Apartment Riverside (sleeps 4)

Apartment Prater (sleeps 4)

Apartment Nestroy (sleeps 7)

Friday, April 29, 2011

Wedding free zone in Vienna

No Royals in Vienna!
No Wedding Party in Vienna!

But let's not forget, we could have had the same hype it life had developed differently.

Karl of Hapsburg, grandson of the last Austrian Emperor, Charles I of Hapsburg, is of our age.

For long time he lived in Anif, a small village outside the city of Salzburg. His residence is called Villa Swoboda and was formerly used by crown prince Rudolf.
Yes, The Rudolf, not the reindeer. But the son of Sisi!
The son, who committed suicide .... all royal families have similar occurencies!

Ok, back to Karl.
He married  Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza de Kászon and has 3 children with her. Like many marriages in blue-blooded families not a happy relation.

Since then he has been living in Vienna, his children visit one of the three international schools of Vienna, they submerged in daily routine and live an (almost) normal life.

Their granddad Otto is exiled, their grand-grand-dad Charles I, the last Austrian emperor married exactly 100 years ago!

But we are no monarchy anymore and monarchists are not welcome.

Different to Britain, where monarchy is back to it's peak today!

Grace-Kelly-ish Catherine and Wills gave an excellent couple, parrot-coloured Queen did look impressivley young and the baby girls on the balcony couldn't stand the noise.

"'It's amazing" commented the Queen and indeed it was!

But how different it was 100 years ago!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Old Danube Season Opening - it's boating time!

Today, 27th April, another summer season was opened on the Vienna Old Danube - so what and where is this 'Old Danube'?
It is one of the former river beds of the Danube, located north of todays regulated Danube.
It is one of Viennas uncountable leasure paradises, only 5 kms away from the city centre. With a length of around 8 kms and a superb water quality it is the place to be for swimmers, boaters and sun seekers. A broad variety of bars and restaurants provide a pleasant venue for your lunch or dinner, or just a drink in between - and the nice thing is, most of them can be reached by boat. So, go there, hire a boat, have a drink and enjoy your time.
Directions from bluedanube apartments - again quick 'n' easy. Take the U1 and exit at station 'Alte Donau', then this unique gem lies right in front of you.

Enjoy! And don't forget the suncream!

Monday, April 25, 2011

A Place with a View


Have you ever wondered what it's like to fly free,
To see the world as far as the eye can see,
To view the surroundings from high and from low,
To hear only the sound of a distant echo,
To float in the air with the wind being your guide,
To admire many rainbows that the trees tend to hide,
To see the misty mornings over a beautiful mountaintop,
To glide over a flowing river that never seems to stop,
To watch the animals from over a mile away,
Or to rise above the treetops that glisten in the day?
If you were an eagle you would wonder no more
For it can see things you have never seen before.
Next time you look into the sky of blue,
Think of what it's like from an eagle's view.

© 1998 Stacy Smith

Vienna has, like many other major capitals, a place too, where you could feel like an eagle!

Don't miss to make your way up there on a bright day! Either by hiking up or by driving the long and winding road with bus or car. You definitely will not be disappointed. People love this spot not only in summer, but also on New Year's Eve!
Up there you can visit either the Kahlenberg with it's new trendy Coffeeshop and a posh brandnew hotel

or if you like it more private go a little further to Leopoldsberg. Unfortunately you won't find anything to drink or eat there, so bring along your picnic!

Leopoldsberg is 425m high and overlooks Vienna's posh 19th district on one side and Klosterneuburg on the other side. Around 1120 Leopold III built an impressive castle up there, which currently undergoes an owners dispute.

Another Leopold, namely emperor Leopold I, donated the construction of a chapel, after a vow for prevention of the plague in 1679. The finished chapel was destroyed 4 years later by the Turks. But after our siege over the Turkish invaders this chapel was rebuilt in 1693.

It's nice to mention that even Turkish people nowadays find their way up there and seem to remember this part of history!

And on your way back home you may stop in Grinzing, the touristy approach to vinyards, wine and Viennese tradition.
We recommend a stroll through the old cobbled streets!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Life Ball Vienna - May 21st 2011


The Life Ball – A big event with a serious background

'Celebrating the joy of life and the diversity of cultures, Life Ball unites the Viennese ball tradition with opulence, extravagance, glamour, provocation, fancy performances, committed speeches as well as emotional moments' - this is how the Life Ball Organisation describes the ball.

