wiseheart: (harper2)
Or rather St Pölten, since we hopped over right after breakfast and spent a couple of hours there before changing trains for home.

It was a lovely day, albeit a bit windy, and we had a grand old time. Went a round with the sightseeing "express", found insanely funny presents for our friends and been to the MU ice cream shop, where you can put together your own ice cream creation. We had little mishaps, too, like Mum sliding from the seat at the Thalia bookshop and knocking over her coffee at Hager's (a shame for the excellent double espresso of which she couldn't save a drop), but fortunately, nothing really bad happened.

We're home now - thank God it was everything in the best order with the flat, too - content but deadly tired. It was a really nice trip, I can recommend Krems/Stein an der Donau to everyone interested in lovely town with medieval cores. And the people are extremely friendly and helpful, even by Austrian measures.

Our souvenirs, little gifts, etc.



Little details for those who understand German:



wiseheart: (Lancelot)
The penultimate day of our holiday began with a pleasant surprise. I found a bus stop near our hotel, which means we won't have to waste any money on a taxi tomorrow. We just have to walk 20 metres or so and we'll be at the railway station with in 10 minutes.

Today, we took the bus to the local shopping centre, just because we were curious what it was like. We spent a couple of hours with window shopping; all we actually bought were some rolls for supper and a pair of hand towels.

Then we took the bus again and went back to the city centre and had lunch at the Nordsee restaurant. These are very nice little self-serving restaurants, selling all sorts of fish. After that, we paid another visit the lovely little vinegar, oil and spirits shop and left it with a small bottle of strawberry liquor.

No other plans for today. We'll pack our suitcase and rest. Tomorrow we'll start our journey home, with a stop in St Pölten. We love that town, and since we have to change trains there anyway, we're planning to spend there a few hours before going home for good.
wiseheart: (harper)
On rather Stein, that is, which is part of Krems nowadays but a great deal older. Lovely medieval buildigs overall - admittedly, many of them rebuilt several times during the last century or five - and gorgeous iced coffee to have, which is a blessing in this heat.

We visited the shop of the Bailoni apricot distillery and bought various sorts of apricot liquor (in tiny little flasks) and apricot-filled chocolate that might not survibe tha journey home in this heat. If it melts, then sadly, we'll have to make the ultimate sacrifice and eat it ourselves, instead of giving it away. Life is hard sometimes...

Right now, a storm is brewing, but I hope to manage another short trip to the city centre before it breaks out in earnest.
wiseheart: (Default)
Today was the day of epic climbings - being a town with a medieval core, Krems has been built on a hill, or perhaps on several hills, I'm not really sure. Mum was very tough about it, actually tougher tha I expected. But we were fairly done in in the end, do we decided to have lunch in a local eatery and return to our hotel early.

Lunch was a bombastic affair, though. We had Marillenknödel, that is apricot rolls with apricot compot. This us the Wachau, after all, a true apricot region. The things were delicious, but came in fist-sized dimensions, so that we could barely stand up afterwards. The Austrians clearly don't believe in small portions. ;))

Now we are resting a bit, as we still have three days to master, and neither of us is getting any younger. But it was a great day nonetheless.
wiseheart: (Gildor)
Again, we had a lovely day. In the morning, we saw some sights, during which my szandált died on me. Fortunately, this is a country where the shoe industry takes people with swollen feet under consideration, so I actually found some lovely new ones on sale.

Around mid-day, we returned to the hotel, ate some soup and slept about three hours. After that, we went back to the shops, trying - and failing - to find little presents for Mum's oldest friend, had coffee in a street café and made an epic bus tour. Not quite as long as the one we made with [livejournal.com profile] artemis10002000 in Hamburg a few years ago, but it was a lot faster, with the bus going up and down steep, crooked little streets at a suicidal speed, so it was quite adventurous.

