17.3.17

Crepes and Sweets

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Snack shacks around the Rathaus. 
     

14.3.17

Most Livable City, 8th year in a row

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Hot chocolate before going on ice, Wiener Eistraum.
Vienna emerged as the most livable city for the 8th time per Mercer's 'Quality of Living' survey. And while I have been featuring a chunk of Vienna for the past 10 years (almost), it felt as though the result is not as surprising. While the survey has a number of criteria in benchmarking various cities, I can only prove Vienna's livability through the photos featured here, through the years. Here are some of the favourites.   
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Volksgarten in full bloom and the Rathausman on his tower in the background. 
Vienna is green...yet many-hued. Not only the Volksgarten thrive with colourful roses, tulips, and other fragrant blossoms, all the gardens (city gardens, district gardens, borough gardens) around the city are well-maintained come spring and summer. (Many thanks to the Unsere Garten team!) 
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Setagaya, Japanese garden

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Foliage carpet
Not to be overlooked, fall and winter sceneries are also worth taking photos of. When the leaves fall, Vienna is like having a second spring, only with leaves on it.  And snow? I guess Vienna looks beautiful in whatever color mother nature paints it. Whether it be orange/yellow/brown or white, the playgrounds are still very attractive to both kids and kids at heart.

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Winter-happy kids


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Physical and mind exercise...

Speaking of playgrounds, Viennese children enjoy various installations in each that would challenge them physically and mentally. From climbing rope pyramids to giant slides, table tennis, slack ropes, giant chess, basketball courts, just name it and you'll find it here. And for the more matured folks? Free gym at the park! :) 

Come winter, there are lots of massive indoor playgrounds the little ones can visit to sweat and have fun. 

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foggy night
Ringstrasse at night.
Walking around the city center at night has been and would always be a delight. These two photos would convey what I mean. 

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Wiener staatsoper, late night
Vienna's Riesenrad
After the rain, Praterstern

Ah yes, for someone who likes to take photos, Vienna is your haven.

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Danube Tower 

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Kunsthistorisches museum (art museum), mirror image of the Naturhistorisches museum (natural history museum) opposite it.

Architecture? Interior design? Baroque, Romanesque, Art Noveau, Wien Moderne among other styles can be found in Vienna.  Three hundred and sixty-five days would not be enough to feature one photo of them a day. 

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Schönrunn grounds
Schönbrunn Palace's ballroom (I borrowed this photo for now, will change to one of mine tomorrow)
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Details, Austrian National Library...

13.2.17

That Spring feeling

Spring feel (but with autumn colors).

A post shared by Gizelle Marie (@mirage2g) on


Wasserpark, 1210 Vienna February 13, 2017

27.1.17

Wiener Eistraum



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Guest post by Jan Gavino

The year's end sets a melancholic mood. The year's beginning, just the same. Why? An icy cold winter creeps in. When one looks outside of the window, one finds an almost empty street. A lone, close-to-silhouette passerby, whose sad face stays focused on the cold and slippery pavement, is not an uncommon sight. Trees show off their unsightly leafless branches. The dim light of day lurks in its thickest cloud like a shy bird in its densest thicket.

And then one begins to dream of summer, hot sun, and a refreshingly warm walk along a luminous white sand beach. This dream, though, gets hidden in a snowdrift. Whiter than white, snow conceals one's most colorful wishes. Dreams unfulfilled. Emotions turn into ice, solid but brittle.

Yet with Vienna, there is more to its winter than meets the eye.
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Compensation may be a fitting statement. Vienna's impressive architecture, however, coupled with its world-renowned music is, indeed, more than that. Centuries-old Vienna preserves its landmarks, masterpieces, and the majestic beauty of its former empire. Take a walk around the Ring Avenue. Gigantic museums, historical parks, public squares with statues of imperial figures, the state opera, its breathtaking national library, its largest university, its premiere fine arts school, one of its neo-gothic churches, the parliament, a theater with three centuries of history, an observatory along a rainwater canal, a collection of palaces, widely known five-star hotels, the 19th-century red-bricked stock exchange, the intricate gothic city hall- all along one famous avenue.
And yes, the Viennese Ice Dream, a trilogy of iceskating spots built in front of the city hall at year's start, is worth mentioning!

Frozen mechanically, the nearly 2-acre ice rink has a quarter of a million meters of cooling hose under it. This larger rink is situated directly in front of the magnificently architectured city hall. All of a sudden, the night bustles with music and brightness like that of summer. The city hall becomes alive, because of the changing colorful lights on its facade.

On the smaller beginners' rink, one can almost hear a musical or a concert performance coming from the imperial theater directly right across the avenue; well, one could, but in fact, only in one's imagination. As it were, Beethoven, Mozart and Vivaldi performed there, while a freshman skater holds on to a life-sized penguin help-skate.
The fast, meandering ice track through the park with lit-up trees and paths make for a dreamy and charming experience. This year plenty of innovative, heart-shaped, imported lanterns dangle in the leafless branches of one tree. To add to the Viennese flair, violin-shaped lanterns adorn another one with finesse.

Wiener Eistraum, as it is called in German, warms the hearts of couples celebrating just anything. One experience worth trying is that of a wintry night to remember. A fine dining at a famous hotel along the Ring, combined with a slow ride on a horse-drawn vehicle, the Fiaker, or just on a street car named, not Desire, but Bim ('tram', in the local language), which goes round the Ring Avenue, will do the job.

A short nonskating stop at the Wiener Eistraum will complete the night. A mug of punch gives bodily warmth. Nevertheless, this place called Wiener Eistraum imparts even more.

In here dreams might go unfulfilled. But in this part of the world, life's worth is a reality.

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