As mentioned, back in April of this year,the English language online news blog, The Local, featured “The Five Best Expat Blogs in Austria.”
I certainly didn’t and I was thrilled to learn I had been included on a list with like-minded expats in Austria spreading the word, I decided to reach out and invite them to come hang out with us for a post and meet you all via a blog tour. Fortunately, they enthusiastically agreed so in November/December, I am featuring expat bloggers, with each of their Top 10 Favorite Things Austrian.
During the first week feature, we focused on expat blogger, Kristina Cosumano from the blog, The Practice Room.
This week, we are featuring Emily, who describes herself as “a stay-at-home mom of two little boys, and one of the least likely people you’d ever expect to decide to live abroad with her family” and author of the blog, A Mommy Abroad
Expat Blogger, Emily’s Top 10 Favorite Austrian Things
I never thought I’d say this, but this was a tough choice. When I first moved here, I was not at all a fan of the food. “Where are the vegetables? Why is everything fried? What, exactly, is Leberkäse?” (Never mind, don’t answer that.) Since the early days, though, I’ve learned to love a lot about Austrian cuisine (and the frequently served Hungarian imports, like goulash and lángos) but my absolute favorite is the Krapfen, an Austrian doughnut. I’ll never be happy with Dunkin’ Donuts now.
Until this past summer, I would have answered this differently, but on vacation in the Austrian Alps this summer (and strongly encouraged by my sister, an American with a vast knowledge of tasty beverages) I discovered the refreshing satisfaction that is a Radler — a tasty combination of beer and citrus soda. Grapefruit is my favorite
3) Film or TV Show
The Third Man — Not an Austrian film, but set here in Vienna, and I didn’t see it until I lived here, so I’ll count it. Interesting, shocking and confusing to see the devastation after the war (more confusing given the way the city is shot and edited together). But I call it my favorite mostly because the building where I live is in it (the part with the cat).
I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve got nothing for this one. This is partly because my German is just now becoming literature-worthy, and partly (mostly) because most of the reading I’ve done in the past few years has been board books rather than novels. I was amused and entertained to examine the differences between the original “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” and the German translation (Die Kleine Raupe Nimmersatt) — pomegranates instead of oranges and all the strawberries face the same way — but that’s all I can offer.
June gets the win for me. At home, I had learned to lump June into the hot, humid, unpleasant summer months, but here, June is still (usually) spring. Walking through the Volksgarten in June, with the roses all in bloom — it’s hard to top that. I also really like November, though — it’s chilly and dark (before I’ve gotten tired of it being chilly and dark), the Christmas lights are going up, it’s often foggy and a little bit cozy and romantic.
Michealerplatz in the heart of Vienna. Stephansplatz is the iconic focus of Vienna, and Heldenplatz is certainly grand, but I love Michealerplatz the best. It’s got just enough hustle and bustle without being overrun, and it still looks and feels a bit like old Vienna (more or less).
7) Historical Figure
Johann Strauss. As a ballroom dance enthusiast, I find him the most inspirational.
8) Tradition / Past time
Lanternenfest. Of all the categories, this was the one I had the hardest time choosing. Christmas markets, summer sledding, ice skating, Krampus — so many great traditions and pastimes in Austria! But Martinitag, and most particularly the childrens’ Lanternenfests, are my favorite. I love the story of St. Martin, the tradition of the lanterns and the songs … though I’m not yet convinced about eating goose to celebrate.
Blue Danube Waltz. This has been a favorite of mine since my dancing days, but living here makes it a bit more special (though I’ve never seen the Danube manage to look quite blue).
Gemütlichkeit. Coziness. Perfect word, and it just covers so much of the warmth, community and tradition of Austria. Perfect!