I took some photos, but I need to upload them to my laptop first, as it used my camera instead the tablet, so you'll have to wait for them a little longer.
wiseheart: (coffee)
Well, the first day of our holidays is almost over. We had a pleasant enough journey, even though everyone seems to think that air conditioners should always run at the highest possible setting, only God knows why. We actually froze on the train!

Krems is a lovely Austrian town, our first impressions are very positive. Mum managed the day surprisingly well; I hope and pray that it will last she deserves some fun in her life. Tomorrow, we'll start to work ourselves through the sights, little baby step by littlw baby step. All in all, it promises to be a nice experience.
wiseheart: (Tosh_flowers)
Sorry for the long absence. Stupid shingles - they are so redundant and so unpleasant. The only thing I can still do as I always do is baking, strangely enough. Why kneading the dough doesn't cause any pain I can't imagine, but I'm counting my small blessings.

Anyway, here are a few pictures about our Easter table. Some of you already got them via e-mail, but I'm so proud of it that I wanted to share. Let's start with the general view:



Now let's take a closer look at the edible parts. There are carrot and Nutella bunnies, traditional, hard-boiled red eggs, cumin-and-garlic ham, home-made buns that are for some nebulous reason, called "molnárka" (=little millers) and, of course, chocolate bunnies and chickens and ducks and lambs and whatnots:



Even closer to the chocolate folk (and let me tell you that we were very modest; there is an insane amount of variations of this stuff over here, in all sizes, shapes and qualities, from milk chocolate to dark chocolate to white chocolate, flavoured with dozens of spices, so... yeah, we were modest):



And finally, my hand-painted egg-shells I display every Easter, despite the fact that they are over 30 years old. I still find them beautiful. Well, the sideboard in the background is well over 200 and still beautiful, so...:

wiseheart: (Uhura_tribble)
I've just realised that I forgot posting this photo:



It is basically a self-made felt Bethlehem scene, with Mary, two angels and the Wise Men from the East, otherwise known as the Three Kings: Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar. I simply pinned them to the wallpaper in my study, so that I can see them while working on the computer. All ornaments are from last year, I just never thought of displaying them this way before.

They'll be up until February 2, when the official Christmas period of the Church ends.
wiseheart: (Mycroft_drink)
May it be a better year than the previous one was, to us all. Over here, we'll still have 2016 for another half an hour or so, but I didn't want to be late.

On other news, I'm still sick like a dog, though getting better, very, very slowly. In the afternoon I had enough of my own misery and decided to bake a small cake: a sponge cake, with Bourbon vanilla pudding and pineapple jelly filling, to make Mum happy. I was very relieved that it turned out just fine - I had such bad luck with baking lately. Icing will be done tomorrow (= next year, hehehe), when I'll, hopefully, post a very pretty picture of it (unless I screw up the icing).

As tradition demands, we'll eat sausages at midnight and drink alcohol free champagne, just because it tastes better, IMO, and then I'll watch "Fresse 2016", Oliver Kalkofe's summary of the previous year. I'm sure he'll be merciless with 2016, and it will be hilariously funny as always.

So, my dear friends all over the globe, I wish you all a happy New Year, health and peace and goodwill of Men - okay, that one is for Christmas, but one can't wish for it often enough, right?

Cheers!
wiseheart: (Mycroft_shirtsleeves)
So, since this year I made so many Christmas candies - a lot of which I gave away to friends and colleagues - I decided not to bake industrial amounts of cookies for Christmas, just one very refined cake. A truffle cake, to be more accurate, which is a sponge cake, the flour in which is mostly replaced by ground almonds, and the creme is dark chocolate boiled in sweet cream and cooled in the fridge.

So far so good... )

Other than that, Mum and I spent about an hour wallowing in childhood memories after breakfast while binding pieces of thread on the Christmas candies, so that we can hang them onto the Christmas tree. This year's tree has the theme "paper" - everything on it will be self-made, of different sorts of paper. *is excited* I'll post a pic when it's done.

