Margareten

Since I moved in summer I call the 5th district which Viennese call Margareten, my (new) home.
It is traditionally a district for working people and has still low rent prices yet is very near to Naschmarkt and kinda in between the inner district and Schönbrunn.

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Funfact, the 5th district has the highest numbers of Gemeindewohnung. Those are specially built by the government and have the advantage of being lot cheaper than normal flats. They are often boring-looking and brown but sometimes you spot cute mosaics on them.
I could do another post about the mosaics but I am not that tempted to go outside in the cold and wander about when I can curl up in front of the heater ;)

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Depending on when they were built, some are a lot nicer than others and Reumannhof is often named to be one of the nicest.
It is a rough beauty with a hidden charm for me.

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I still miss the fresher air I had over the Danube but living in the city is just so much more convenient.

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Autumnal Augarten

The Augarten is located in the second district in Vienna and is home to the famous Augarten Porcelain.

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The famous Wiener Sängerknaben have their concert hall right next to the park.

It was not really one of the parks I would visit often, to me it is not that spectacular or impressiv.
Well, besides the big Flakturm, the big and massive grey building in the background is still here from the second world war.

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In this picture you can even see the tip of the Fernwärme, which provides heat and warm water to many households in Vienna.

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Mostly the people are jogging or walking their dog, but in summer you can come here with friends to have a good time.

I do love the autumn look it has at the moment and the cute vegetable garden I saw while going to the park.

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Instagram Workshop

The Instagram Workshop about architecture took place last week-end and I was one of the lucky participants who got selected!
Architecture photography is not one of my strong points so I saw it as the perfect opportunity to learn new tricks and get the feeling for it.
The workshop was sponsored by the Vienna Tourist board, which I want to thank again here!
The lunch was paid for and I guess everyone is like me and loves a free meal :)

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It was fun to meet other Instagramers or Igers as one calls them in person and to put a face to the online name.
Such nice and fun people! Instagram is a great way to connect with people and even to get to know them and Vienna better.

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We first had a short introduction by Tim Hatton alias the.hat on Instagram and then explored MQ for some picture material.
It was so much fun to explore a specific place with other photographers to search for the perfect angle and a unique setting, knowing that others are on the same look out. It was not really a competition but I saw it as a challenge for myself, to get the most interesting architectural picture I could get.
The pictures we took were analysed and then we headed for lunch at MQ Kantine, where I had a yummy pita haloumi.
Then we strolled through the first district towards the building of Sparkasse since the event of Open House took place.
I totally forgot to write about Open House but I guess all Viennese were informed about that in the news anyway.
On that week-end private houses and offices or buildings that are normally not open for the public could be visited and some places even had tours.
Great opportunist to explore unknown places! It will take place next year again in case you missed it.

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Anyways, we then headed for the economic university campus which has a really interesting and new architectural design, which you can see for yourself.

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I do enjoy my food photography more since I can be creative and arrange my setting to my liking whereas a building is placed and you have to find the best angle by running around and looking for different perspectives ;)

Okra

Some time has passed since my last visit to Okra and since they were celebrating their first anniversary and having special dinner deals, the Mister and me went there to see how the restaurant developed.

The menu began with makis topped with tuna and salmon. The tuna maki were very interesting and in combination with crushed peanuts.

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Next up were these seared tuna pieces with honey melon and freshly grated wasabi.
I normally really dislike meat and fish paired with fruits but the dish was pretty good and the melon fit very well with fish.

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When I was small I disliked most of the vegetables including eggplant but I really enjoy it now and especially loved this dish.
The eggplant was thinly cut and nicely seared with a great sauce.

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Nest up were chicken skewers that were still juicy, topped with some Japanese chilli powder and served with red cabbage.

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Now the main course arrived and did not disappoint. The duck was served in a tasty broth and red cabbage. The whole dish weirdly reminded me of a Christmas dish due to the seasoning with anise and  a hint of cinnamon but in a good way!

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This half cooked salmon in a lemon sauce and vegetables was the clear winner and the Mister and me loved the taste of this dish!
We finished it to the last drop.

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The dessert arrived and we got a chocolate sorbet, matcha cream with biscotti and a yummy dark chocolate brownie with balsamic cherries.

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The matcha cream sadly disappointed because you hardly could taste the matcha flavour but we both loved the soft brownie with the sour cherries.

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We were satisfied with the dishes which were solid and compared to other Japanese restaurants in Vienna very decent from the pricing.

 

Guyabano

The plant I can name proudly my own is called guyabano in the Philippines but it is also commonly named graviola (in South America), corossol or soursop.

Do any of those names sound familiar to you?

I bought this beauty at the Zitrustage (Citrus Days) in Vienna but since it is an exotic plant it is not easily available here.

