Thursday, 20 August 2015

I lost my heart in ... Vienna





Last week, I decided on the spur of the moment that I should join my sister on her trip to Vienna. She had booked train tickets and a hotel room a few weeks before and because I was very bored, I thought that it would be a great idea to go and see Vienna as well.

My sister has been a huge fan of Austria for quite some time. I have only been to Innsbruck a few times but never to Vienna.

So after five hours on the train, we finally arrived and it was brutally hot there after we had almost been frozen on the train by its air conditioning. 


I had not made any particular plans on what to look at or where to go to for lunch and dinner. I just knew about one café because a friend of mine had been there earlier this year.

So when my sister and I arrived, we were clueless. We had to get a ticket for the underground and map. My advice: if you are in Vienna for only a few days - for example, three days - you should buy the 72-Stunden-Ticket. It is only 16,50 euros for the whole three days and takes you practically anywhere you need.

 The first couple of hours in Vienna were rather strange.

Sometimes you have a certain image of a city in your head and when you are finally in that place and everything is different than you had thought, it feels peculiar at first. And this is what had happened to me on my very first day in Vienna. But on the second day, I was already in love with that city. Its people, their awesome dialect (Wiener Schmäh), their culture, their food. There is diversity everywhere you go. And history, tradition and customs. 

Something you need to try when in Vienna:


Wiener Schnitzel :-)


Macarons from this bakery 
   

You can do the typcial tourist stuff such as taking a tour around the Schönbrunn castle.


Vienna is famous for its traditional coffee houses (Kaffeehäuser). 
Café Central in Herrengasse 14 is one of them and it is fantastic there. Get there early to make sure you'll get seated without having to queue up for ages.





I ordered coffee and Kaiserschmarrn, a traditional Austrian dessert, and it was delicious. 


Apart from its coffee houses and delicious cuisine, Vienna is also famous for its artists and musicians. There are plenty of museums, theatres, opera houses, etc.
If you want to see many things in Vienna on the cheap, you should definitely take a trip to the Hundertwasserhaus in Kegelhausgasse. The artist Hundertwasser came up with the idea and the concept for this apartment building. 


Just a stone's throw away from the Hundertwasser building, in Untere Weißgerberstraße, you can find the Kunsthaus in Vienna - a museum also designed by Hundertwasser.


If you are hungry, go for a walk along the Naschmarkt. It is Vienna's most popular market and you'll find plenty of stalls there.


And if it is really, really hot and your feet ache and you just want to relax, take a trip to the Danube. The river plays an important role in the lives of the Viennese (so I was told at least) and there is quite a lot happening there when it's warm and sunny. Everyone is out and about there.

 
 My sister and I bought some cake, sat down by the riverside and watched a canoe polo tournament. It was such a lovely evening.

Right down the line, Vienna is most certainly worth a visit!

Kat :-)

Sunday, 2 August 2015

DIY project - flower hair band

Just a little DIY project, everyone can easily do at home ... if you simply can't find a flower hair band you really like, make your own!!



Kat xx


Monday, 27 July 2015

British tea time - a farewell and big thank you to my English students

Now that it is soon time for me to pack my bags and move abroad (once again), I also had to quit all my jobs I have had here in Germany. One of those many occupations was a job as an English teacher.



And I must say I had one of the greatest classes in my history as a teacher. Two semesters of fun! Let alone our amazing trip to London in May. The result is some nice, new friends who I am definitely going to stay in touch with.



Last Thursday, we finally had our last class together and for weeks before that I had been planning a special farewell and thank you to these lovely students. A British afternoon tea time! Just like the one we had at wonderful, amazing bake-a-boo in West Hampstead. I can only recommend this tea room when being in London.

Anyway, I had planned ahead for this last class and bought all kinds of colourful paper plates and napkins, took all my mugs with flowers on them with me and started to bake the day before. I was a bit nervous since I had never baked brownies before. I also tried out a new cupcakes recipe and some new variations of tea sandwiches. 


In the end, everyone liked everything and I can only recommend these recipes that I found through pinterest (check out the list below). Transporting everything to school was a bit tricky since it was quite warm that day and the buttercream icing on the cupcakes and the chocolate on the strawberries were about to melt away. But they made their ways safely into everyone's mouths. 


I just wished I had had enough raspberries to decorate each and every single cupcake. Nevertheless did we have a great time. My students were all very surprised when they entered the classroom and saw the table. I will miss these Thursdays with them.

 
Kat :-)

PS.:   the recipe list ;-)

raspberry swirl cupcakes 
brownies 
50 ideas for tea sandwiches 
classic scones with jam and clotted cream 

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

the reading challenge

I noticed that lately some of my friends have been obsessed with books à la Fifty Shades of Grey.
Don't get me wrong, I don't mean to insult anyone, but am I the only one who feels like that the book shops have been swamped with books like these?
I am not denying that I read some of these books after my friend had so warmly recommended them to me. So I read one and got a bit hooked on that series and ended up buying the first four volumes of the series that appears to never end. And then I read another book from another author and series. And another one. And then I realised (after starring at my bookshelf which is home, among others, to classics by Kafka, Hesse, Sylvia Plath, Mark Twain, George Orwell, etc.) ... I realised that I was letting myself turn into an "easy-to-read, oh-there-are-good-sex-scences, I-need-to-continue-the-series, I-wish-my-life-was-a-book zombie".
Most of these books are written by authors who do self-publishing or at least had done it before they were discovered by the big publishing houses. I think it is great that authors have these possibilites nowadays and that they can do the self-publishing thing online. But I find it sad that it seems to be the same kind of stories over and over again. "Poor, little, innocent plain Jane, preferably with some troubled family, meets a mysterious, hard-to-tame, insanely attractive stud who shows her how it's done." Oh, not to forget that the first half of the book should be about how hard our Jane tries to refuse his witty, arrogant charm but since she can see that he is always looking at anyone but her and seems to be soooo crazy about her, she finally gives in to her heart and of course her thighs that are extremely on fire ... and lets herself get banged like she has never been before in her life.
Ok, sorry, I just drifted into the sarcasm corner a bit too much. As I said before I do not want to insult anyone who reads this kind of books. If you love them and that is the only thing bearable for you to read, then it is also great. At least you are reading something.

Well, what I was trying to express with my wonderful short essay on this subject is that there are so many great books out there. Even trivial literature that goes a bit deeper than beneath the sheets. There are good books on love stories out there. You just need to find them.

As for myself I decided to read/re-read some classics that I think should be read by everyone at least once in his/her lifetime. So here comes my personal reading challenge. I call it "10 classics in 10 weeks". So I hope that I am really finishing these books by the end April/beginning of May despite my busy work schedule. And I hope that you like the reading challenge list and that it maybe even inspires you to catch up on your reading.

1. 1984 by George Orwell
2. The catcher in the rye by J.D. Salinger
3. The bell jar by Sylvia Plath
4. Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
5. Little women by Louisa May Alcott
6. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
7. Wuthering heights by Emily Brontë
8. The old man and the sea by Ernest Hemingway
9. The great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
10. Great expectations by Charles Dickens

So, let's get started :-)