornaments, crafts, pieces of art… a whole lot of stuff! Some of it was more impressive than other stuff.
I wasn’t sure how happy the people were for me to be snapping pictures, so I tried to keep my distance.
I now know what to do with my old light bulbs!! What an amazing idea. I’ll be making hot air balloons for the tree… when I get enough light bulbs to make it worthwhile. 🙂
This was my absolute favourite stand. Glass art – so pretty!! I asked if I was allowed to take this picture. The artist(s?) doesn’t have a shop (sadly!) but can be found online, on http://www.cybilldesigns.blogspot.co.at.
I did fail on the Perchtenlauf though. There were way too many people! I had no idea such hordes of people would congregate for the perchtenlauf… but it’s apparently a super popular event in Vienna. So, this was the best shot I got of the Krampus. Oh well, there’s always next year. 🙂
I thought the market had a lot of stuff that could be nice if you’re looking for a Christmas present. There’s not much in the way of food and drink though, and the lines are really long around the Perchtenlauf, but I thought it was worth it!
This is one of the heavy-weight contenders among the Viennese Christmas markets. Located in front of the Schönbrunn castle, they’ve built a little ring of booths enclosing some more Punsch and food stands, and there are concerts almost daily from choirs and brass bands. On the weekend there are even more things happening there.
The booths all contain really nice stuff here, so you don’t get many of the ‘hippie’ stands selling dream catchers and incense, here it’s more about traditional crafts, ceramics, glass art and so on. I usually come here to get a Christmas present for one of mine.
the Punsch is very good here, but it is a bit more expensive than the other markets. That’s to do with the location, but probably also the popularity of the market – it can get insanely crowded. It’s not crazy expensive though, the punsch is up to 1€ more expensive, so it’s possible to deal with it.
They also have the famous Sisi Punsch here. I came here yesterday (a Thursday) so it was relatively liveable there. Previously I’ve only been on the weekend, and you literally have to penguin walk around as there are so many people. They offer bus tours from surrounding countries to this (and other I presume) Christmas markets, so on the weekend it’s not uncommon for 30-50 buses to be parked side by side on the parking lot, and they even have ‘slots’ for when they can offload their passengers to go to the market.
So, like I said more traditional stuff is sold here. And it looks sooo unbelievably nice. I love these Christmas ornaments. I couldn’t afford to dress my tree in these though… maybe I can afford one glass ball a year? hmmm…
I really love these pieces by Sandra Gasque ceramics. This stall is here every year, and I’m equally tempted every year.
This year I also found this booth belonging to Mathias Graebner, whose pieces are absolutely stunning. I told myself that I will go back there if I cannot help myself.. but I managed to get away without a piece… this time! I just love those fish-patterned pieces. I almost thought this booth alone was worth the visit. 😀
The final picture is from the entrance, where they have decorated the two columns with the eagles (?) on top. They look like two giant shiny light-rods from afar.. If you’re in doubt where to enter, look for these! ^_^
Why go here? The atmosphere, and to get some truly unique pieces from talented artist. Just being there, looking at the castle and listening to live music is magical and appeals to the little prince and princess in every one of us. But my advice is, don’t go on the weekend.
This house on Burggasse/Breite Gasse is the smallest house in Vienna. It’s only 14 metres squared in total. Which is kind of incredible! It was built in 1872 by Josef Durst. The family Schmollgruber has inhabited (or at least had a shop there) the house since it was built. It’s a clock shop/goldsmith, but today the shop also has part of the neighbouring building floor, so it’s not THAT tiny anymore.
Apparently the house’s name has changed three times: first, it was called “To the green grape” (Zur grünen Weintraube), then “To the golden lamb” (Zum goldenen Lamm), and finally “To the golden stag” (Zum goldenen Hirschen). I always find it funny how houses and pubs have the prefix “To the” in front, perhaps some day I’ll find out exactly why that is. Although it does almost sound like a toast…. “To the golden stag!”
Austria is extreme for squeezing in things here and there. Titles, for example, where they lay them on thick and pretty much add every qualification they’ve achieve since kindergarten in front of their name (I wrote about it in this post earlier). But, this also extends to FLOORS. My friend lives in one of these buildings, which are old and graceful and have some extra floors squeezed in between the ground floor and the first floor. Now, a Mezzanine (M) is perhaps not that unusual also in other countries. But this is the first place where I have encountered the Hochparterre (H) in ADDITION to the Mezzanine… It’s almost as if they could just keep adding floors between ground and first in different languages and still get away with it.
Word to the wise: If you’re visiting a friend, check the elevator buttons before deciding whether to jog up to the second floor to your friend’s place. 🙂
Going up up and away! Well, actually, down again. But it was fun!
all the MAs are present (well, a fair few anyway) around the Rathausplatz, and also at other places around the city. I took a ride up in the MA42’s tree chopping crane, which was a bit scary. I just didn’t look down. That helped 🙂
It’s probably the only time that I’ll ever see the city hall from this angle. It looks quite nice above the trees. 🙂
Urania is a nice little theatre, and is incidentally one of the cinemas where Viennale, the international film festival of Vienna, is taking place every year. The programme comes out at 8pm tonight. 🙂