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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

{ Why I Do Not Like Vienna } and { A quick update on my blog }


On a personal note:

So what do you do when Metro Manila goes into blackout ?
when storm signal #3 was hoisted and thankfully, it didn't last long.
For some hours, everything was in a standstill and while at home, bearing those pesky and über noisy neighbors.
Why not write something for my blog ?
It's been awhile since, I was feeling a bit under the weather for the past few weeks.
Personal stuffs really, as if one dilemma starts piling up with another,
Also a bit of soul searching whether or not my life is in the right track or not.
Sounds mysteriously ominous ?!
no worries, nothing too serious I can't handle.
After all, " Life is a curveball and you just have to keep on swinging it. "
^0^

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Anyway, as I was re-checking my posts, I think I accidentally deleted one of them.
The how to read the train schedule post , which was also possibly the Longest post to date.
Argh! I couldn't retrieve it anymore because it's been more than a month already.
welcome to my world ~
and now I'm contemplating whether to re-post the whole thing or just leave it be.
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It might comes as a surprise Why I don't like Vienna,
when I just posted the exact opposite of it.
* see link here *


As a traveler, you always hope for the best, have some good memories.
But sadly, this one left quite a bad impression.
My not-so-good day with Vienna, here goes...

Last December *Christmas day*,
Pepperoni and I decided to visit St. Stephen's Cathedral and then head to Graben street,
the Hofburg and its environs.
I couldn't wait to see the Cathedral, this would be my second time already.
The first time was a bit of a vague, and all I had then was an ordinary camera back then.

the glimmering roofs of St. Stephen's Cathedral
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As soon as we stepped out of the Metro,
these annoying red-coated agents would bombard you with Opera tickets for sale.
Just ignore them and head inside.

spot the red!
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The interior : Majestic and Imposing, just beyond words to describe it.
My sister and I took lots of photos from each corner and every angle.
It was a delight to see those intricate details and the massive size of this structure.

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After awhile, the church pews started to get empty and the crowds got thinner.
I thought to myself, maybe the main entrance is already closed to the public.
We obviously didn't see any DO NOT ENTER signs or barricaded areas.
So, we just continued taking more photos, even had a few self-timed shots.
We were more than satisfied without having to elbow anyone for a better view or fixing the lens to get a good shot.

We were clearly so engrossed that we didn't notice that a six-pack/ bodyguard/ security guy was already waving at us
with a not-so-friendly face and started shouting right in front of us!

He said: " I have told you more than 5 times already to get out of the area. It's closed, but you still take pictures!"

We quickly apologized and said we're sorry, we didn't hear him calling us.

Instead, He gave us this smug countenance on his face and said:
" you didn't hear me? you didn't hear me? I told you guys many times but you still take pictures.
Out now! Get out! "

Even our friendly smile wasn't enough!
I was obviously dumbfounded and utterly humiliated.
It was the worst experience I had.
After all, we were just merely tourists like everyone else,
We were told a lot of times to: Keep off the grass , Don't take photos, Don't cross this line and we abide by it.
But Never in our life were we shouted at or insulted for something so trivial.

This security guy has obviously got no diplomacy.
Treated us like we were some 8 year old kid.
Finally, I gave up.
No use arguing to a guy who speaks trash !!
Had I known this would happen, I could have recorded the whole fiasco.

This clearly left a dark stigma as to how Viennese people treats Asian tourists.
and to think we were inside the house of God, at least show some Respect.

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Don't get me wrong.
I Do Not hate Vienna I just did not like it as much as I was expecting it to be.


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Monday, June 16, 2014

" 4 things I Like about Vienna "


Spending less than 4 days in Vienna isn't enough!
It is a huge city and there are lots of interesting places to see.
But having been there twice already,
I still don't find Viennese people to be friendly or hospitable,
if anything, they're a bit of the opposite.
But that's for my next post.

For now,
Here are 4 things I like about Vienna.