Well, from a Viennese perspective the ball was looked at a bit strangely when it was organized first time in 1993. These days it was a bit of provocation, with an attempt to break taboos and organize a party for a good cause. Today however, it certainly is one of the global top AIDS charity events and also one of the top events in Vienna. From the very beginning the ball has pursued two goals – increase awareness for AIDS and raise money to support AIDS relief organizations.
Tickets are sold out of course, the last chances are small auctions on eBay starting 2nd May. If you just want to get a glimpse of the spectacle, be there when the opening ceremony is on at the square in front of the Vienna City Hall – it is free, and usually is broadcast on TV as well.
After superstars of recent years like Liza Minnelli, Sharon Stone, Kim Cattrall, Eva Longoria und Whoopi Goldberg it will be Janet Jackson in 2011 to represent amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research.
So, follow the motto of this Year – Spread the wings of tolerance!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Bunny 'n' Sheep wish Happy Easter

Dear friends of bluedanube apartments!
We wish you some georgous holidays
great weather,
good food
and relaxing days!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Will & Kate - the Countdown is on .... and what about the Austrian royals? Sisi!?

I can't wait for the new wedding in the house of Windsor!

Although I have to admit, that I am still more interested in the Tudors, Henry VIII with his 6 marriages and the according tragedies & affairs.

After living in the UK for some years I became interested in royal history as it shaped society till today and still does - to a certain extent.

Well, we Austrians too had a quite flash royal experience, but people here tend not to be too fond of it anymore.
You'll be seen as a monarchist, old-fashioned, dusty, almost like a political extreme, if you're too much into the royal history. But dear me, we had the Hapsburgs!

And they were at least that posh, fancy and spellbinding like the Tudors, Stuarts or Windsors.
We had similar intrigues and adultries, incest stories, suicides and endless birth-givings.
And, let us not forget, we do have a familiar bond with the Tudors too! No, you do not want to know the details, unless you can follow, when I explain the family tree for 15minutes!

And we even have our Elisabeth who made it into the hearts of the people and is well known throughout the world as Sisi.

Elisabeth, Sisi, (born 1837) a stunning and beautiful woman, was married to Franz Joseph I.
They had 4 children. And like in so many royal families unlucky fortune: their first child, Sophie, died at the age of two, their surviving daughters Gisela (1856-1932) and Marie Valerie (1868-1924) both married and had several children, from whom there are numerous descendants. Their only son, Crown Prince Rudolf, born in 1858, committed suicide together with his mistress, the seventeen-year-old Baroness Mary Vetsera.
The tragedies in her life did influence her spirits, she was a melancholic and sad person, tried to escape with travelling, but never ever overcame the loss of her small child and her son.

Like all tragedies also her life had a sudden unexpected end: she was stabbed to death at the Lake Geneve and reunited in heaven on 10th September 1898.

I just hope, that Will 'n' Kate will be more lucky, I wish them the so much needed heirs, lots of love and over all peace!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Some Austrian trivia about Easter Time .... and more

In Austria children believe that the Easter bunny hops over the fields and makes its way to the gardens. The bunny is the official symbol of fertility since the 16th century. But the bunny and the egg are also symbols of the Anglo-Saxon goddess Eastre, after which Easter has been named.
The customary act of painting eggs is known as Pysanka. In Austria we use to paint the eggs and colour boiled eggs. This custom was taken by the pagans, to whom colours had a special meaning: red for death of Jesus, green for hope, yellow for wisdom, just to name a few.

Tradition has it that we hide chocolate eggs, preferably in a garden and children then will have to seek them.
In Austria we love to eat a "Pinze", a deliciouse sweet yeast bread, some smoked ham cooked in a bread dough, called "Osterschinken"

We also decorate the houses with consecrated pussy willows, decorated with eggs hanging around. Is was tradition in Jerusalem to use palm branches to show your devotedness to Jesus. In absence of palm trees we use willow branches

Chocolate eggs were made for the first time in Europe, in the 19th century. Till date, they remain one of the favorite Easter treats.

Easter is the top-selling confectionery holiday in the west, second only to Halloween.

On Easter, 76% people bite off the chocolate bunny ears first, while 5% bite the feet first and 4% eat the tail first.

Right from ancient times, the egg has been regarded as a symbol of rebirth in most of the cultures. Eggs, bonfires, candles, lily, cross, palm, bunny and lamb are the most popular symbols of Easter.

Just like Passover which is dependent on the phases of the moon and has different dates each year, Easter is also a movable feast. BUT Easter always falls between March 22nd and April 25th.

The custom of giving eggs at Easter dates back to the time of the Egyptians, Persians, Gauls, Greeks and Romans.

Every year on Easter, Pope gives his "Urbi et Orbi" (papal address) to the world.

Easter is known by different names across the world. Some of them are: Easter (english), Paques (French), Pascua (Spanish), Pasqua (Italian), Pashke (Albanian), Ostern (German), Pascha (Greek),  Paaske (Norway), Pasen (Holland) and  Pask (Swedish)


Egyptians were initially the ones who exchanged eggs to symbolize the resurrection of Christ. It was later that the tradition was passed down to early Christians. But it was forbidden by the church to donate eggs. As people loved this habit it was adapted and the eggs where hidden in neighbours garden.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Is there a world outside of facebook?

