It keeps the pigeons away, but ...
This is a warning mainly just for keen photographers. Like every city Vienna has its pigeon population, and in an effort to protect the many fine statues and historic structures the city authorities have draped them with netting. It is still possible of course to see and admire them, and from a distance you probably won’t even notice the netting, but try to take photos and it’s another matter! Several times I zoomed in to get a shot, only to be put off by all the crisscross lines that (in my opinion at least) marred it. Luckily some have been left undraped, and for the most part I focused (literally!) on these, but there were quite a few times when I bemoaned the fact that I couldn’t get the shot I really wanted. Still, at least, as our friend Bert pointed out, the statues were relatively clean!
My photo is of the Vermählungsbrunnen in the Hohermarkt, the grand fountain dedicated to the wedding of St Mary and St Joseph.
Next tip: the MuseumsQuartier
MONUMENTS & SCULPTURES
If you happen to be a keen photographer, then you just may be a liitle disappointed with some memorials and sculptures in Vienna.
It seems like they must have quite a problem with birds, I am guessing Pigeons.
It's a shame they have decided the way to protect these monuments, is to cover them with Bird wire. I doesn't make for a good photo!
MOZART LOOK ALIKES!
When I saw my first "Mozart," I thought how nicely dressed he was and what a great idea in Vienna. At that time, I didn't realize just how many would run into me, and what a pest they became!
Luckily, they never became nasty, we laughed, joked and said NO! ...AND then moved on.
I have read what they sell is expensive and not the best, but as I have never been to a show sold by them, it is only heresay!
- Hiking and Walking
KARLSKIRCHE - VIEWS OVER VIENNA
For some time now, the Karlskirche has a lift that takes you high into the dome area.
From there, you can climb steps to the top [ another 25metres] and take in the views of Vienna.
If your prepared to climb at set of stairs for another 25 metres to see the views of Vienna from behind small Birdcage wire, and for the views you can see in my photos - OK!
Problem is, staring through small birdcage wire doesn't give the "wow" effect that it should, for me it was " I climbed up these steep stairs to see THIS!!"
Worse still, photos have to be taken from behind the the wire because the netting is too small to allow a camera lense through.
SAVE YOUR LEGS AND TIME AS IT IS NOT WORTH THE CLIMB!
It is a pity the Church hasn't thought of putting small cut-outs in the netting, just enough to let a camera through. I have been to other look-out where this has been done.
Just visit the interior of the Church and go up the lift as far as it takes you, that part is great!
CHURCH IS OPEN...
Monday to Saturday:9 - 6 pm
Sundays and holidays:12noon - 7 pm
Conservation contribution including panoramic lift in the dome:
Adults: € 8,-
Pupils and students: € 4,-
Children up to 10 years old: free
DIRT - SCAFFOLDING - FESTIVALS!
Black, dirty buildings is what I am talking about. Over time, grime has built up on these old buildings and now many of them are being cleaned.
As this is the case, be prepared to see some "must see" sights under scaffolding - Not the best appearance for photos.
They do look great once they are cleaned!
I was unfortunate enough to be here when nearly everywhere in the city was getting ready for entertainment at a Festival. Many of the important sights were in the process of having stages erected, making another disaster for taking photos!
Even to horses can be hot, right?
It was my first visit of Vienna during such a hot summer days but since I am used on such conditions didn't feel it too much. The daily temperature was over 30 C degrees, quite humidity and without any breath of refreshing breeze. Even horses have suffered of heat around noon and early afternoon.
Travel guides, however, chased their group of tourists to rush from one location to another, in spite of the fact that some individuals have barely managed to keep up with the group. it is exactly why I dislike group tours so much. Guides-hounds do not give you time to see the sight and to take a descent photo of it.
During hot summer day, in the cities of Central Europe, one should slow down a step, must cover his head and always have a bottle of fresh water with.....
Do drink enough!!!
For years, we have all been told of the importance of water. The general guideline has been to drink 2 liter of water each day. For a person who is not living an active lifestyle this may be enough, but if you are physically active, you need more water than that. That is especially true if you are hiking in the Alkmaar area due to the fact the average temperature is much higher than other areas and the city lanes with its historical houses and bridges will go up and down.