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1: TRANSPORT


Yellow Tourist Ring Tram
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Vienna's public transport is one of the most reliable and efficient transport system I've seen.
Living in a 3rd world country,
I am always in awe at how systematize things work around a developed country.
How I wish our country will have the reliability, efficiency and safety!!!

You don't need a car or get a taxi.
You don't have to worry if you don't know how to read the map,
Things around here are easy to understand,
take it from someone who hates reading maps and subway lines but has to! ^0^


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By Taxi:
The usual cost from Airport to the City fare is about 30 euros.
OR
catch the CITY AIRPORT TRAIN { CAT } to the centre.
Tickets are roughly around 12 euros.

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In our case,
we took the Metro ride from the WESTBAHNHOF train station to the CITY CENTRE - ( Volkstheater station was our stop. )

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outside Westbahnhof Station
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that's us! ^0^
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NEED TO BUY TICKETS ?

There are * always * INFO points or TOURIST office - inside the airport, train stations and other important landmarks.
Look for ticket machines called FAHRKARTEN.
This is where you can buy and check your metro and train tickets.


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There are several modes you can choose from :

SINGLE JOURNEY - for a usual day trip.
24 HOUR TICKET - from the time your ticket gets stamped, ride all you can.
72 HOUR TICKET - from the time your ticket gets stamped. ride all you can.
8 DAY JOURNEY TICKET - if you're planning to stay for a week or more.
VIENNA CARD - where you can ride all you can, plus museum discounts etc.

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All forms of public transport fall under WienerLinien company.
So you can HOP ON AND HOP OFF from A TO B without having to worry if you need buy another ticket.
The TRAM , TRAIN AND BUS uses one and the SAME ticket.

This very helpful website lets you understand further... see LINK here.

Once you have your ticket,
You need to have it STAMP at this MACHINE.
It only needs to be stamp once.
This is very important,
as it's where your ticket gets validated.

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In every country,
the system is always different,
as it is in Vienna or Berlin,
It was a bit confusing for me at first,
I wasn't sure how it really works until I was in Berlin,
and that's how I understood how it works.

It relies in "honesty system,"
most of the time, nobody checks your ticket, so technically,
no one will know if you have your ticket or not,
but there are undercover agents who do random checks from time to time.
Would you rather risk getting caught ?! ^0^

THE METRO:

a local magazine for your reading pleasure
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some catchy advert
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Did you know that you can actually eat inside the Metro?!
I read that in someone's blog, wasn't sure then, until I saw these.
I guess, this group of people forgot the word discipline. :(


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going to Schönbrunn palace route
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I've said it before and I'll say it again.
I actually like the RING TRAM.
If there's a reason for me to go back, then this is it.
I love how you can alight at any stop, just remember what Number of tram it is.
Meanwhile, you just sit back and enjoy the ride, while it circles around the area,
from the Inner Stadt going further to the less touristy and see the less flamboyant side of the city.
It is actually more interesting than those grand architectures.
The tram will go back from where you have started, so you don't have to worry if it gets back to your destination or not.

Ordinary Ring Tram
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Number # 46 called Auerspergstraße was one of the Tram lines that we took.

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what it looks inside.
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BICYCLES

Like any other countries in Europe,
You can rent a bicycle for a fee.
like the company CityBike offers one.

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2: MUSEUM

If you're an art connoisseur or just an amateur comme moi.
Then a visit to the M.Q * Museum's Quarter* is a must.

outside MQ Metro station
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HERE are just a few of the many lists of Museums to choose from:


= KUNSTHISTORISCHES MUSEUM

Ranging from world renowned artists and painters.
From Raphael, to Titian, to Michelangelo, Caravaggio, to Rembrandt, Vermeer and more.
You will also find some of the oldest and ancient antiquities and artifacts from Egypt and Greece.

