Category : travels

OneMinute – Christmas in Vienna

Today you’ll get a quick glimpse of Christmas in Vienna. This video includes the largest and most famous Weihnachtsmarkt of Vienna, the Christkindlmarkt, on the square in front of City Hall (Rathaus). Also you’ll see two streets decorated with thousands of lights (Graben and Kohlmarkt). Last year I visited these places many times.

OneMinute – Vienna, Austria

December 19, 2010. It’s the day I returned from Vienna after doing an internship at Coop Himmelb(l)au. I remember this day very well. Not because it was my last day in Vienna, but because of the flight back. Europe experienced extreme winter weather. Temperatures dropped below minus ten degrees Celsius (14 degrees Fahrenheit). Almost no international flights were possible from and to most European airports. Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, my destination, shut down for a period of several days. Tens of thousands of passengers stranded at airports throughout Europe.

I was worried my flight would get cancelled too. At 5AM, a cab drove me to Vienna Airport. It took less than ten minutes to check in, drop off my luggage and get through customs (my personal record). Relaxed as I was (I was prepared for the worst), I made my way to the gate. It turned out my flight was one hour delayed, which made me really happy. Why? Not because it’s delayed, but because this meant my flight wasn’t cancelled!

It turned out all passengers who would use Amsterdam as a stopover were denied access to the plane. Only 16 passengers (out of a sold-out 100 seat plane) boarded the plane. Since I’m tall, I immediately asked for a seat with more legroom. “Of course”, the stewardess answered. “We have many empty seats, so you can sit at 1A”. And that’s how I ended up being in business class, together with just one other passenger. Immediately after take off, the blue business class curtain closed and all business class people (yep, thats two people) were catered by our private stewardess.

Before this day started, I prepared myself for any scenario imaginable (believe me, I have a big imagination). This included (but was not limited to); overcrowded airports, no flights at all, not being able to land in Amsterdam, spend a night at the airport, boarding the wrong flight, flying to Amsterdam via Dubai or the States, you name it, I thought of it. There was just one scenario I didn’t think of. I mean, who can imagine an almost empty airport, not having to wait in line at all, an almost private plane, business class seat and a personal stewardess. Wow, it was the best flight I ever had.

Anyway, this story is meant to introduce OneMinute number thirteen. It’s a video about Vienna, the city I lived in for several months. This video starts with a 28 seconds long shot (no, it’s not boring at all!). I attached my small Panasonic camera to my bike and filmed the exterior of the Austrian Parliament in one single take. Enjoy!

OneMinute – Stadium Arsenal Football Club

During the past years I visited many football stadiums. Not because I like football that much. No, I just like to check out the architecture (and my brother is the biggest football fan out there, which definitely comes in handy). I went to some of the biggest stadiums like the ones of FC Barcelona and AC Milan, visited stadiums with a great history like the Fulham Stadium in London and went to very advanced stadiums like the Amsterdam Arena which has a removable roof.

This summer I visited the stadium of Arsenal Football Club in London (or Emirates Stadium as it’s named officially). It’s not the biggest stadium out there (it seats ‘only’ 60.000 people), it doesn’t have the biggest history (it opened in 2006) nor it’s the most advanced stadium (it doesn’t have a removable roof so to speak). Nonetheless, the Arsenal stadium is one of the most beautifully designed stadiums I ever visited.

Just to mention a few; I love the curved roof, the exterior glass and the concrete walls in combination with the Arsenal-red. Although many stadiums are (sadly) designed like bunkers, this one seemed very transparent. Please enjoy OneMinute number twelve.

Inside the European Parliament Brussels

European Parliament

Just got back from Brussels, Belgium. I joined a group of (mostly) students to visit the capital of Europe. We were invited by Esther de Lange, Dutch member of the European Parliament. Obviously we visited the hemicycle (plenary hall) of the parliament (see photo above). Perhaps most interesting, we spoke with two members of parliament, their staff and some lobbyists. During the course of two days, four staffers of Esther de Lange joined us everywhere we went.

OneMinute – Fairytale Castle Portugal

Everyone knows the Walt Disney Castle, a beautiful fairytale castle in the middle of the world famous Disney theme park. In Portugal they have a similar fairytale castle, or palace I should say. It’s called Pena National Palace. Although it may appear like a real palace, it’s fake. Just like the Walt Disney Castle.

The palace was completed in 1845, so it’s only 166 years old. It’s build in the architecture style of Romanticism. Put simply, this means the architects collected details and ornaments they liked (from styles like the Classical Greek and Roman styles but also the medieval Gothic style). The result is what you’ll see in this OneMinute video. I have to say, the palace looks quite beautiful, but once you realize everything is fake… well…

Enjoy OneMinute number eleven.