Four hours to kill at Vienna Airport?

There’s only one reasonable option, the delightfully Austrian-sounding Wine & More.

wines & more - but the wine is enough

It’s a comfortable and snazzy wine, cheese and specialty food shop/café with a decent sized offering of wines by the glass. I tried three but only took notes on two cuvees:

Reinisch Reserve 2007 – A cabernet sauvignon/merlot blend from the Johanneshof Reinisch Estate, located just 30 km south of Vienna in the village of Tattendorf. It’s a beautiful shade of ruby, with blackberry on the nose and delightfully chocolaty on the finish. Well-balanced and slightly edgy tannins give it some backbone to store well for the next few years. That’s what I convinced myself when I decided to take a bottle home. Reinisch is particularly known as one this area’s best red wine producers. Their website is here.

Gesselman Opus Eximium 2007 Cuvee No. 20 – This was certainly more ‘Austrian’ in style, given its composition: 60% blaufrankisch, 20% St. Laurent and 20% zweigelt. These aren’t reds you see everyday – unless you’re regularly passing through eastern Slovenia, western Hungary or southeastern Austria. But they do work together exceptionally well. More on Gesselman is here.

Oh, and there’s also a little smoking booth inside, a clean one, where you can enjoy your over-priced Monte Cristo.

From 1970: Austrian Art in the Albertina

Opened last Friday, through 11-January-2009.

Via ArtDaily:

Austrian art takes center stage in the second in a series of exhibitions showcasing highlights from the Albertina’s collection of 20,000 international contemporary artworks. 220 works by 33 artists.

Albertina’s website is here, and a list of the artists featured and a few snaps from the exhibit are here. Very nice gallery.

Daily 10 am to 6 pm
Wednesday 10 am to 9 pm
€ 9.50
Albertinaplatz 1
1010 Vienna

Albertina 01, originally uploaded by pirano.

January pic(k)s

This is a detail of this piece by Austrian sculptor Theo Blaickner at the Schillerplatz in Linz, Austria, one of a handful of my personal favorites shots taken in January. I’m not a big fan of guns but like how they look when very rusty. 

The rest of my personal faves, shot in Koper and Ljubljana, Slovenia, Linz, Austria, and Stuttgart are here.

Linz 009, originally uploaded by pirano.

30 Second Cheap Hotel Advisor – Linz, Austria II

Wienerstrasse 404-408
4030 Linz

Stayed three nights (Jan-2008)

I kept calling this place Le Petit Munchen for no reason besides the odd way that my limited French seems to effortlessly roll off my tongue in German-speaking countries. Weird.

Small room, small bed, small bathroom, basic breakfast. 45 EUR/night ain’t much, but I was expecting something more. Big minus is the distance from the center of Linz, roughly 15 minutes by tram; two lines run from the corner of the hotel, so it’s convenient in that sense. Big plus was free wi-fi in each room.

There’s a restaurant on the premises, basic Germanic fare.

I’m never one to say never, but I shall (probably) not return.

kleinmunchen-linz, originally uploaded by pirano.

A few Ljubljana rail deals…

I just picked up some tickets and info at the train station, so thought I’d list it here as well.

Slovenia Rail offers quite a few cheap rides to a variety of destinations. BUT it’s important to note that the number of cheap fares listed is very limited, usually six to eight seats per route, so buy early.

- Ljubljana – Belgrade – Six trains/day, 8.5-10 hrs.  25 EUR/one way
- Ljubljana – Budapest – daily departure at 7:40, arrival 16:23.  29 EUR/one way
- Ljubljana – Prague – daily departure at 10:18, arrival 21:55.  29 EUR/one way
- Ljubljana – Zurich – daily departure at 20:35, arrival 8:20.  29 EUR/one way
- Ljubljana – Munich – three per day, about 6.5 hrs.  71.40 EUR/round trip
- Ljubljana – Vienna – three per day, about 5.5 hrs.  29 EUR/one way
- Ljubljana – Venice – twice daily, just under 4 hrs.  15 or 25 EUR/one way

At the moment, purchase/reservation is not available via the web; here’s a link to purchase points. Check here for couchette/sleeper surcharges.

slo_train, originally uploaded by pirano.

Vienna Riding School Near Bankruptcy

This should please at least some in the on-going “Where are they REALLY from” debate: The AP reports that the 430-year-old school which features Slovenia’s renowned Lipizzaners, is on the verge of bankruptcy after showing a loss of EUR 1.9 million last year. A US tour was canceled, and at least part of a bailout plan includes increasing the number of local shows from 38 to 69 this year.

That’s a bad idea, according to some:

Several unidentified riders told the newspapers Oesterreich and Wiener Zeitung this week they are worried about the welfare of the prized and pampered horses, and that the animals would risk injury if put through too many performances. In the 1980s, some stallions became lame after the number of shows was increased to 70 a year.

A pair of origin debate links: [dr filomena] [carniola].

It hasn’t been a good month for animals in Vienna. A shelter where a chimp, who goes by the name Matthew Hiasl Pan, has lived for 25 years, is going bankrupt, which could leave the primate homeless. The Association Against Animal Factories, an animal rights group in Vienna, tried to have him declared a person so they could gain guardianship.

But in a ruling yesterday, Austria’s Supreme Court said that a chimpanzee cannot be declared a person. Donors have offered to lend support, the AP reports, but under Austrian law, only a person can receive personal gifts.

Next step? The European Court for Human Rights.

lj-2007-01-31, originally uploaded by pirano.