REGULAR TICKETS: ADULTS 14 EUROS

YOU CAN BUY A COMBINATION TICKET WITH A VISIT TO THE NEUE BURG MUSEUM
OR YOU CAN BUY AN ANNUAL TICKET . 7 MUSEUMS = 365 DAYS

PHOTOS: ALLOWED

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Here are some photos of its interior.
This is where we spent the whole afternoon and I mean, literally you can spend for more than half a day or maybe a day even.
It is a feast for those museum lovers.

stunning, stunning ceiling
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grand entrance, nice flooring
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the works of Dürer on display
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the riveting work of Vermeer,
it is quite a small painting, but the shadows and its color details are just wonderful to look at.
grateful that it doesn't prohibit us from taking photos.


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whilst waiting for my sister to put her things in the locker area.
this woman was just standing there overlooking a splendid view.


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we got the tickets here!
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each room has a theme and a certain era.
The works you see here in this photo are of Caravaggio

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It only took minutes before my neck started to get sore.^0^
The paintings are just everywhere large, small, detailed, expressive.
How i wish my mind can absorb all that much!


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and then we went into the Egyptian and Greek artifacts room.
which by now, made my head feel dizzy! ^0^
All my energy was used up by then,
I was not getting bored, but actually so tired already because there are just puh-lenty of things to see!

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just look at how intricate this piece is!
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= LEOPOLD MUSEUM

Contemporary collection of works by expressionists Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt, Oskar Kokoschka and other artists
from the 19th and 20th centuries.


TICKETS: ADULTS 12 EUROS
PHOTOS: ALLOWED

Here are some photos:
I wanted to see the works of Gustav Klimt,
but Pepperoni wasn't feeling it and then, she kept on complaining about the price.
we were a bit stingy at that time, perhaps on our next trip then.

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detailed ceiling inside Museum's Quarter
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= MUMOK MUSEUM

For up and coming artists and new exhibitions.
I prefer to see classic pieces though.

TICKETS: ADULTS 10-12 EUROS
PHOTOS: NOT ALLOWED.

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3: FOOD

If bread is your god, then you've got to taste Vienna's freshly baked goodies.

Funny thing was, before the trip, I jotted down a list of must-see and must-try restaurants and cafes.
I even prepared a few phrases in case a bit of German is needed. ^0^
Well, neither the scrumptious Wiener Schnitzel or the heavenly SacherTorte made it to our palette.
This is the downside when you visit Vienna during winter season, esp. on Christmas (dec. 25) and Boxing day (dec. 26)...
All the establishments are CLOSED.

The good thing about it is that there are Christkindlmarkt * Christmas Markets* festivities in Vienna
and some reputable franchised bakeries like Ströck and Heberer der Traditionsbäcker.


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If you want more info about these two local bakeries I've mention.
Do click this link here.


The minute we reached the RATHAUS Christmas market,
I was already thirsty and what a way to spend my first 3 euros on an alcohol free drink.- Jungenpunsch / Kinderpunsch
* obviously a children's drink. *

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and had some humongous Langos !
* tasted like Chapati bread dipped in lots, lots, lots of oil goodness! *
I didn't eat all of that, can't take the greasiness.

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then, we had this Leberkässemmel, remember my Munich post? ^0^
this one is * Apffelberkässe * flavored.

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Please don't judge this photo. ^0^
This is probably one of the messiest Cheese-filled sausage I've tasted!
They are actually wrapped so well, but the klutz-me, spilled mustard all over my camera and sweater.
Luckily, I was able to clean it off before it gets messy. ^0^
They're called Käsekrainer

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When we were at Schönbrunn Palace that day, after spending quite a few hours inside the park.
We treated ourselves with a pack of their local Bratkartoffeln .
Yup! deliciously Hot! ^0^

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we both had this freshly cooked : Herzhaftes Bauerngröstl

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At some random food stalls near the tram station:

Turkish Kebab anyone? not that tasty but can pass for a meal-to-go.

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even fried Chinese noodles?!
they looked a bit err... dry. :(

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AIDA is one of the local Cafes here in Vienna.
Haven't tried this either, so I just took an exterior photo of it.

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Well, I hope this helps you the next time you're planning to visit Vienna. ^0^





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