Apartment Riverside (sleeps 4)

Apartment Prater (sleeps 4)

Apartment Nestroy (sleeps 7)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The countdown is on ...

While the Londoners soon have their "Jingle bell ball", which has nothing to do with a real ball, here in Vienna we have a whole ballseason, which will start off shortly ....
We will issue all dates and recommend the best balls for you: traditional, fancy, modern, posh ... you'll name it!

Staying at bluedanube apartments enables you to enjoy the ballseason in a very convenient way: the top venues are just a very very short taxi drive away: Save money, save time and start the night relaxed!
You even can hire a carriage, the Viennese "Fiaker", as the distances are that near! You only have to wrap up to avoid freezing when you are dressed up in your fancy cloth.

We'll keep you posted .....

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Happy B-Day, dear Austria!


26 of October as the Austrian National Day - this celebration goes back to the beginnings of the 2nd Republic after WW II.

After the end of the War, Austria was occupied by the four Allied powers (Soviet Union, United States, Great Britain and France) and divided into four zones. With their consent an Austrian government was elected democratically, but every legislative regulation or political action required their consent.

In spring 1955 discussion about a State Treaty ending this occupation was finally brought to conclusion:
the Austrian State Treaty was signed on 15 May 1955 in Vienna's SchloƟ Belvedere (maybe one of the most moving events in Austrian history) and entered into force on July 27 1955.

Why now October 26?

Well, this day marks the first day on which the last foreign troops left the Austrian territory; therefore de facto the first day Austria was again an independent and sovereign country.

But it took 10 more years for the parliament and the politicians to decide which day should be the "National Day of Austria".
They had the choice of 4 dates:

-  12 Nov - birth of the first republic (1918)
-  27 Apr  - interim austrian state government (1945)
-  15 May - signing of State Treaty (1955)
-  26 Oct  -  first day without any foreign troups and passing of the law on permanent neutrality

God save .... oops! sorry - Tu felix Austria nube!
Any you ... enjoy your stay in bluedanube apartments and in Vienna!

Monday, October 25, 2010

185 years ago ....

This is it!
185 years ago, on 25th October 1825, on a similar rainy days as today, Johann Strauss was born.

He was one of THE Austrian composers, "the king of waltz". As so often he should become a banker rather than a musician, but as soon as his talent was recognized there was no way to stop him. He composed over 500 waltzes, quadrilles and polkas and came up with quite famous operettas, like The Fledermaus.
But maybe his most famous work was The Blue Danube, the secret hymn or anthem of Austria.

The Blue Danube is still one of the most recognized songs in the world  - maybe together with Imagine or Yesterday.

This is also the song, which is played very first on broadcast and TV when the New Year starts!

bluedanubeapartments took over the name because we identify with one of the biggest stars the country has every produced - his music is loved for almost 200 years! What a star!

And this star lived a celeb's life: married three times, even had to give up the austrian nationality to marry the third time and all marriages have been without children! And in the end, after his death, his only surviving brother distroyed much of his work - they agreed to this pact beforehand - whoever outlived the other, will destroy the work, so that no one ever can claim that work for them. Obviously the copyright issue wasn't solved yet!

Anyway, pneumonia made him kick the bucket with 73. But his music is fully alive!

Enjoy his music and listen!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Big Brother

Yes, there is this tv show… but what I’m telling here is that our apartment Prater now has got a big brother. Sounds odd, doesn’t it? Shouldn’t it be a younger brother? Well, it’s neither younger nor smaller, and that’s why it is the ‘Big Brother’.

So, to sum it up, one is good, two is better… our capacity is growing, and we will be on the market with this brand new apartment in summer 2011, and it will sleep up to 8. And again, great central location, and only a few steps away from the next underground station, and 5 mins from the very centre, Saint Stephens’ Church.
The house is more than hundred years old, and the flat is still rather uninhabitable. It is more than decoration that is required – almost everything needs to be renovated. Room layout, floors, walls, windows, wiring, heating, bathrooms … you name it. All our creativity will have to go into it, to become another great place to stay in Vienna - for our guests who love to stay with bluedanube apartments. So, let's take a first glimpse out of the window!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

1,80 € for a trip through Vienna

Public Transport in Vienna - a short instruction manual

Definitely you will have experienced that in many cities the ways to use public transport are different.
Vienna compared to London for example has some major difference, though you also will achieve the main goal: to get from A to B

So what's the difference?