Hey guys, what a question. You either are in, or out. So thought we, and as a result, we have our very own page on facebook now…

Have fun and enjoy – see you there.
bluedanube apartments on facebook

Friday, April 15, 2011

Vienna's equivalent to Box Hill/Surrey, UK

Anyone of you know Box Hill in Surrey?

Well there is something similar in Vienna .... Tulbinger Kogel!
As soon as the sun is out, all the convertibles and motorbikes are roaring and off they go!
Enjoy this 1.45min trip .... and Britons beware, your wrong side is the right side!!!

Thanks to Christoph for the great video!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Tafelspitz stands for Plachutta beef

There's nothing more Viennese than the Tafelspitz.
So it's a must to have before you leave Vienna.

It is said that already in the 16th century beef was brought over to Vienna from Hungary and so became an important part of the Austrian Cuisine.

The story goes that good old Kaiser Franz Josef's habit was to eat very hasty and quick. Courts tradition in turn did not allow anyone to eat before or after the emperor has laid back his cutlery. Therefore his entourage often left the meal terribly hungry. In consequence they went to the Sacher, to get what they needed.
Famous Anna Sacher invented a dish, which was able to boil and simmer for ages without loosing quality. This is how the story goes about the creation of Tafelspitz.
Soon also Austrias emperor loved to have his daily beef, be it a part of the tip or the rump.

Tafelspitz is served with spinach, fried egg, potatoe mash and different sauces and gravy. 

Tradition has it that you eat the hearty soup served in a copper cauldron together with the Markscheibe on toasted dark bred.
Tafelspitz at its best!

Try it at Vienna's best place .... Plachutta, where this traditional dish is served in its unique way.
The oxes and calves are all  from the farmyard grown up in the juicy meadows of Lower Austria and Styria. You will definitely taste the difference!

You can opt for 3 different places to try out:

-  At vienna's city centre
wollzeile 38, 1010 Vienna
+43 1 512 15 77

-  Near schloss schoenbrunn
Auhofstrasse 1, 1130 Vienna
+43 1 877 70 87

-  At vienna's vineyards
Heiligenstädterstrasse 179, 1190 Vienna
+43 1 370 41 25

The yummy part is where rump and silverside join to form the bum!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Vienna - We know the colours that go

The greens make their way to
Vienna's "Stadtpark"

Still greyish Vineyards near Vienna

First pink Paeonia in the city discovered
Viennese people call it a "Pfingstrose" 

Golden Johann Strauss
is happy that the sun's out again

Purple lilac is a common plant these April-days
Viennese call it "Flieder"

Mediterranean blue for Vienna's statues
Where to find?

At the monkish influenced U-Bahn Station Stadtpark

Enjoy the colours of Vienna!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Let's cook ..... Wiener Schnitzel!

I think it's time to focus on food again.
What about cooking the favourite austrian dish? Some years ago I was teaching ladies from all over the world how to make a real good Schnitzel. Let me share with you now this delicious recipe!

This probably is the most traditional Austrian dish you can get.
The original Wiener Schnitzel is made from veal, but it can be made also from chicken, turkey or more popular in Vienna, from pork.
And tradition also has it, that it goes best with potatoe salad and a slice of lemon.

Wiener Schnitzel
  • 1 kg Turkey breast
  • 2-3 eggs
  • 500g breadcrumbs
  • 200g flour
  • Salt
  • Oil
Cut the turkey into slices, like you want the Schnitzel to be.
Put the flour in one bowl, the breadcrumbs in another and the mixed eggs in another.
Salt the flour.

Now take each slice of meat and bed it into the flour. After coating it put in the next bowl with the eggs, coat it again well and finally coat it with the breadcrumbs. Get rid of any loose breadcrumbs by pressing them down firmly.

After doing so with all the meat heat up the oil in a big pan. Pour in enough oil, so that the Schnitzel can „swim“ slightly.

Fry them at medium to high heat, very slowly and carefully, otherwise they will burn immediately.

Potatoe Salad
  • 600g potatoes
  • 250 ml beef stock
  • 60g sliced spring onions or leek
  • 6 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 tbsp vinegar
  • Salt, pepper, mustard
Cook the potatoes, then peel them. Cover them with the beef stock immediately after slicing them – add onions—mix together.

It should result in a slightly creamy dressing.

