Summer reads (2017)

This summer I finally had the chance to enjoy some of the books I have been wanting to read for a year now. There was a lot going on in university these past two semesters and I had a lot of catching up to do so reading anything outside the reading list for my American literature lecture was just no go. After finishing all my exams and courses I was able to enjoy reading as something to bring you pleasure and not as a mandatory task. I have a Goodreads account so if you want to search for some new ideas for books you can definitely have a look. Here I am not going to elaborate on each book, but I will give a brief resume and my opinion about it.

  1. A Paris Apartment by Michelle Gableimages

I actually enjoyed this book, because it was the first read for this summer break and I took it with me to the beach. It is an interesting story about an apartment in Paris that has been locked up for decades and once an auction firm gets its hands on it they find all sort of treasures inside of it (mainly luxurious furniture) and the writings of a Parisian courtesan, who owned the apartment accompanied with her diaries telling the story of her life and wealth. I would definitely say this is a book, which you read and once you are done with it you never pick up again (but in my opinion only a few books are really worth reading multiple times). However, it is lightly written and very easy to read. Therefore, it was a good choice if you want something not too engaging and maybe as a quick read before sleep. I can say it is a page-turner since I finished it in three days.

Continue reading

Surviving the heat in Vienna

Well, summer is upon us and guess what – it’s again 30 degrees (sometimes even more). Now, before I begin I want to put a disclaimer here and say that I am not a fan of hot weather. I am not one of those people who cannot wait for the sun to shine to throw away all my clothes and run half-naked around with flip-flops and sweating in the heat.

I like cool/ semi-cold weather and I like to have a cardigan on. Period! So much for that. If you felt addressed, you can imagine the hard time I am having in an amazing city where ACs are as rare as a dodo bird. Over time I have found some little tricks and places which make the summer here a tiny bit more pleasant.

ll

Continue reading

Viennese Coffee Culture

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear “Vienna”? Opera? Yes, that for sure is no surprise, but there is also one other thing that the Viennese are particularly proud of and that is their coffee culture. It is literally everywhere and every self-respecting citizen of Vienna takes their time for a cup of coffee at least once per week.

Even if I don’t have the time for this ritual every day, I do my best to indulge a cup of coffee over the weekend in one of those cozy cafés. As difficult as it may be to believe sometimes I enjoy a cup of coffee more than a rich breakfast/ brunch just because it is not that time consuming, plus, here they really know what a good coffee is.

Continue reading

Wollzeile

If we have to talk about the “shopping streets” of Vienna the big shopping streets like Kärtnerstrasse, Mariahilferstrasse and Kohlmarkt pop in your mind and they could be easily found in every tour guide as the best streets dedicated to shopping. I cannot agree most – if you want to go on a shopping spree and not go around a shopping mall the whole day – these are the right ones for you. But well really want to talk about one other street here in Vienna which maybe stays a bit in the shadows when it comes to famous paths in Vienna but it is totally worth visiting.  It is situated very near to Stephansdom and it leads directly to Stadpark. You would find the famous Aida confectionary, Plachutta and Figlmüller where you can get yourself some delicious Schnitzels and many more.  It is one of the oldest streets of the quarter and it sure is an interesting place.

I was there once by mistake because I took the wrong exit of the subway at the Stubentor station and maybe once more and that was it. Not until two weeks have I finally discovered the beauty of this small street. And now, especially around the Christmas holidays, when everything is decorated, I just feel this is one of the most magical streets in Vienna.

With its small boutiques or pastry shops I am more than sure that it will charm you out with its beauty. Two weeks ago I decided to go around Vienna and take some pictures of the Christmas decorations. I remembered this small street and decided to take a shortcut. It was around 6pm so it was already pretty dark and I was quite amused with all of the lights surrounding me. For a second I thought I was not in my charming Vienna but in a fairytale. I mostly sure it was a Sunday afternoon because everything was closed and it was very quiet and peaceful.  Everything was closed (because that is very normal for Austria on Sundays) and there were just few people gazing at the windows just like me.

You can find a lot of things here. There are some bookstores, one or two organic markets for baking supplies, some pastry shops, two of which I completely felt in love with and many cutlery and home decoration stores. I don’t know what came into me but I was just so enchanted by all of that so I decided to go back there again next week.

A week after, on my way there, when my emotions were cooled down I thought – okay that’s just a regular street, it is nothing special. Guess what – all came back again to me. Of course not that strong because the surprise factor was missing but it was still just as magical as it was before and if not even more. I have to admit – I am sucker for Christmas things and I thought the whole street is dedicate to this holiday but I find nothing wrong with it – after all it is December, way to go Christmas spirit. So if you find yourself around the neighborhood around Christmas, make sure to check out this charming, inspiring street – I’m telling you, you’ll be surprised.

Enjoy!

Mary Poppins

Okay so this musical has been running for a long time in Vienna. They even decided to continue and keep it running until January. I have seen the performance three times already and I must say it is a very interesting musical, appropriate for all ages and for certain will make you laugh and cry both.

I don’t know how many of you have read the book but that was one of the classics in my childhood and I remember reading all of them within a month or something. It was so interesting that I just couldn’t leave the book. I think there are around 8 books and they are great for younger children. I certainly had quite a good time reading them.

For the older audience I would really suggest the movie “Saving Mr. Banks”. It came out a few years ago and is starring Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson and Collin Farrell so for certain it will catch you attention. It is more of a biographical movie, telling the story of the making of the movie and as well biographical part dedicated to Pamela Travers.

But back again on the musical. I haven’t seen that many musicals in my life but I think I won’t exaggerate when I say that this one is a remarkable piece. I have never seen such performance and such an amazing combination of music, acting, effects and setting. The show is very colourful, positive and certainly makes you feel like a little kid again. Prepare yourself for a very moving night because it keeps you on the edge of your seat. There are many moments when you want to sing along or just clap in the rhythmus of the music – that is for sure.

If you worry that your children won’t understand a word – don’t! The whole musical is translated into German and sung in the language. Of course they offer you the option of looking at the English subtitles on the screen. I guess they did it mainly because of the younger children who still cannot read but for someone like me, who grew up with the English version it was a little bit disappointing. I really expected to hear the familiar words but I guess that is how they roll in Vienna (same situation with the “Mamma Mia” musical).

All in all I feel very satisfied with the musical as a whole. It is suitable for all ages, brings a great mood and I am sure that at least one of the songs will be stuck in your head for the next week. Mine was “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” –yes, just try to say it out loud, I dare you.