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Trailing the Krampus

Trailing the Krampus

It is cold and dark. It’s November 24, and I have been waiting in the bitter cold behind metallic fences for more than an hour. Many others, both children and adults, wait for the Krampuslauf (Krampus parade) to start. Some are drinking Punsch, and everyone appears excited. I have seen pictures of the Krampus, but […]

Life is not Fair

Life is not Fair

Walking through the snowy Vienna streets so close to April, it’s hard to ignore the many complaints. That’s nothing new from the Viennese, but one comment made me smile: “It was so warm for a few days and I got used to it, this snow is just not fair.” Fair? Really? Since when is weather […]

April Fool’s Schmäh

April Fool’s Day is the day every practical joker looks forward to. Even Jack Frost, known as a mischievous spirit, has had his fun with us this year by sending yet another chill of winter, covering Vienna in a blanket of snow. But it was the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) that pulled off one of the biggest hoaxes of […]

Ice-skating on the Rooftops of Vienna

Ice-skating on the Rooftops of Vienna

The largest ice-skating rink in Vienna opened 17 Nov. in front of Schloss Wilhelminenberg. Spanning 200m², Schloss Wilhelminenberg On Ice is also the highest ice rink in the city, situated on the Eastern slope of the Gallitzinberg in the 16th-District portion of the Wienerwald. With the motto “Ice skating over the roofs of Vienna”, views […]

Es Weihnachtet! Christmas Markets Fill the City

Es Weihnachtet! Christmas Markets Fill the City

Nothing says Christmas in Vienna like its quintessential Christmas markets, popping up all over the city this November. Vienna is home to several markets – each of which offers its own assortment of handicrafts, holiday charm, and of course, Glühwein, its famous mulled wine. Fun meets culture at the Spittelberg Christmas Market as more than […]

The Taming of the Cold

The days are growing shorter. It is already getting dark as I leave the office; the air stings my face and I wrap up my woolly scarf tighter as I head down the street toward my tram stop on the Ringstrasse. It’s almost winter; what did I expect? Suddenly, the warm aroma of roasting chestnuts […]

Beating Holiday Stress To the Punsch

It is a scientifically proven fact that people who spend too much time in shopping malls in November and December start to exhibit signs of psychosis, particularly when additionally exposed to Christmas carols.  But, tu felix Austria, don’t despair, Christkindlmärkte (Christmas markets) are the perfect counterweight to the hectic modern holiday season, bringing old-fashioned cosiness […]

Notes from Nature: Life or Death

After a brief respite of a few spring-like days, winter is back. But living in the city, perhaps we don’t always feel the full force of the seasons. For many people, snowfall in Vienna means little more than pulling on stout boots and de-icing cars in the morning – minor inconveniences at most. Within hours, […]

Skating the Danube

Skating the Danube

We went skating today for the first time this winter and it couldn’t have been more perfect. In spite of the traditional warnings on the wien.at website that skating on the Alte Donau is at one’s own risk, off we went to the Gänsehäufel. There we found what I, as a native New Englander, wait […]

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