Wednesday, September 29, 2010

one day in bratislava

we didn't end up staying overnight but i enjoyed my little day trip to bratislava all the same. kev and his work colleague dropped me off in a taxi from the train station on their way to the office. i suddenly found myself in the middle of the city (luckily its small) without having a clue where i was... and i didn't have a map! but i had a lotta fun exploring and spent the morning walking and taking pictures until i got too cold and decided to take refuge in a cosy little traditional bar where i drank beer and read my book for several hours in the afternoon (when it clouded over and started to rain). beer only €2 for 0.5 litre!
the city is only one hour by train from vienna.. and you're in a whole new country! (the pizza was delicious by the way).

Monday, September 27, 2010

someone stole my umbrella!

oh my. i just got back from a (very) short run. can't. breathe. chest. hurts. oh. help. this really can't be good for you?!

the weather has been pretty miserable this weekend. lots of torrential rain that just doesn't stop. but the sun is currently shining (for how long i'm not sure).

on saturday i meet up with mimie again (this time with kev) and we went to the flohmarkt at neubaugasse (which happens twice a year i think). i sort of forgot to take pictures except these two of some taxidermy (which i find kinda freaky).
there were stalls selling all kinds of different things... jeans, shoes, records, antiques... and there were several delicious looking food stalls and plenty of places selling sturm. and even a couple of bands set up (one in a bus stop!). unfortunately we didn't buy anything except a large 2 litre bottle of red sturm (most of which we polished off on saturday night!).

i went to café landtmann last night to meet a bunch of strangers (on a 'meet up'). it was a pleasant if somewhat random evening (i won't go into detail). it was pouring with rain outside and when i came to leave someone had STOLEN my umbrella! so not impressed! and it wasn't even mine! now i've got to go and buy two umbrellas. one to replace the one that got stolen (which was actually one of kev's colleagues) and another for me because both of mine are kaput.

some good news. i'm going to bratislava tomorrow with kev which is rather exciting! (just for one night). kev will be working but i get to explore a new city and hopefully take lots of pictures. yay.

Friday, September 24, 2010

happy box

a happy box arrived from amazon this week containing four new books for me and the new albums from interpol and arcade fire! i've been listening to them ever since. its a shame because lots of people don't buy cd's anymore but then you miss out on the (often) amazing artwork that accompanies the cd (and therefore the music). i also like it when they include the lyrics.
(check out this cool website)

when i was back in england i was a member of a book group. i really miss meeting up with the group and having great discussions whilst munching on yummy food prepared by the monthly host. i'm trying to remain a long distance member but i'm a few books behind (don't know how that happened considering i've got more time now than ever?!). the four books that arrived have all been picked by members of the group. i can't wait to get reading!
although i need to finish the book i'm currently reading first (its one hundred years of solitude by gabriel garcia marquez - i've never read anything quite like it. its so bizarre and surreal... but there is something about it that really draws you in. i love it).

sturm & great company

(the sky on my way to the naschmarkt yesterday evening)

last night i met up with mimie for a few drinks and she introduced me to the world of sturm. it didn't taste like alcohol at all? i'm hooked.
we had a lovely evening chatting. think i may have rambled on a little too much about my poor language skills. haha. but i think i have a blogging buddy!

Thursday, September 23, 2010


we went to halle again for dinner on saturday night. we seem to take all of our guests there... but i think its for a few reasons...
1. they have a menu written in english for easy reading (without me having to figure all the dishes out and tell everyone)
2. the service has been pretty good so far
3. there's usually a good atmosphere and i like the setting with the old ornate ceiling (even if they do play music which sounds like the same song over and over for hours and hours)
4. the food is consistently good.
anyway, we went and the service wasn't good (it was a weekend for it i think). we waited soooo long for our main courses after the starter (way over 45 minutes... i stopped looking). which isn't good at all. i noticed that several tables who arrived after us received their food before us (common theme)... which got me thinking that maybe they push orders from 'locals' ahead of orders from people they deem to be 'tourists'. best not think about that too much. hopefully i'm completely wrong but you can't help but wonder.
thankfully when the food arrived they were almost completely forgiven for the wait. it tasted exceptionally good. and of course i had to have the käseteller again! 
feta cheese wrapped in bacon (wouldn't have thought of doing that but really worked)
honey glazed duck with vegetable rice
classic burger and chips (sorry, very blurry)
saddle of lamb with mushrooms and other things i can't remember (no prizes for guessing this was mine)
and as you can see i didn't like it at all....

