Sunday, 09. March 2014
11. 01. 13. - 15:00
I’m not sure if you heard that noise last week? It was the sound of despair. It was me.
Ski jumping was on - the 4 Schanzentournee - and I had to sit through hours of watching men in latex hurtle down slopes and throw themselves into oblivion.
My husband, being Austrian, has a gene that specifically forces him to watch anything that occurs in snow.
This includes skiing as well. When I first moved to Vienna to be with him, I found it endearing. Now, well, I could name the second cousin of Austria’s favourite ski jumper - Schlierenzauer, Schlieri for short - and I am not too pleased about that.
But winter in Austria is not just about skiing, it is also about balls. I mentioned last year that there are a wide range of balls to attend with different themes and dress codes which helps make January and February a little less dull.
Wien info offers a list of different types of balls here http://events.wien.info/en/?c=2&dt=12%2F31%2F2013. As you can see, there is a lot of choice! The ball season is always just before lent, when the Viennese let their hair down and party until early morning.
After a night of "balling" the idea of giving up everything enjoyable for lent is attractive, for a day, perhaps. This year I will be attending the IAEA ball at the Hofburg and I cannot wait! My feet? Not so much.
With lent looming, there is also Fasching. Fasching is like Mardi Gras for Austrians, but with no beads or parades or gumbo or inappropriate flashing. While not as popular as in Northern Germany (where they get an actual day off so that they can dress like a clown or nun and drink copious amounts of alcohol) it is still celebrated.
School children often dress up for the day and shops sell costumes for adults as well. If you have noticed, if you live here, shop windows are often decorated with confetti and streamers to celebrate fasching.
Do not forget to eat the traditional Krapfen (jelly filled donuts) before lent begins! Try to wear a bib because they can lead to embarrassing orange coloured stains on white shirts. Not that this has ever happened to anyone I know.
Luckily Vienna is fairly mild in the winter. And I can say that because I have spent many winters with temperatures hovering around minus 20. I am looking at you Moscow and Ottawa.
Mild winters mean walks in the parks and if the weather does dip just below zero, you can always head to one of Vienna’s many many museums. This is only an option if you are actually willing to leave your domicile at all. I am not.
To be honest, besides the skiing and the ball season, this is a pretty miserable time of year in Vienna. The Christmas markets are gone and the Christmas lights are brought down. I was bemoaning this fact to my husband the other day and he got a great big smile on his face and exclaimed "Don’t worry dear! The skiing world cup in Schladming is coming up!" I died a little inside.
What is on at Burg Kino this week (7 March - 13 March)
See what films are on this week at the Burg Kino on the Opernring.
Police catch graffiti-villain of Vienna
A graffiti sprayer, named "Puber" has been one of the main "villains" of Vienna for almost a year. He has filled almost the half of the city with his drawings. Now, a suspect, alleged to be the notorious sprayer himself is in the police custody of Vienna and may face up to five years in prison.
Apartment sales drop in Austria
According to the brokerage firm Re/Max, the number of the real estate sales in Austria has declined around 8.3% in the last year. The exact number of properties which were sold and bought accounts to over 80,000 units, which translates into 16 billion euros. Apartments were the most popular type of property sold last year, accounting for 28,000 of the units sold, but there has still been a 9.3% decrease from the last year.
McDonalds boom in Austria
McDonald's in Austria generated 560 million Euros in sales in 2013 after introducing more branches and expanding it's product range.
Exhibition takes you on a journey with Sigmund Freud
To mark the 75th anniversary of Sigmund Freud's death, the museum dedicated to him in Vienna is holding an exhibition looking at Freud's journeys around the world, including his final one that saw him flee National Socialism in 1938.
Plastic replacing fish in the Danube
The Danube is so polluted that there are now more plastic particles than fish larvae in the water according to new research.
Ladies skiing offer at Stuhleck this weekend
In celebration of International Women's Day on Saturday 8 March, the Stuhleck ski resort in eastern Austrian is giving female skiers discount prices on ski passes.
Rediscovered 'degenerate' painting on show at Belvedere
A painting that was rediscovered in 2012, decades after it was seized by the Nazi's for being 'degenerate', is on display at the Belvedere Palace in Vienna.
Austrian Airlines spellcheck mishap
The online copyeditor for Austrian Airlines will be getting a slap on the wrist after it was embarrassingly revealed that the English version of their website is riddled with spelling and grammatical errors.
Carnival firemen answer 999 call as giant bees with handbags
Ten Austrian fireman ended up answering an emergency call for a serious road accident dressed as giant bumblebees after they got kitted out for a fancy dress parade on a carnival float shortly before they got the emergency call.
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