Unfortunately, a great part of Christmas tree decorating will fall to poor Mum, since I'm sick like a dog again and am not allowed to spend much time on the balcony that doesn't have any heating.
wiseheart: (Default)
Photos behind the tag cause I don't want to slow down anyone's Friends page.
Read more... )

We raised good money on the fair, so we'll be able to buy those bandaging tables with all the extras for the hospice of dying children we collected for this year. Our Christmas concert went well yesterday evening, too, so we've done our best to raise some true Christmas cheer, I believe.
wiseheart: (coffee)
So, my darlings, the Christmas cards are on their way to those who've checked back with potential address changes. Five more are waiting for address check, so if you folks [livejournal.com profile] artemis10002000, [livejournal.com profile] ideealisme, [livejournal.com profile] espresso_addict and [livejournal.com profile] red_day_dawning, not to mention [livejournal.com profile] avon7 could PM me, I would be grateful. As for the others, can you tell me when they arrive? I would like to know that postal service didn't eat them. Thanks.
wiseheart: (coffee)
Since we found the town so appealing during our summer holiday, Mum and I decided to go and visit their Christmas market yesterday. It's only a little more than 3 hours by train, and you can reach the city centre by a 5-minute walk directly from the railway station, so not too tiring, even for Mum.

Well, the Christmas market itself was fairly uneventful, at least until late afternoon, when we, sadly, had to come home. But the Christmas fever was high in town. Below a few photographs to illustrate - not very good ones, taken with my iPad, but they will serve.

The shop window of the amazing vinegar-and-oil shop:


A little advertisement next to the shop door:


A Milka shop window with purple Santa:


The same shop window with a Christmas tree, decorated entirely in purple:
(Sorry for the pic quality, the shop window mirrored the other side of the street rather strongly.)


The little gifts we bought for friends and family:


And yes, you saw it correctly: it is Christmas toilet paper! The mind boggles!


All in all, it was a fun day, which we enjoyed greatly. We drank apple-amaretto punch at the fair, visited a good café we had discovered during our summer stay, I saw drool-worthy things for DIY and crafts (and heroically resisted the urge to buy a waggon full of wonderful but unnecessary things - go me!), ate bretzel and generally had a great old time.
wiseheart: (Uhura_tribble)
What do you think?



There are small treats in the backpacks of the Christmas Elves. The calendar will serve us this year, each Elf individually pinned up on my bedroom wall, and next year I'll give it away to a family with small children. Several of my colleagues have grandchildren, so I can pick one easily.

Wishing you all a quiet time of rest and reflexion before Christmas.
wiseheart: (coffee)
Apologies for the belated entry. As you can see, we are back, safe and sound, by the grace of God. I was just too tired to post last nighg when we got hó me around 9 PM.

The last day was slightly less fun than the others because it was raining steadily all day, and we had already packed our umbrella away and left it with our luggage.
Picspam behind the cut )

All in all, we had a grand time. I can recommend the place to any one who wants more relaxed holidays than one would find in famous places.
wiseheart: (coffee)
We absolved our cultural programme today. Meaning the City Museum and a sightseeing tour with the City Express, which was nice. It took us to the modern Government Quarter, which we wouldn't have visited otherwise - I am not into modern architecture at all - and that for free!

The museum was interesting, too. They had exponates as far back as the Stone Age, an exposition about city history - we were shown a short film about Kaiser Franz Josef's visit to St Pölten in 1910 - and a small one that consisted mostly of Art Nouveau paintings and a few pieces of matching furniture. We chose not to visit the exposition of modern art... not our cup of tea.

Afterwards, we had coffee in a very nice café, did a bit of window shopping, and I found another Dr Who DVD, The Five Doctors, which I promptly bought. Then we returned ti the hotel and rested a few hours. It was overdue.

Around 5pm we went to have dinner at the fish and chips shop we had dicső ered yesterday, did a little more window shopping and finally landed at the Mu gelateria to gorge ourselves in ice cream.

