This morning I made a detour to pick up some flower box mounts that I was gifted through the Facebook group “Wien Share and Care” (a handy exchange market where people give away things they don’t need or search for things they do need), so I made a detour through Handelskai. There is a daily market there, and although they were still setting up I managed to get two apples and an orange for today. For 80 cents. 🙂
Today is the 2nd anniversary of my blog! I wasn’t sure whether I’d make it this long when I started, but then Vienna is a huge city, and as I have several fellow Viennese bloggers it’s easy to see that between us all it’s near impossible to cover the whole city in just a few years. And it keeps changing too!! So to celebrate, why not give you some info on our own Viennese champagne factory. 🙂 For New Year’s Eve, and other celebrations a bottle of Schlumberger with gold in it is a popular treat. The cellar is located in the 19th district close to Spittelau, on the D Tramline. And it looks rather impressive as you zoom past on the tram!
The first Austrian producer of sparkling wine was Robert Alwin Schlumberger, who presented his first sparkling wine in 1846 under the name Vöslauer weißer Schaumwein (White sparkling wine of Vöslau). It was produced from Blauer Portugieser grapes growing in vineyards in Bad Vöslau which Schlumberger bought in 1843, and the sparkling wine was an immediate success. Stuttgart-born Schlumberger had worked in the Champagne house Ruinart (Ruinart Père et Fils) before he moved to Vienna in 1842 (Wikipedia). But why did he leave France?
One day in the year 1841, Robert Schlumberger met an enchanting Viennese girl on a Rhine cruise and fell head over heels in love with her: Sophie Kirchner. Another sparkly event that led to a decisive turn in his life as Sophie´s anxious mother did not want to see her daughter move to France (aha!). Consequently, young Robert decided to leave his secure and well paid position behind, bid farewell to “Ruinart” and start a new existence with his young wife in Austria. Shortly before the 1843 grape harvest, Robert Schlumberger and “his Sophie” moved to Vöslau, the only place where he had found ideal conditions for his own champagne.
Only three years later, his successful experiment of producing “mousseux wine in the champagne style“ from Austrian wines was awarded a medal at the Trade Exposition of 1845. In 1862, on the occasion of the World Fair in London, his “Vöslauer Schaumwein“, which he called by this time “Sparkling Vöslauer“, was found appropriate to be included in the wine menu of Queen Victoria of England. Schlumberger had reached courtly status. “Schlumberger Champagner“, as this beverage was called right until the Peace Treaty of Saint-Germain in the year 1919, grew to be the favourite beverage of the Viennese society of the late 19th century. A visible sign of Schlumberger´s ongoing success, the founder of the company ascended to hereditary nobility as “Edler von Goldeck“ (taken from the Schlumberger home page).
If you want to read the whole story, check out the Schlumberger home page. It’s written in English. 😉
Cycle ways are actually quite good in Vienna. And as the city is relatively flat, it’s also an ideal way of getting around which doesn’t take much time compared to the subway and other public transport. I see many that can’t be bothered wearing a helmet in traffic though, which always makes me wonder whether people care at all about what’s inside their skulls. Even companies don’t seem to care here. In Norway everyone cycling for a courier service would most definitely wear helmets… And in NZ it is illegal to cycle without a helmet.
Lately the weather has been quite shifty. Today it is really beautiful though, with cotton clouds and nice sunshine. 🙂 Perfect cycle weather.
Today I’m being a student at WU, actually sitting up here in the gravity-defying building where there is a nice study area. The view is quite impressive, with the massive Prater park in front of me, and the siluette of the city in the background. I’m surprised at how many students are here already… courses only start in five weeks, and still it is reasonably full.
There is nothing much touristy about the 8th district. But I like it, probably most of all of the districts in Vienna. It’s got an amazing atmosphere, with a lot of nice places to eat and also some very cool shops. This is the Amtshaus (district office), which is a quite lovely building that is not on the tourist maps of Vienna. But then again, I think tourists want the extravaganza, the extremes of monuments and masterpieces, and may not be as attracted to this district which really only shows what Vienna is for the locals. Or am I wrong?
This restaurant is one of the most impressive looking ones in Vienna, in my opinion. It’s located out by Alte Donau.
There is so much detail put into it, all the way down to the roof tiles and interior decor. But really the most impressive sight is the garden. Which is where we spent yesterday evening.
The centrepiece of the garden is the mossy fountain in the middle of the fish pond. I really really like it!
There is also a quite impressive gazebo in the garden, which we didn’t inspect more closely as we were too busy eating, drinking and celebrating my friend’s birthday.
The food was also really great. I had sweet and sour pork, which was the best I’ve had in Vienna so far. Not quite as awesome as the one in NZ, but really I was satisfied and I enjoyed it immensely.
As the light drained out of the sky giving way to a very bright moon, we made our way back home, very full, content, and sleepy from the food. 🙂
The Twin city liner goes several days to Bratislava, which is the capitol of Slovakia. It takes less than an hour, and will set you back about 30€ if you take it one way. I’ve never done it, as I favour Blaguss (bus) when I go to Bratislava, as it’s only a 12€ return fare, but I think it could be quite nice on a sunny day to take the boat.
I finally tried out this place, having cycled past it a lot of times. It is located on the Donaukanal, just next to Badeschiff. It’s an American style BBQ restaurant. Something I really enjoyed was their selection of IPAs!! Hello, and YUM!! Indian Pale Ale is hard to come by in Vienna in general, and they had a cool selection. Not that cheap though, with the Sierra Nevada on the bottom end of the price scale at 4,90€. But worth it. Unfortunately I didn’t whip up my phone to take a picture of the food.. But I can assure you it was yummy! I had the pulled pork sandwich with kimchi, and a side of rocket and tomato salad. To die for. Portions are not huge, but they fill you up. And I guess that’s the most important thing about eating. This is the view when you’re leaning back satisfied, sipping your beer after a nice meal. I can recommend this place, yes.
It’s still months away from opening, but some of the platforms already have traffic. Here is a view towards Arsenal, Which is right on the edge of the new station. This place is massive. But then, it is going to be the main international train station in Vienna, which is smack in the middle of Europe, so I guess the size is justified. In September they are opening the shopping mall in the station, and the station itself will be fully operational in December. Go trains!
You can see these on the canal, below where WU used to be at Spittelau.
This little one quite resembles one that is painted on the wall close to Haus des Meeres in the 6th district. I suspect it’s the same artist 🙂
And next to it there are some strange looking bull-men. All in all though, a nice little collection!
I saw this place a while ago, and always wanted to try it. Yesterday we finally had a chance to! It’s located right next to the Altes AKH, on Spitalgasse. And boy do they make good pies. And they’re cute too!
I quite like this place. It’s not overly expensive, and the interior is just awesome!
It is very steam-punk meets nature.
I love the old-looking factory lighting, I want to have some of those myself! I had something like a pizza, that wasn’t quite a pizza.. I can’t quite remember what it was called (oops). Well, it tasted nice, it was huge (albeit flat), and I didn’t get totally ripped off.
It even had something special for the memorable toilets-series! This bathroom sink is just too cool. Really.
This house on Favoritenstrasse was comissioned by the Zentralsparkasse (a bank) in the middle to late 1970s, for their use as a bank and also as a community centre. The house was designed by Günther Domenig, and he considered this as his final work of art. The house seems to be wedget too tightly between the buildings next to it, and many details were not planned but were put in on the spot, as they were building the house (Source: Wikipedia)
I like it, it’s a cool edition to the feel of Favoritenstrasse. You can find it between Keplerplatz and Reumannplatz on the U1.