Tag Archives: austria

Nightclubbing – Viennese Style.

Our introduction into Viennese nightlife occurred most unexpectedly: we were invited to a ball! A real ball, which takes place in a large concert hall somewhere in downtown Vienna. Woah!

To the sound of chamber music, with the men in tailcoats (white tie) and the women in ball gowns, the guests gathered for the 10pm ceremonial kick-off to the ball. The ceremony was most official – formally opened by two government ministers (of internal affairs and foreign affairs). Here’s the latter making his speech. Yes – he is young for a minister :-):

So, if I was there, why did I take a pic of a TV screen and not of the (young) man himself? Simply because there were that many folks in the hall – literally thousands! (Clearly evening-wear rental and/or sales must is a profitable business in the Austrian capital). So many ball-goers, in fact, that we couldn’t even get into the hall for the opening ceremony, which was just like you see in the old films: guests being paraded in front of the royal/ministerial hosts, with a few formal words exchanged with each:

A little later things calmed down a bit and we managed to squeeze our way inside. And this is what I saw…

The debutantes’ dance, or whatever it is they call it: young couples new to such a ball. They take dozens of lessons on how to do ballroom dancing so they can dance as per requirements at the ball. The ball itself is something like an exam, or so it seemed to me. Or simply a demonstration of the newbies’ cavorting talent. The moms and dads in the audience must have been very proud:


Read on: Nightclubbing – Viennese Style…

Oh, Vienna – It Means Something to Me.

Vienna, capital city of Austria, is one of the few European cities which for some perplexingly mysterious reason always seems to not feature in my busy schedule. Or, rather, I seem hardly ever to feature in Vienna’s busy schedule.

I’ve been here a few times, but each time I never got even a minute of tourism in. It was always airport > hotel > conference > speech > meetings > interviews > dinner > sleep > breakkie > suitcase > taxi > airport. Boo. For Vienna is… venerable, and deserves much more time and attention. Well just the other day I finally did it – finally took some time out from that ever-present busy business schedule of mine and invested it into having a stroll around the center of this magnificent city…

St. Stephen’s Cathedral. Alas, we didn’t have time to go inside (so much for spending quality time in Vienna:). That will have to wait until next time…

Read on: Hundertwasser…

Nifty lifty.

On my business travels around the world, I come across some of the most ingeniously intriguing bits of tech-kit, which never cease to amaze me. Simple ideas, efficient ideas, effective ideas, smart ideas. And they normally were thought up long ago. Maybe they just seem quaint now because of modern hi-tech overload numbing? That’s possible. Still, they’re no less fascinating for it…

Here’s a perfect example: the paternoster (meaning ‘Our Father’ in German).

It’s an elevator that goes up and down non-stop with a fairground carousel-like action. Or you could think of it as a vertical escalator. Wikipedia describes it as similar to rosary beads passing through one’s fingers round and round. Not so sure about that one. Hmmm, photos don’t really help out either in trying to explain exactly what it is. But I think the animated gif on Wikipedia cracks it:

Paternoster: how it works?

The first ‘Our Daddy’ I saw was in Hamburg in the Axel Springer building in 2009. Nice.

Read on: Lift, I’m youк daddy!…