Water is essential for everyone, especially if you are hiking. Water helps almost every part of the human body function properly. Our bodies are almost two-thirds water, and proper hydration is essential to keep your body functioning properly during the hike. Some of the things water does in the body are:
* The brain is 75% water; even moderate dehydration can cause headaches and dizziness;
* Water regulates body temperature, which is especially important here in the area where the temperatures can be so brutal;
* Water carries nutrients and oxygen to all cells in the body
* Blood is 92% water;
* Water protects and cushions vital organs;
·* Water converts food into energy (which is something you will need on a 3 to 4 hour hike…);
* Muscles are 75% water, and you will use many muscles on a trail as you climb above the desert floor.
- Hiking and Walking
- National/State Park
Reading a map!
Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, the catchy title of the 1992 bestseller by John Gray, succinctly expresses an ancient dilemma. What--if anything--do men's and women's brains do differently?
The general statement that men and women respond and behave differently under the same circumstances is true; For example, from the crib, male babies tend to be more aggressive and females more passive. As adults, in spatial operations, men have the edge in such skills as negotiating a maze, reading a map, and quickly discriminating between right and left. Men also perform better than women when asked to visualize an object and imagine rotating it. On the other hand, women tend to perform better than men when asked to look at objects of different shapes, sizes, and colors, and then to group them in some order.
This still doesn't explian why a woman turns the map all around when a man is asking for the road to travel, while I like the map at one point so I can better visualize our position. Help!
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Road Trip
Beware of the SÜD-Bahnhof/OST-Bahnhof - desaster !
Vienna is building a new MAIN-trainstation
and they thought it would be a clever idea,
to destroy the old ones first !
And now we dont have the SÜD-Bahnhof anymore but only a small part of it in a distance of several hundred meters from the former SÜD-Bahnhof and getting there takes an extra 10-15 minutes jumping from one side of the road, where you are leaving the bus or tram to the other side that has the only sidewalk taking you to OST-Bahnhof, that actually looks much more like an ugly supermarket that a trainstation.
So the logical way does not have a pavewalk, but you might run with your suitcases betrween the cartrafic, or you change to the other side first and change then back again to the side where you had left the bus or tram and where the station is, but in quite some distance without a trottoir !
Once that you are there, you have only 3 automatic ticket-machines and some overhead screens with the departuretimes and number of tracks where to find the trains.
All of this hassle and stress certainly needs
some extra 15-20 minutes that you should calculate
when your train is leaving from OST-Bahnhof !
this applies for SOME trains to Budapest, Bratislava etc.
- Budget Travel
Kurzparkzone & Parking-tickets
Parking a car in several districts in the centre of Vienna ( mostly inside the Gürtel and a few more )you have to pay for the parking during the day from Mondays till Saturdays between 09.00am and 10.00pm.
There will be NO EXTRA signs for the parking-zone except white lines with spaces and at the entrance to the district the word " ZONE " is printed on the street...
And you have to buy parking-tickets in a newspaper-shop and put it behind the windscreen..
And if you use e.g. 2 parking-tickets of 1/2 hour for 1 hour parking - please make sure you fill out the same arrival-time on both tickets !
This sound un-logical to you ? don't worry : WIEN IST ANDERS ! (means: 'Vienna is different!') - and that is exactly what it means ! - read carefully the backside of the parking-tickets - it is explained there clearly in best GERMAN! - Anyway, folks how about Parking-tickets in your hometown ?Would they make any notes in German in Chicago, Oslo, Rome or Nepal ????(:-)))
- Family Travel
- Road Trip
Feuerwehr at work.
Walking to our usual restaurant in the Rotenturmstrasse (near Stephansplatz) we saw fire at the second level of a shop. Three lorries from the fire brigade, firemen inside and outside on the ladder and apparently nobody living inside this commercial building. I suppose that the shop was obliged to sell later the clothes with a strong rebate because they must smell the smoke
Watch out for cyclists!
I read in a guide book before I went that despite Vienna having loads of cycle paths they're not great cyclists! WRONG!