Let me start with listing the types of "vehicles": In Vienna we have
  • the U-Bahn - which is equivalent to the tube in London
  • buses - they even look similar in colour and, if we forget about the doubledeckers, are quite the same anyway
  • the train - whilst in London more than one operator, in Vienna only the so called S-Bahn (S for "schnell", meaning "quick")
  • the Strassenbahn, the tram - what a surprise, no similarity in London
Ok, Vienna has only 5 U-Bahn-Lines, while London Underground has 11, but never forget: we have 1,7 Million people moving around in the city, whilst in London 8 Million hustle through the streets. A wee bit of a difference .... and while here in Vienna 2 Mio passengers use the tunnel system daily in London 3,4 Mio squeeze through the access gates.
Interesting ratios.

But let's forget about numbers. I am here to write about how to get on with the public thingy.
Ok then, let's set the scene:

You want to leave from bluedanube apartments and want to visit the Heurigen in Grinzing. On the way there you want to make use of your time and circumnavigate the Ring with it's impressive historic buildings.
Easy peasy! You just buy a ticket for 1,80 Euro at the station Praterstern, only 1 minute away from the apartment and validate it at the blue box which is situated just before you move down with the escalator to U1. No worries, you don't get the ticket back as in London, but you have to keep it anyway.

After 3 stops you'll climb up to earth at Karlsplatz, and will be happy to find yourself on one of the nicest spots in Vienna, only 5min apart from the apartment.

Now just hop on the tram Nr 1 and enjoy the easy travel alongside the Ring. You'll pass by the museums, the Hofburg, the Rathaus, the cafe Landtmann, the Burgtheater and finally get off at Schottentor. Here again change to another tram, Nr 38, which will take you directly to Grinzing!

And this is it: you'll never have to buy a ticket again nor have to validate it again, just enjoy your trip! 1,80 Euro is the price from bluedanube apartment to the Heurigen in Grinzing - if you're keen on a touristy but nice place for wine and authentic food.
NOTE: you pay from A to B 1,80 with no limitation of changes, it's just necessary that you always move in one direction!

You also can opt for the Vienna Card, 18,50 euro for 72hrs tram, bus, u-bahn, plus additional benefits and discounts.

Finally for your planning, here is a tram map and a u-bahn map!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The History of Christmas Markets in Vienna

You have to go back into the late 13th century to find first roots of Christmas markets in Vienna. These days a so-called December Market was set up by a few stallholders to cheer up Viennas citizens. In the 16th century it was the ‘Thomasmarket’, and in the 18th century they called it Christmas- or crib-market.
Vienna started to celebrate Christmas in a way as we would now recognize it the 19th century, during the Biedermeier period. Aristocrats put up Christmas trees in line with the northern German tradition. This was also the time when people started to give Christmas presents.
The main market finally settled at its current location on City Hall Square in 1975. With its around 150 stalls it attracts more than three million visitors every year. Many other markets can be found all across Vienna. We will present a few of them over the next weeks in our blog…

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Wurstsemmerl - Viennese Fast Food

We all know about the rise of Fast Food within the last couple of years. McDonalds or Burger King everywhere, Sandwiches from Eat or Pret-A-Manger in the UK, the Gyros or Kebab in Greece, Turkey and definitely Germany, the Bento Box in Japan, the Prego in Portugal, the Bocadillo from Spain .... sure there are loads of others, but don't forget the Wurstsemmerl in Vienna!

The Wurstsemmerl can  be rightly called as one of the delicacies of the world. Some also call it also Wurstsemmel, without the "r" before the "l". Then they try to be not Viennese, as the "r" is used only by the typical "Wiener".

To keep it simple: it is a roll, a Semmerl, unique in the world too, with some specific, thin machine-cut kind of meat, Wurst, called Extrawurst, made out of pork and loads of other unhealthy things. The luxurious version is if included thinly sliced Essiggurkerl, pickles.
OMG, how grabby I am about a Wurstsemmerl only writing this!

And now comes the main fact: this Wurstsemmerl is the best if you get it freshly and done in front of your eyes. At a butcher maybe or at the supermarket, department deli.

And rule no 1 ... you have to eat it immediately. As soon as you are on your way to somewhere and eat it only hours later, forget about it.
And rule no 2 ... doing it yourself at home will experience different taste. It's the freshness of the just cut through Semmerl and the thinly sliced Wurst that make the difference.
When you take a hearty bite, you'll hear the wonderful cracking noise and taste the fresh meat.

There is of course the possibility to make your choice: you can add cheese, salad, whatever .... but then the original is gone!

We recommend to buy it near bluedanube apartments at BILLA inside the station Praterstern, open 6am-10pm/7.

Try it - taste it - enjoy it!

Friday, October 1, 2010

It's Vienna Design Week

Vienna Design Week is starting today. This years spotlight is on Sweden - so guess who's there... yes, it's the elk. IKEA are hosting workshops... who would have thought so?
This is just another opportunity to witness Viennas outstanding role in the world of design.