Vienna – The Magical Winter City

As soon as you arrive in Vienna, a journey through time starts, where the past and the present combine right in front of your eyes. The architecture is absolutely stunning, and the sound of the horses making their way through the city center, opens a gateway to a different time. A place which screams history!

Some of the world’s biggest musicians (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Joseph Haydn, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Schuber, Johann Strauss and many others) called Vienna their home, and after a few hours spent in the gorgeous city, I could see why.

Combining a walk through the center, with a visit at Empress Sisi’s palace, and a day of shopping at the famous Christmas Market, this city has something which always makes me want to come back.

Schönbrunn Palace

The Schönbrunn Palace, meaning “beautiful spring“, is Empress Sisi’s former imperial summer residence. Built in the 1740’s, the Palace is currently one of the most important historical monuments in Austria. Starting 1996, it’s part of the UNESCO World Heritage together with its beautiful gardens.

I’m not sure if the picture gives you a correct feeling about how big this place really is, but believe me, a few hours are not enough to see everything the Palace has to offer.

The carriage museum, the roman ruins, the palm house and the desert houses are only a few of the main attractions. Even more, during winter, Schönbrunn garden is also home of a Christmas Market, which is guaranteed to get you into the spirit of the season.

Surrounded by an enormous garden (over a square kilometer), which hosts the oldest Zoo in the world, this place is absolutely fascinating, and definitely worth a visit.

The Christmas Market

Considering that the first Viennese Christmas Market took place in 1298, we can say Vienna has a long tradition of bringing the seasonal joy into our homes. DSCF9589 The most famous Christmas Market takes place during November and December, in front of the City Hall (Rathaus) located on the Rathausplatz. There are a few more markets scattered around Vienna, though, competing with the latter, in Schönbrunn and on Spittelberg. The aromas of the Christmas delights, combined with the seasonal decorations and wood toys displayed in the small wooden market stalls, have their own magical power.

If you love Christmas, there’s no better place to be during winter, than in Vienna. In case you decide to visit, don’t forget to try the famous Wiener Schnitzel, the hot baked potatoes, roasted chestnuts, and a glass of wine, for which the city is so famous for.

Planting Tulips

Only a few days of colder weather and I’m already thinking about spring. By thinking about spring, I mean thinking about the beautiful flowers which will bloom when it gets warmer. I just can’t wait for that moment! Don’t we all?

I love all spring flowers, but tulips are definitely my favorite. 

After some research on how it’s done, I’ve decided to plant today a few white and purple tulip bulbs, in the garden. Lisa, my trustful bodyguard, made sure it all goes smoothly. 

As I’ve never planted tulips before, I hope I got it right (with Lisa’s precious help, I’m pretty sure I did) and we’ll see some pretty flowers blooming, in the spring. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Ultimate Control – Level Expert Unlocked

We all teach our dogs different tricks, from the most important ones (sit, stay, wait), to the funniest ones. And our pups love to listen to us. Anything to make the human happy, right?And Lisa totally loves to make her pack members smile.

DSC_1855Keeping this in mind, I’ve decided to take a challenge, and see if I succeed.  With a bit of practice, the results are fantastic!

I present to you what I believe is the hardest trick for a dog.

I take the treat, ask her to sit nicely, then place the cookie on her head, and give her the command to wait. After a few seconds, I tell her to go for it, and before you can blink or ask yourself ‘where did it go?’, the treat is gone. I tell you for sure, the word ‘go’ is the most desired command of the day, especially when you have a yummy cookie placed gently between your eyes!

She learned the trick in only one week, so I think it’s not bad at all. Who said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks? 🙂

Driving with the dog

20141108_143133Road trips can be hard on our pets. Some hate it, others bare with it, Lisa loves it. I guess it depends on the dog.

She’s a very well behaved pup, so it’s easy to take her along everywhere we go. To make sure she’s comfortable in the car, I always take her blanky along, feed her plenty of treats, and stop often for water and short walks.

Here are a few pictures from our latest trip. When the car is running, she’s either sleeping or looking out the window. When the car stops, she loves to check out what’s going on in the front of the car. Always puts a smile on my face.

Has anyone seen the rest of my dog? I am missing the wagging tail! 🙂

Relationship Status: Who cares?!

If you use Facebook you probably have at least one friend like this. Which friend I’m talking about? That friend who’s always single during the week, in a relationship during the weekend, and has the acute need to advertise it, like every person they meet is THE ONE.

Then breaks up, deletes all the pictures, and posts a status in which drama is overflowing into every one of their friend’s News Feed. After a few such dramatic posts, someone tries to be ‘nice’ and asks: ‘What’s wrong?‘ or ‘What happened?‘. The answer comes shortly after: ‘I don’t want to talk about it.’ or ‘Message me on private‘. I always have to wonder: Why on Earth do you whine about it in public then, if you don’t want to talk about it?!

This person is very heartbroken, posts quotes about how the nasty ex is guilty for everything bad happening in the world (Ebola and the Global Warming suddenly appear into the picture) and about how strong you have to be during such moments.

After this, the period when the friend tries to appear happy arrives. They post pictures with descriptions like: ‘With my friends xoxo‘ , ‘My dog who won’t break my heart like others do‘, ‘On this amazing trip, getting drunk and having fun‘ and so on. 52484175

And this goes on and on for months, until he/she is in a good mood after being in a few months of stable relationship (what an accomplishment! *rolling eyes*) during which you are bombarded with pictures of ‘the meal we ate together‘, ‘us holding hands at my fish’s funeral‘, and other such ‘important’ moments in the life of a couple.

If they don’t break up (which involves again deleting pictures, and posting nasty quotes) they get married after five months and divorced one year later, when the cycle restarts.

I’m talking about that friend which goes on the profile page and when Facebook asks ‘What’s on your mind?‘, takes it too seriously, and uses the wall as a tissue.

Why would some people who barely know you (coworkers, colleagues from school, people you added to play games with) be interested in what’s going on in your bedroom? Isn’t it a bit embarrassing to invite in your bed a bunch of strangers? Oh, you post it for your ex? Right … Please, tell me more about how those posts will fix things between your two, or make him/her feel worse about the way things didn’t work out.

Why does Facebook need to know what’s going on in your private life? If your future employer looks through your profile, would he feel impressed about your changing dates more often than your underwear?

What happens on the internet, stays on the internet. Do you want, in 30 years from now, to have an electronic list of all the people who ever checked-in in your bed?

Believe me, no one cares! You just amuse some of your ‘friends’ (usually the ones who ask for more details and act interested) and get others to pity you, and delete you from their list.

So, do yourself and us all a favor, stop being such drama queens and stop wiping your nose on a status message. Invest the time wasted for all this nonsense, into actually fixing and dealing with what needs to be solved.

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I apologize for the large amount of sarcasm, but it just had to be said 🙂