Cyclists are everywhere and they're fast! They do stick to their side of the path on the pavements (they are clearly marked (pedestrians on the left) so watch out for the signs and don't stray on their side: they come thick and fast! If you do stray over you'll get about ten seconds warning with a bell and after that you're toast! Nobody shouts though, the Viannese are very polite, they just think "bloody tourists!", they'll ring the bell until you get the message. So watch ou when walking around and crossing the cycle path.
Buy transport ticket or be fined!
Vienna's public transport system operates based on trust. That's why you don't see any barriers or ticket controllers selling tickets on the buses, trams and underground trains. After you buy the ticket from the vending machines, you must validate the ticket (on blue stamping machines) before boarding the underground trains or validate in the buses or trams.
The ticket for one journey is Euro 1.80 which can be used on all the public transport within the Zone 1. One journey is defined as an uninterrupted journey using trains, buses or trams, or the duration of 60 minutes, whichever is shorter.
However tempting it is to just cheat the system and ride for free, be warned that if you get caught by the ticket controllers, you will be fined on the spot, no matter what excuses you give. They don't care if you are a tourist or a local resident. Even if you claim that you do not have the cash to pay for the fine, they'll ask for your credit card!
Update: In the past, the ticket controllers would come into the transport and those with no tickets would quickly leave as soon as the vehicle stops. However nowadays, they would be waiting by the exits of the train stations; i.e. as soon as you get out of the train and step on the platform, they will be waiting there to ask for your validated tickets. So, if you don't want to pay Euro 100 fine, just take a few minutes to buy a ticket.
Car rental ripoff.
I rented a car from Europcar in Vienna. Because I was in a hurry I didn't do the inspection as recommended. I regretfully trusted the people at the rental office who told me it was new and should be good. By the time I got back to the hotel I noticed a paint chip about 1cm in diameter, hardly noticeable. Although i'm sure it couldn't have happened since I picked it up, I accept responsibility because I didn't check it. Also the GPS cable broke before we even left Vienna. When I returned the car, the person who checked it in assured me I wouldn't have to pay for the GPS.
When I returned home I received a Euro 747 (over $1000 CAN) bill for the 3 day rental including the GPS and the tiny paint chip. I doubt the chip has been repaired and I wonder how many more people will pay for the same mistake:(((
Customer service were also rude when i communicated my displeasure.
So this is a warning. Always take the time to inspect a rental car before taking it even it you are told it is new.
- Road Trip
Accommodation Inside of the Gürtel is Recommended
The Gürtel is a major road that runs outside of and parallel to the Ringstrasse. It is possible to find inexpensive accommodations (apartments, hotels) along and outside of the Gürtel -- but my advice is to stay inside of the Gürtel for a couple of reasons. First, caution is needed when crossing the Gürtel because it is a very busy road with many fast-moving cars. Second, the Gürtel area near the Westbahnhof is a seedy red-light district.
When I first started looking for a place to stay in Vienna, I didn't know anything about the Gürtel -- and I almost rented a spacious apartment for a week in Fünfhaus (Vienna's 15th district) which lies outside of the Gürtel. The size of the apartment seemed too good to be true for the low quoted price -- which prompted me to do further investigation about the area on the internet. As it turned out, I am extremely glad that I decided to stay at a pension hotel in Neubau (7th district) inside of the Gürtel instead.
In email correspondence with the landlord about the apartment, I specifically told her that I wanted to stay in a clean and safe neighborhood -- and she assured me that the area surrounding the apartment was nice. Fortunately for me, I didn't trust her. My doubts of her veracity were confirmed during my stay in Vienna. Out of curiosity, I ventured out one evening to the location of the apartment at which I almost stayed -- and I was solicited by 3 street-walking prostitutes before I reached my destination. While I didn't feel like my safety was threatened, I would describe the area as seedy and unpleasant.
In a nutshell, the difference between Neubau (inside the Gürtel) and Fünfhaus (outside the Gürtel) is like day and night. Unless you absolutely need to save the extra money, I recommend not staying in Fünfhaus. With this tip, I have included the link to a website with an unflattering description of the Fünfhaus district.
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