National Park Donau Auen

It already has been a very long wish for me to visit a national park in Austria and thanks to Igersvienna (an instagram group) I finally had the chance to visit one.

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The national park Donau Auen is the nearest to Vienna and definitely worth a visit even though there are no impressive mountain tops, you get to see (nearly) untouched nature by boat and do some work-out with your arms while paddling along the river ;)

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We got there with a rented van and it is definitely easier to go there by car than take the public transport (which I am not even sure is an option..)

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The park rangers told us lots of interesting information about the park and its inhabitants.I won’t get too much into detail here because you should hear it for yourself when you are there :)

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We got to see lots of (water)birds and even a turtle could not be disturbed by us and seemed to enjoy two boats full of people snapping picture after picture.

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I loved the view, especially when you glide by Hainburgh an der Donau which is really photogenic and such a cute town.

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The tour is definitely something many people would enjoy, especially kids so for summer, this is definitely an activity for the whole family.
My smile is not lying! :D

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Magical Theme for March: shapes and figures

Since it is spring and sunshine makes me go adventuring outside, I decided to search for shapes and figures in nature.

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We spend a lot of time in front of a screen nowadays. Not just on a pc/laptop but also on the mobile phone.

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I started to read more novels again, especially while enjoying the warm rays of sun outside and wanted to give you a book recommendation.

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The book is written by Dave Eggers and is called “The Circle”.
It is about a world similar to ours and the protagonist, Mae and how she changes due to technology. In this dystopian novel, the internet has undergone a change and all those individual profiles on different pages we know, have melted into one single profile for a person on the internet and how transfixed people become on their online presence and by connecting online, that they forget to live in the actual world. It made me enjoy nature even more!
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The only thing that I did not like is how flat the characters seem but the book definitely made me more wary of the internet, the data we leave behind and the time we spend or waste.
Have you heard of the novel? I always love to read dystopian novels so suggestions are very welcome :)

Guerilla Gardening – New Year Resolution

Friends and family members that know me, will not be surprised by this but I got lost in my neighbourhood while grocery shopping (I decided on a different route home). While it could have been really annoying, I love to wander streets I have never been to and notice all those tiny details one is usually too busy to see.

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In the 12th district, only some meters away from Gürtel, a high traffic area, you can find cute little guerilla gardens with pops of green. Well, since it is winter it is not that colourful yet but I can’t wait for spring to come and see what they look like.

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Those gardens fit perfectly to my yearly theme of actively helping bees since the massive amount of bees dying, have a long lasting affect, not only on humans and the honey production. One of the main points I found to help bees is to provide more green space and flowers and to buy organic food. Which makes sense since herbicide is poisoning insects and designed to kill them.

Vienna is supporting people with money for gardening projects. One project per district can be funded with up to 3600€, which is quite a big sum! Apparently there are also 5100 bee colonies living in Vienna, one is even located on the roof of the Rathaus.

Can’t wait for spring!!

Last Autumn days

The weather was surprisingly warm for Autumn and I can’t recall this season to have been that dry and filled with blue skies. Perfect for enjoying those last sun rays and splashes of colour before boring old winter is coming back ;)

Here are some impressions in that order of :Volksgarten in the inner district of Vienna, Donaupark and the vineyards in Stammersdorf, on the outskirts of Vienna.

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I love the orange colour of the Buddhist monks and how it matches the trees :)

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Most of the cellars at Stammersdorf seemed really old and abandoned.  Guess it is too much work for most of the families.

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The meteorologists have stated the end for those sunny days and  I guess we have to go back to heating our flat again.
At least we have the money to heat and a roof on top of our heads compared to other people so I don’t really want to complain here.

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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Lainzer Tiergarten

The 26th of October is the National holiday of Austria and it celebrates Austria becoming a neutral country after the second world war.

The Monday started already great with lots of sunshine so I decided to fill up my nature-seeking tank and ventured to the outskirts of Vienna to stroll around Lainzer Tiergarten.

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Or should I say hike? I underestimated the terraine, 7 km in total are a lot more exhausting if you go uphill most of the time!

It was worth the view though, I ended up at Wienerblick and had a wonderful view over Vienna.

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When you descend from there you can either chose to exit via St.Veiter Tor or go on for around 3km and exit at Hermesvilla.

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I opted for the latter because I am really seldom in the area and I can’t resist not going to the wild animal park.

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Autumn walk in Belvedere and the Botanical Garden

The air gradually changed from warm October breeze to cold November chills and the leaves are wearing their last colourful coat.

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The popular spots to witness the season change is naturally at the Gardens of Schönbrunn, Stadtpark or Setagaya Park, so to keep things fresh I ventured to the botanical gardens.

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I enjoy short walks in the several parks and gardens that are in Vienna, to avoid being sick.
It seems to work, I also have to give some credit to my lemon and ginger tea :)

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The flat I moved in with the Mister is an old building which we call in Austria “Altbau”. The ceilings are mostly very high with huge and not very good insulated windows. It looks pretty and allows a lot of light inside but I bet it will be a pain to see the heating bill at the end of Winter. shooting_vienna_belvedere
I did order some “special” thermal curtains that supposedly will keep out the cold so let’s see about those.

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Wild Animals at Zentralfriedhof

A huge point on my to-do list was to see deer at Zentralfriedhof (a huge cemetery in Vienna) and to take pictures of them, if possible.
I don’t go to cemetery’s that often but it is mostly in autumn when I am feeling melancholic, the leaves are turning brown and I need a walk in nature without other people. It is just the perfect place to dwell in the here and now, being aware of your own evanescence.

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Anyway, Austria has a pretty neat documentary series which is called Universum, and since I watched an episode which resolved around wild animals living at the cemetery, I wanted to witness them by myself.

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When I actually saw them by chance I was so happy and giddy!
Unlike me, they did not seem that happy about me being there ;)

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I think the two main factors that helped me achieve to see the wild animals in person were:

  • me being alone and making a lot of noise (no talking, etc.)
  • being there around dawn, when the deer are more active

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Do you have any tips to take pictures of wild animals? :)

Japanese Garden and Autumn festival

The leaves on the trees are slowly changing colours already and I can’t wait to visit Setagaya Park in full Autumn gear!

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I actually never visited this park in Summer and was surprised by how green and relaxing it was, compared to the hot and sticky public transport.

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Lots of turtles were chilling in the water, in Autumn you mostly spot only a few. I wonder if those are being taken care of in Winter.

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In the 15th of September, a Japanese Autumn festival will take place at the Japanese Garden in Schönbrunn from 2pm till 5 pm.
Maybe we will see each other there! :)

PDF Version of the Invitation

Poppy fields forever

Summer in all its glory has arrived in Vienna with beautiful sunny and hot days. And most importantly the stunning poppy fields!

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You can click on the picture to see it in full-size.

I just love the red dots of colour in the mass of green and concrete.

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That lovely field can be found in the 21st district of Vienna if you get off at the tram station, Fultonstraße and go a short distance by foot, you stand in the middle of some farmland.

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I heard that these farms will vanish soon and will be replaced by new apartment buildings, so let’s see how long those fields will be here!