banana bread (with chocolate!)

i don't really like bananas but we had a few lying around going ripe so i thought i'd put them to some good use. i found this recipe but changed it a bit because kev HATES raisins so i put in some chopped up dark chocolate instead (i'd seen another recipe that had chocolate and caramelised ginger in it so thought it should work).
i couldn't seem to take a half decent picture of it because it was dark. i think it tastes good but it tastes too much of banana for my liking (funny that!). its fun making new recipes though. i'm new to this baking thing. i've realised there are so many things i'm missing in the kitchen. my dream is one of these!

i wanna try and make bread next.... need to google what yeast is in german. buying the right flour could be a bit tricky too....

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

the leaves are changing (and bad service alert)

on sunday we headed over to prater with julie and james so they could take a ride on the riesenrad (i've been on twice already so didn't feel the need to go on again).
as you can see it was a lovely day and so we enjoyed a walk back home through the park. i love seeing the colours of autumn. the leaves are just starting to change and fall. i can't wait to see the park in the winter.

on a completely different subject, i just remembered we had probably the worst service so far in vienna on sunday afternoon (in my opinion service here is pretty bad compared to what we are used to in the UK. food turns up at different times, you wait ages to order, get another drink or the bill. i could go on).

anyway, we went to the four bells irish pub to watch the manchester utd v liverpool football match. we were a bit peckish so thought we'd order a couple of bowls of chips to share. we ordered these straight away with our drinks. we finished these drinks and ordered more. i politely asked 'any idea where our chips are?', the response i got was 'we are busy'. we saw 2 other tables (who ordered after us) receive their food, big burgers, wings etc but we still didn't have our chips. i started to get quite annoyed but joked that maybe they had gone to ireland to dig up the potatoes to make the chips. the two bowls of chips eventually arrived approx 1 hour 10 minutes after we ordered them. he didn't even say sorry for the delay. kev politely said 'look we've waited too long for these. you can leave them if you want but we're not paying for them'. and the response.... 'I DON'T GIVE A SHIT'. you've gotta laugh.

weird combination?

whilst reading the blog a cup of jo i came across a link to this recipe. i love bread, feta, peas and egg so it sounded like a brilliant combo to me! i gave it a try yesterday for lunch and it was YUMMY. in fact, i'm going to make it again today.

(just noticed that my 100th post is about peas and feta on toast. ha. happy 100th post to my blog!)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

sun = beer!

i was grumpy when i woke up this morning. bad nights sleep (again). but its such a beautiful day that it couldn't help but lift my spirits. beautiful september sunshine!
i had no plans to go anywhere but it would have been almost criminal to stay inside so i wandered instead.
i decided to go and find a second hand warehouse place that i had read about called carla (or caritas? - not sure). it was pretty cool. full of stuff. but anything remotely good was really overpriced (disappointing!). but its for charity so i guess its okay. i was a bit embarrassed to take photos but here are a few so you get an idea.
there was also a corner full of tennis rackets and skis (and another corner full of commodes!). i only bought two little glass dishes for the whopping total of €1,30 but i will go back again. it was really interesting to look at everything. and you never know what you may find!

after my rummaging i stumbled across a nice looking bar with outside seating so thought i'd stop for a beer.
it was called kolar but having now googled it, it appears there are others in the city. this one was in the 4th district and hidden away so i liked it. the kolar pils tasted good too! 

after a little walk in the direction of home i then stopped for another beer. ottakringer this time but i'm not sure of the restaurant/bar name.
and after a lovely afternoon there was a beautiful rainbow again when i passed the fountain
but no pot of gold at the end unfortunately!