So,this was our last full day in St Pölten. Tomorrow afternoon we're going home. It was great - I might summarize my impressions later, when I post some photos - but it was enough. I hope we'll find everything in order at home, and then I'll be content with our summer.
wiseheart: (coffee)
In the morning, we made a trip to Linz, which is a rather large city in the neighbourhood - the same one we visited last year. It is a mere 45 minutes by train, and we'd bought the ticket as far as Linz in advance. Unfortunately, no one warned us not to board the trains of Westbahn, as it is a private company, and we had to get off the train half-way and continue our journey by some slow local shuttle.

Well, no matter. We reached Linz, half an hour later than expected - and learned, to our sorrow, that the lovely little traditional bakery we'd visited every day last year had closed. After 150 years! I don't know the reasons, but it is sad.

Anyway, we went to the local Thalia, which is something similar like Borders was in the UK, and I had great fun in the baking and DIY department. We also had coffee there, and I bought the boxed edition of Earth: Final Conflict's 2nd season. They had the 3rd season, too, but it was too expensive for my purse. Perhaps it's just come out and will gradually become cheaper. Hopefully.

Then we used our 24-hour-ticket to travel around Linz by tram for another hour or so visited a few little shops, and finally took the 15:14-hour train back to St Pölten. There we ate in the local equivalent of a fish&chips shop and are currently resting in our hotel room. But we're planning to go back to the fantastic ice cream shop later.

Coming up tomorrow: a visit in the Museum of City History and, hopefully, a ride on the sightseeing train.
wiseheart: (coffee)
Poor Mum woke up to an unpleasant surprise today: she lost a loose tooth. It's fortunate that she didn't swallow it in her sleep, but as it is one of her front teeth, she is still unhappy about it, the poor thing.

After breakfast we went back to the historic city cente and saw practically everything there is to see. I made lots of photos that I'll post later. Then we had excellent coffee in a beautiful café, and I even found some classic!Who DVDs in the local Müller's.

We had midday meal in the hotel restaurant and took an extended break afterwards. We intend to go and see the Art Nouveau synagogue in the afternoon.

Edit:
We saw the synagogue - from the outside. It no longer fenti one as a temple and can only be visited in groups an at certain times. Too bad, I would have liked to Compared its inside with the one in Budapest.

We went to the funniest ice cream shop i've seen so far, though. You get a paper cup and you can prepare it any way you want. There were dozens of toppings and sauces and decorations and cubed fresh fruit, not to mention seven different kinds of ice creme. In the end, you put your cup on the scales and pay depending on the weight of the stuff you heaped into it.

We had pineapple and wild berry ice cream with brownie crumbs, strawberry and kiwi cubes and crushed baiser as toppings and caramel sauce. It was glorious. We decided to repeat the experience at least twice more. It isn't cheap, granted, but only slightly more expensive than regular ice cream - and the simply can't be compared!

For more details:
www.gelateriamu.it
wiseheart: (coffee)
After a somewhat adventurous journey (for some reason the train stood for half an hour somewhere in the prairie, with repeated promises that we'll continue "soon") we arrived in St Pölten at half past ten.

Our hotel is a nice, comfortable place about 200 metres from the railway station, and the historic town centre is about thrice as far in the opposite direction. Ideally situated - I was really lucky to find it. It has its own Gasthof, which is basically a small, old-fashioned restaurant with traditional Austrian cuisine. They offer a daily menu (cooked lunch, including a hearthy soup and two second courses of which you can choose) for a reasonable price even we can afford. I can gighly recommend the place to everyone.

After lunch we went exploring. Have found the cathedral... It is one of those horribly Baroque places where the excellent craftsmanship is really wasted on the terrible design. The simple Baroque townhouses that somehow remained in their original state are very nice, though.

We also saw the "Löwenapotheke", that is the pharmacy of the Golden Lion, which is the oldest continually functioning shop of the city. There will be pictures later, when is am home.

Thanks for the good thoughts, my friends, so far we've had a good time. I hope it will remain so for the rest of our holidays.
wiseheart: (Gildor)
We're going to St Pölten for the next five day. Wish us a safe trip. * waves*

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