Add oil and vinegar (apple vinegar preferred) and a dash of salt, pepper and a bit of english or Dijon mustard and pour over everything over the salad.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Vienna Easter Markets

Easter Markets are open again in Vienna. Two of the best known in Vienna can be found in the city centre ('Freyung Easter Market') and in front of Schoenbrunn Palace. They are not as big and not yet as popular as Christmas markets in Vienna, but certainly worth a visit. 
Freyung Market offers a variety of paschal and not so paschal products at more than 50 stands as well as the biggest egg-mountain in Europe (don't try to climb it!). It is open daily until 25th April from 10am to 8pm.
Schoenbrunn Market is at similar size with around 50 stalls selling the usual suspects, and also offering a nice program for kids (like producing easter rabbits from almond paste - marzipan) as well as for adults (from Jazz performances to Schubert's Missa in C in the lovely Schoenbrunn Chapel). Schoenbrunn Market is open daily until 25th April from 10am to 7pm. For further details check out this site.

Go there and enjoy Easter time in Vienna!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Easter 2011 in Vienna with Classical Music - Osterklang and Vienna Spring Festival

Easter week is probably one of the nicest times to visit Vienna (besides spring, summer, autumn and winter). As the New Year's Concert is long gone by now, it is time to dive into Viennas classical spring. There are (amogst many others) two events which you can enjoy these days - Osterklang in the Theater an der Wien from 15th to 25th April, and of course the Vienna Spring Festival, this year for the twentieth time, from 26th March to 17th May in the Musikverein.
Osterklang will host international stars like Magdalena Kožená, Patricia Petibon and Annette Dasch as well as the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, who will perform the opening. Further highlights will be Antonín Dvořák's Biblical Songs, Josef Suk's Asrael, Franz Liszt's Legend of Saint Elisabeth and the opening opera Dialogues des Carmélites of Francis Poulenc.
The Vienna Spring Festival will be the home for around 70 concerts with one clear highlight: the newly restored organ. It was the star at the opening concert, and you will have alltogether 8 opportunities to listen to the now fourth organ in the Golden Hall of the Vienna Musikverein.

More information here, on Osterklang and the Vienna Spring Festival

Vienna Pop Festival 2011

It is less than a month to go before one of the many music festivals in Vienna is opening its doors - the 'Vienna Popfest'. The open air festival is running from 5th to 8th May, and as at many of these events in Vienna, the entry is free. Although the festival features popular music, the venue is a classic one - the lake stage in front of the baroque St.Charles church in the centre of Vienna. You might be wondering why it is called lake stage - well, other Austrian festivals like Bregenz or Moerbisch have their lake stages too, and as there is quite a big pond in front of the church... 
The festival is going to host numerous Austrian artists like rapper Skero, the new vocal sensation Lylit, or political singer songwriter Gustav. There will be around 40 acts, and the final program can be found here from 14th April.

Directions from bluedanube apartments - easy as usual. U1/U2/U4 station Karlsplatz, and a short 5 minute walk from there will take you right into the heart of Austrian popular music.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What do William & Kate have to do with Austrian candies?

until 17th April you can bid on this couple on ebay - hurray!

The story of PEZ started in Austria nearly a century ago.

In 1927 the PEZ candy was invented by Eduard Haas III. It was originally developed as "luxury confectionary for an elegant world" - with valuable peppermint aroma. The product primarily addressed adult consumers at this time. PEZ was a refreshing candy and a cigarette substitute for smokers, and the candies were sold in small tins.

Sometime in the 40ies Eduard Haas III had the idea of creating a PEZ dispenser. Thus in 1949 the PEZ box was first invented: A small plastic candy dispenser shaped like a cigarette lighter.

In the 1950s the dispenser became a best-seller in the United States, with Japan following in the 1970s.

Eduard Haas III quickly realized the potential of his product for children; the company began developing fruit-flavoured varieties and the cartoon heads were put on top of the PEZ dispensers, starting with the popular Disney characters Mickey and Donald.

Since then PEZ dispensers have become highly sought-after collector’s items and PEZ has built a strong standing as a cult brand.

PEZ nowadays is available in over 80 countries, the brand’s key markets are Europe, the United States and Japan. The Group manufactures 80 million dispensers and 4.6 billion PEZ candies every year.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Discover Belvedere's hidden gem - The Botanic Garden - Video

While you may know Belvedere Palace as a stunning historic attraction there is this other, very different kind of attraction. This Garden does not really belong to the grounds of Belveders but  is bordering it.
The garden was founded 1754 by Maria Theresia as a "Hortus Medicus“ (a garden for Herbs and medical plants) and has been belonging to the University of Vienna for many years .

While we do not have the mild climate to have gardens like in the UK, the Vienna Botanic Garden has about 10,000 species, all of them a real interesting mix.

Join in, explore and wander through this garden with us: Botanic Garden (5min Video)
It's the first spring day this year!