Kitzbühel

So here’s a couple of assorted photos of Kitzbühel town. It’s a ski resort in the Austrian Tyrol, about equidistant between Salzburg, Innsbruck and Munich…

Hahnenkamm

In July I went to Kitzbühel in Austria for work. I was there to run a workshop in the local middle school, and the mayor gave me and my three co-workers tickets for the local ski lift…

The District Without Qualities?

So I’m back in the UK. For good now. Most of this week has been taken up with house-hunting, arranging vans etc. More on that soon. I don’t like to count my chickens before they’re hatched.

However, I was tidying up the folders on my computer this week, and found these miscellaneous photos of Vienna from February.

This Means Nothing To Me

I have been in Austria for a week and a half now for teaching work. I meant to update last week, but some brutal 7.30 am start times, heavy snow, a lot of planning to do outside the classroom, and a diet of pure stodge in a small town with few dining options (and even fewer options for vegetarians) tired me out. It feels strange to be in small-town Austria, where not much tends to happen, while political turmoil with dire consequences for many vulnerable people goes on around the world.

Two new zines

I had two never-before-seen zines to bring with me to the Sheffield Zine Fest (photos of the festival coming later in the week). Issue 22 was new, whereas issue 14 has a bit of a history. I made no. 14 a few years ago, mislaid the pages, found them again last year and finished some bits off, made a few copies, mislaid them again moving house and then found them again recently. Now they’re safe in a folder with all my other master copies, scanned to a pdf, and available to print whenever I want.

Fanzine Ynftyn 14- jo, freilich, die gnädige Frau Magister Emma ist nach Österreich gekommen

I used to go to Austria quite a lot to run workshops in schools, travelling from school to school each week. I started writing this zine after my first trip to Vienna in 2010, didn’t finish it, and then finished it off a couple of years later. I made a few copies at the time, but then mislaid the pages again when moving house, so barely anyone has read it. I recently found them again, and scanned them, so people can order it now!

Salzburg

On the way from Niederösterreich to Vorarlberg I stopped off alone in Salzburg along the way. I had to change trains in Vienna, and after a week of hearty, dairy-laden alpine food I was very, very thankful to eat some dhal and chapattis at the station. I really, really liked Salzburg and would gladly return there. I don’t know what it is about the city, but it just had a really nice atmosphere. I arrived at about 5pm, found the hotel really easily, and dumped my stuff and went for a wander. It’s an old university town, with a castle perched on an outcrop of the mountain looking down. There is a stereotype in Austria that people in Salzburg are snobby, but I found them friendly enough.

St Wolfgangskirche, Niederösterreich

While in Kirchberg-am-Wechsel we were given a tour of a disused church perched up on the mountainside. It has suffered a lot of misfortune over the years (if you can read German there is a wikipedia article here), it burnt down and was rebuilt twice, and is furnished with all kinds of leftovers from other churches, which makes it more interesting.

Hermannshöhle

While in Kirchberg am Wechsel I also got to go on a tour of Hermannshöhle with another teacher. It’s a series of caves inside one of the mountains, with lots of stalactites and a bat colony. Usually the tours are at set times and only in German, but we got a private tour in English, which was really nice.

Kirchberg am Wechsel

Last Summer I spent a week working at the junior school in Kirchberg am Wechsel, a tiny mountain town on the eastern end of the Alps on the border between Lower Austria and Styria. It is essentially one long street between some mountains, with “Lower Austria’s finest stalactite cave” (more on that later) and a yearly Wittgenstein festival. As mountains go, by Austrian standards they are pretty tame, mostly being below the tree-line. When I said something to the kids about the mountains they basically went “what mountains?” and when I pointed out of the window they went “oh yeah, those, there are much better mountains in other places”. Still, I like any kind of mountains, and the Wechsel is still 1,743m high, so it’s hardly a hill. Mountains/hills and water, that’s what I like. I wouldn’t do well somewhere like Kansas.

Dreams of the Alps

I spent a lot of last summer travelling up and down the Alps by train. Here are a couple of pictures I took out of the window. Taking photos from the window of a moving train can be very frustrating, you see a spectacular view, but by the time you have taken a photo something like a fence is in the way. I like long-distance solo train trips, especially ones with spectacular scenery and no stress or time pressure when it comes to connections.Both of these pictures are somewhere near the Austrian/German border. Interestingly German for nightmare is Alptraum – “Alp dream”. That alp is a night time incubus type thing, not the mountains, but it gives a strange mental image if you’re an English speaker. An Alp dream would probably involve frolicking with goats in a sunny mountain pasture. I clearly read Heidi too often when I was younger.

