Dave's Photo & Travelblogue

Photo shoots. World travel advice. Tips on Munich & environs.

Around The World Update

As my regular readers may remember, I’m doing a trip around the world this summer! Here’s an update of the itinerary:

May 08-May 17 Peru
May 18-June 02 Hawaii
June 04-June 18 New Zealand
June 07-June 11 Side trip, NZ to Sydney
June 19-July 04 Japan
July 04-July 27 Thailand
July ??-July ?? Side trip, Thai to Malay/Vietnam?
July 28 Return to Munich

If you’re in any of these spots at the same time, let me know, perhaps we can meet!

World_Map_DavesTrip

So, what’s left on my to-do list? A LOT, believe me! I need malaria tablets, zip ties, luggage locks, DEET bug repellant, a few more vaccinations… and I have to learn a bit of Spanish and Japanese.

What can you expect from the blog while I’m on this trip? I’m not 100% sure yet, but here are some of the ideas I’ve been kicking around:

  • Short post with a photo-a-day (delayed slightly due to spotty internet access)
  • Tales about a bottle of Blair’s Death Sauce I’ll bring with me (haven’t decided what flavor)
  • Mini-reviews of the places where I stay: mostly hostels
  • Descriptions of hikes and other sights I see (maybe after I return from the trip)
  • Anything else you’d like to see or hear? Leave a comment and I’ll see what I can do!

I’m also interested to get any special tips you might have about the countries I’ll visit. To give you some ideas, I’ll start with a few of my own hot tips from the last year:

  • Hong Kong: Sushi One has half-price sushi after 10pm. And it’s some of the best sushi I’ve ever had, with a huge selection of a la carte items I’d never seen before!
  • Taiwan: In the town of Hualien, near Taroko Gorge, there’s a huge restaurant with fantastic (and cheap) food. It’s full of locals, and it was super-tasty. Probably a taxi driver could find this full-city-block restaurant:

http://twhl.inbegin.com/html/front/bin/ptdetail.phtml?Part=chfood0025

  • Austrian Alps: Fantastic skiing can be had during the pre- and post-season at Hintertux Glacier. For the non-skiers they have a very cool limestone cave at the Spannagelhaus, and an Ice Palace cave at the very top of the mountain. The limestone cave (and probably ice palace as well) are open all year round, in case you’re a summer visitor.
  • Vienna: You must see the Iron Man near Vienna’s Rathaus (city hall). There are hundreds of thousands of nails pounded into this wooden statue and pedestal.

http://traveldave.com/index.php/2010/01/ironman-lives-in-vienna/

Happy traveling on your own vacations, and hope to see some of you along the way!

Posted 11 years, 8 months ago at 2:24 pm.

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George Clooney at the Votivkirche?

This seems like a fitting post for Christmas day.  When I was in Vienna last week, I spotted this massive advertisement on a large cathedral that is being restored.

The "Nespresso" Votivkirche?

What is this… the Votivkirche, sponsored by Nespresso? Is George Clooney inside to serve me a latte while I check out the stained glass windows? (Which are stunning, by the way). Actually, it was d*mn cold (and snowing), so I could have used a nice cappucino…

Stained Glass at the Votivkirche

This is a cool cathedral, which is unusual coming from an agnostic/atheist such as myself who has been bored by hundreds of big churches across Europe. They seem to have some sense of humor here, judging from the big Clooney out front. Maybe they’ve seen this Nespresso ad,

YouTube Preview Image

If I read one of the signs inside the cathedral correctly, it said that they thought the chandeliers were iron, until cleaning them sometime mid-20th century, to find they were beautiful and shiny underneath (bronze?). Imagine that!

The classical view from the back of the cathedral…

Beautiful arches at the Votivkirche

In the entryway, this really got me… and it proves the sense of humor. There are two postcard dispensers, and as you can see, one of ’em is empty…

Postcard dispensers: heaven and hell?

I guess the sinners in hell won’t be sending any postcards!

Getting there:

  • Simple. First, go to Vienna. When you’ve got a free hour, here is the Votivkirche on Google Maps.
  • It’s also right next to the Sigmund-Freud-Park, where there are some interesting pieces of sculpture art.

Posted 11 years, 11 months ago at 12:00 pm.

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Vienna Christmas Markets

Here’s a quick update from Vienna (Wien, auf Deutsch)!

Go to the Christmas Markets if you’re here before the 24th of December. They are fantastic! Lots of great food, drink, and crafts (for those into that kind of thing). Here’s the view of the Rathaus (city hall) from the city’s main Weihnachtsmarkt / Christkindlmarkt, although there are many others as well.
Vienna Rathaus - Christmas Time

The Natural History Museum by Maria-Theresienplatz (where there is also a Christmas Market) is very cool. Though I warn you, it’s huge. If you follow the normal path you’ll pass halls full of minerals, meteorites, exhibits about the planet, dinosaurs, then up to Level 2 for… (I only had 10min left for this part after spending 2+h on Level 1) microorganisms, insects, reptiles, birds, and mammals. There is a stuffed version of EVERY (former) LIVING THING in this museum. Vegetarians and taxidermy-haters, this is not for you. Finally, at the moment there’s a cool Darwin exhibit (very scientific, and not very creationist), and a small vivarium with fish and a few lizards.

Here’s my pick from Natural History (I only took a dozen photos). Jurassic Park will start its first location in Vienna, with the city’s collection of amber-ized bugs:
Spider in amber at the Natural History Museum in Vienna
Seriously, I think in the mid-1800’s they just got bored and decided to collect one of everything known to man. Rocks, fossils, taxidermied this and that… unbelievable how big this place is.

Lastly, if you need a REAL deep cleaning, better call ASS. Their website URL speaks for itself… doesn’t it? No, it’s not what you think. It stands for Anlagen Service System. This really is a mobile service for (I think) pressure washing and building cleaning.
ASS - Anlagen Service System

Restaurant pick: Asahi Restaurant (Japanese), Burggasse 18, 1070 Wien. 01/522 71 40. 48a St. Ulrichsplatz or U3 Volkstheater. Tasty sushi, and among the cheapest sushi I’ve found in Europe. Octopus salad for 5 euro was a bit chewy but otherwise good, and sushi / sashimi / maki combos for 8-12 euro are a steal.

If you want some tourist advice, I recommend the guidebook brand that my parents brought:

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Posted 11 years, 11 months ago at 11:20 pm.

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