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When I went to the Philippines this year I tried guyabano for the first time and enjoyed its taste, which is often compared to a mix between strawberries and pineapple.
Not only refreshing and fruity, this plant is a real all-rounder and has many vitamins and supplements, that makes it being popular against cancer.
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I am not sure my plant will produce any fruits but the leaves can be used for teas to boost the immune system.
After unpacking the plant I discovered those big holes. Seems like something munched on them already and enjoyed itself ;)

Zitrustage

Ever year the Austrian horticultural society is having an event in Schönbrunn about the history, culture and flavours of citrus plants.
After years of always missing out on this event, I finally made it and even got a place for the citrus tasting with Katharina Seiser, a succesfull austrian blogger and cook book author. Her blog is in German but you can check it out with google translate ;)

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I had such a lovely time and learned quite a bit about the different citrus plants and who is the parent and who is the child, etc. Abit confusing but very interesting. I did forget to bring a notepad for taking notes but the most interesting part was the tasting as you may have guessed!

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For the first time I got to try Meyer lemons, that are not easily available here and I especially loved the flavour of the Persian lime which has a lot less seeds compared to the Mexican lime.
I am a bit ashamed to say that I did not know up to this point that Bergamotte is indeed a real plant and not just a artifical flavour which gets mixed up with black tea. I really liked the fresh smell of it :)

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The Buddhas-hand lemon is quite fierce and impressive looking but it does not contain any citrus flesh.

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We learned that not only the fruit flesh can be eaten but also the white part called albedo, which can be packed with flavour as well and is not at all unhealthy as many people say.

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I loved the opportunity to be out of my new apartment and to see something new so I will stop with the text and post the rest of the pictures :)

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Foodsharing Party

Foodsharing is a great campaign and initiative against food waste, the members use, share and save food from being wasted, after being inspired after the movie “Taste the Waste”.
More information on their great work can be found on their homepage.
They have their first food sharing party tomorrow from 11pm-2am with info booths, exhibitions, screenings and a party with live music to give out the message: cherrish food!
I sadly won’t attend due to my work schedule but I think it would interest some of you and is probably a lot of fun. :)

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©Foodsharing

Their facebook page is here with more information on the specific activities they will offer.
Hope you can attend! (and tell me how it was!)

First Pavlova attempt

Pavlova is on my list of favourite desserts and just perfect for summer!
I never tried to make one myself but finally got to do one and hopefully the other attempts will yield better results.

It did not turn out perfect since I did not beat the egg whites long enough and thus it became a big dome with lots of air inside instead of a cute pavlova nest but I am not complaining, it still tasted great and had a nice crunch to it.

From this huge fellow:

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To these pavlova pieces topped with lemon curd and fruit.

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I just love the sugary crunch of the meringue, the sweet and sour note of the curd and the freshness of the fruits all in one bite.

What is your perfect summer dessert at the moment? :)

 

Blumengärten Hirschstetten

I think I have found my favourite park in Vienna!
Probably not my fav on the week-ends when families with little kids occupy it but the fact that there are lots of different themes and best of all: animals!
I just have a thing for animals and already as a small child would chase cats down to pet them or just play with earthworms after rain and even frogs.
Ehem but now back to the park, it is located in the 22nd district and easily reachable with public transport since the 26 tram stops right in front of it (Station: Spargelfeldstraße).
With the garden they want show the indigenous animal species in their natural habitat and thus get people more closer to nature which I think is a lovely idea.
They also have special workshops (even for kids) to animate them to protect their environment.
More information and helpful maps about the gardens can be found on wien.at.
Enough talk I have a huge picture spam waiting for you :)

At the entrance you are already greeted by cute little goats.

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Glad you goat here! Yes and besides loving animals I love bad puns.

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After spending some time with those cute little fellows we headed left and ended in the vineyard with sweet-smelling elder flowers.

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No sign of the European hamster but I was not surprised since they are most active at night.
There are a lot of them on the cemetaries, I encountered them twice already at Zentralfriedhof.

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Next up we went to Mexico ;)

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Next up was the highlight for me. May I present you the Ziesel or the English term European ground squirrels.
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They are so cute! At first the enclosure seemed empty but out of the corner of my eye I saw a movement and stayed still. Then the heads slowly popped up and they continued munching the grass with me happily snapping away. Definitely have to return with my telephoto lens so I can have better close-ups but I am pretty satisfied with this result as well!

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They have a quite extensive turtle part with lots of different turtle species.

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Since they have a wedding pavilion it is of no surprise that you may see happy couples posing for their photographers.
I quite like the weird combination of the wedding couple, the beach and the house in the background.

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The style reminds me of the Palmenhaus at Schönbrunn. It looks typical Viennese but I have no clue if there is a specific name for that type of architecture.

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They had a maze which we tested out and got a bit lost of course. In the middle you can get up to the platform and have a great view over most parts of the garden. Here you can see the wedding pavilion.

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And finally the last picture. This farmhouse is recreated after one from the 19th Century with other animals beside the goats next to it like hens, roosters and sheep :)

Hope my blog post this time wasn’t too long and that you may come by sometime!