Travels Without My Aunt

I’ve spent most of the past month travelling around Germany and Austria teaching. It’s for an extra-curricular school programme. You do activities to boost the children’s speaking confidence in English, work on creative projects, and put on a show for the parents with presentations of the projects, and drama written by the students. You don’t need to speak German to do the job, and you never speak German in the classroom, but of course it comes in useful to understand if the kids are being naughty, and in your time outside the classroom.

The hills are alive with torrential rain.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I’m currently in Kirchberg am Wechsel, at the eastern end of the Austrian Alps for work. I didn’t really have much access to the internet last week in Dresden, so I haven’t updated properly. I saw most of the sights, also went to the DDR Museum in Radebeul and ate a lot of pastry and spätzle.

Hundertwasser

Every so often I like to write on here about things I like, and why I like them. I’ve (finally) been finishing my zine about Vienna, and there’s a section about Hundertwasser in there, but I didn’t really have enough space to say everything that I wanted to say, and in a b&w zine obviously you totally miss out on the colours, which are a major part of his work, so here is a longer thing about him and his work. I’ve visited the Kunsthaus/Hundertwasserhaus in Vienna quite a few times, and I wrote about one of my visits here. I first came across his work in 2001, when I was 16/17, and bought a £3 book from a discount shop because it looked interesting from a quick flick through. I’m glad I did! All the pictures in this entry are either taken by me, or come from hundertwasser.at. I don’t feel like I’ve really caught  my exact favourites here, but collecting images from lots of different sources and making sure they were all credited properly would have taken a long, long time. Here’s an overview of some things.

Oh Vienna

In September I returned to Vienna to teach another English in Action programme. I’ve got photos of galleries and exhibitions I need to sort out still. Here’s some odds and ends of photos of other stuff.

Super Dickmanns

I saw these in the supermarket in Vienna and burst out laughing because I am essentially 12. I wanted to bring some back as a joke present, but the boxes are big, and it’d be pretty difficult to bring a box back unsquashed. (It’s like giant tall tunnocks teacakes). The sticker on the bottom right says “plump and chocolatey!”

Friends in Vienna

This is Delal. She saw some pictures I’d posted on my tumblr ( emmajanefalconer.tumblr.com) tagged with Wien and sent me a message to see if I’d like to hang out, because it seemed we liked loads of the same things. She’s from Germany originally, and is studying Journalism in Vienna and likes drawing and photography too.

Nachtmarkt

After going to the Hundertwasser places, I met up with the other teachers, and we went to the Nachtmarkt. Basically there were loads of food and drink stalls arranged on a square outside the town hall, and they were playing a classical concert on a giant screen outside the town hall. The food wasn’t cheap, but it was very good (I only really had snacks and some beer though, seeing as the liason teacher from the Vienna school had taken us out for a very good dinner at a Japanese restaurant at lunch). I particularly like the chandeliers the stall in the first photo has. Pity it was selling melon flavoured drinks, I’m not a big fan of melon.

Fotoautomat

There was a b&w photobooth round the corner from my hotel in Vienna that was €2 a pop. I took a strip most days to document what I’d been doing . I also had some with Delal, and some of me holding up signs, but I’ve cut them up for zine use now, and I can’t find what I did with the photo of the whole strips.

Kuche

Also I ate this delicious cake at the museum. It’s chocolate cake with a layer of cranberry jam on top. It’s my new favourite. I don’t even like jam.

Leopold Museum

I was working in Vienna a few weeks ago, and I haven’t got round to uploading photos and putting them here. There’s plenty to come. I went to as many art exhibits as I could in the week I was working in Vienna. I’ve never felt so spoilt by all the free entry in London. I think I spent about €40 overall just on museum entries. It was worth it to see some things in the flesh though.

Hello aus Österreich

I’m in a small town in SE Austria called Oberpullendorf right by the Hungarian border. I’m here to teach some English workshops with kids. I’ve got 1 week here, 1 week in Vienna, and one in a town near Verona, doing essentially the same thing, but in different schools with various age groups. Oberpullendorf’s got about 3,000 people, but there’s a pretty good selection of shops, and cafes and restaurants here. Also 3 underwear shops and a bong shop, which seems a bit odd for such a small town.

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