Hunderwasser House @ Vienna, Austria

We visited the Hunderwasser House. It’s a building built after the concept of Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser with architect Joseph Krawina. These buildings have weird but interesting concept. Floors are uneven, the walls are colourful. Trees are grown inside or attached to the buildings. It stands out from the traditional stone buildings of Vienna. There are people living in the building.

Toilet of Modern Art…you need to pay to get in

I guess these people got fed up with tourist knocking on their doors thus this sign.

A few blocks down the road lies KunstHausWien, also another building built after the concept of Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser. This one is a little bit smaller and has a museum exhibiting Hundertwasser’s works.

There’s a background story to this pose but let’s leave this to another day

Uneven floors.

There is a garden and a small cafe at the back of the museum. I didn’t like the place much as it was dark and damp. Further, I dislike the uneven floors.

Schonbrunn Palace @ Vienna, Austria

We also visited Schonbrunn Palace. It is a place to visit if one likes massive imperial gardens – very nice scenery and filled with joggers. If I had my jogging shoes on, I would definitely jog around the palace. We wandered around the garden and took some pictures. We wandered around the garden and took some pictures. We didn’t enter the palace as it was closed.

I wonder when would our Government open our old palace at Jalan Istana to the public. It looks like a pleasant place for public activities. I am told that there is a stream inside the compound of our old palace.

Vienna, Austria 2013

As part of our Europe trip, we stopped by Vienna, Austria and Bratislava, Slovakia. We spent most of our time in Vienna and only half a day in Bratislava.

I like Vienna. It’s spacious and clean. The buildings and architecture are interesting.

The train system is smooth and simple. It’s also linked to the tram system. However, getting around can be difficult as the names of the places are long. If you look at the map, you probably won’t be able to find a place as it is too comprehensive.


The only drawback of this place is that it is very expensive. A meal for two can costs 30 Euro. Tipping is required. 10% of the bill is sufficient.

Shelves made of paper boxes! Each drawer has a bag.

A day trip train costs me 7 Euro but the good thing is that they usually do not check your tickets and there are no barriers to the train stations. It reminds me of Berlin’s train stations. 

We stayed in a nice apartment nearby Meidling HauptstraBe station. It looks plain from outside but the apartment was beautiful!

We found the place through AirBnB. Our host doesn’t live in the apartment thus we got the whole place for ourselves. She installed a small locker on the door. She kept the key to the door inside. In order to open the locker, we would need a passcode and this was given by our host.

Our host had everything ready for us. She had power plug converters to a written guide (of places to visit and eat) of the city by her!

View of the canal outside our place. It was so hot that some ladies soaked themselves in the canal. And they got to the front page from doing that.

Free WiFi is abundant in Vienna city centre. You can get them at the major train stations or restaurants provided by one company called

St. Stephen’s Cathedral. One of the most prominent landmarks in Vienna. Loads of shopping arcades, restaurants and cafes surrounding the cathedral.

We didn’t do much research on the places to visit. Since we don’t have much time, we took the Old Timer city tour around Vienna. It’s a one hour on an open roof truck (hot hot hot!) mostly around the older part of Vienna. We got to see many popular tourist spots (many statutes too!). But we could only see those spots from afar as the truck doesn’t stop.

Old Timer!

I initially thought this place is a hotel but later found out it is not.

We even pass by a art school which Adolf Hitler tried to enroll when he was younger but got rejected. One interesting fact about Adolf Hitler is that he was an Austrian and wanted to be a painter.

Statue of a man on the roof. Can’t seem to find information about this statue. It has something to do with commemorating the first suicide after a stock market crashed. Anyone knows?

My favourite story about Vienna is how coffee was introduced to Vienna after the Battle of Vienna. After the Ottoman Empire retreated from Vienna, bags of coffee were found in the abandoned Ottoman encampment. Jerzy Franciszek Kulczycki took these bags of coffee and opened a cafe. However, to be frank, I didn’t like Viennese coffee. I prefer the dark and strong Melbourne-style coffee.

We were in Vienna for 4 days. It was sufficient for us to see the main tourist attractions in the city. We returned to London after our Austria trip.

More later!

Blackpool, England 2013

We made a day trip to Blackpool on our second day in Liverpool. It’s about 2 hours away by train. I’ve always read about Blackpool in Beano and Dandy comics when I was a kid. It’s well known for its amusement parks.

Our train stopped by a small town by the name Ormskirk.

It reminded me of the small towns of the game Transport Tycoon. I used to spent hours playing this game when I was a kid. The game is almost 20 years old and to my surprise, there are some enthusiasts who kept the game alive by putting it on the Internet, in particular on the website OpenTTD. I picked up the game again last December when business was slow. Like many of the 90s games, it will soon be relaunched on Android.

My wife and her sister wanted to go to Blackpool Pleasure Beach theme park but I hate theme parks (in particular, the wait). Hence, I embarked on a journey – to find good coffee at Blackpool. TripAdvisor recommended barista coffee located at Birley Street. With a name like that, coffee should be good.

“Build me a castle Daddy!”

A disabled friendly beach

Lady in a wheel chair with a toy doll. Eh?

I walked along the Promenade Beach under the hot sun. I had sunburn on my shoulder due to that.

The place is also disable friendly. I saw one man in a wheelchair on the beach. My wife said a man carried his wife into a roller coaster ride.

There were plenty of birds too. I had to be careful of the mid air bombardment by these birds. A hit on the face with bird poo would be a great calamity.

Fortunately, the view was great. It was great seeing Blackpool on foot. It’s a lively place with all sorts of amusement parks. Hotels were everywhere. One can assume that Blackpool lives on tourist dollars.

After an hour under the hot sun, I arrived at barista cafe. It’s a small cafe but with plenty of seats. The barista was pleasant and I ordered my double shot machiato.

Being able to find the place was a great satisfaction. It felt like I’ve gone through a long and hard pilgrimage.

As soon as my lips landed on the cup, I felt a hot sensation on my tongue. The barista burnt the milk. It was too hot to drink! It was disappointing! 

I took a taxi back to Blackpool Pleasure Beach meet my wife and her family. I walked so far that it costs me 6 quid to get back. We ate the obligatory meal of Blackpool namely fish and chips. It was not bad.

Overall, Blackpool was a nice experience but I doubt I will go back there again.

Liverpool Food Guide

Moose Cafe @ Dale Road

Recommend by TripAdvisor, apparently one of the best cafes around Liverpool city.

We ordered the New York Moose and New Hampshire Moose – both are eggs benedict on toasted bagel but with either salmon or parma ham topped with hollandaise sauce. Both are equally good!

Coffee however is so-so. Latte was a little bit milky for me. Macchiato was okay.

6, Dale Street

Bold Street Cafe @ Bold Street

Recommended by my sister in law, this place serves good food and coffee. Toasted seeded boomer with creamy mushroom is to die for!

89 Bold Street

Duke Street Espresso Bar @ Duke Street

A little small cafe manned by one barista but with great coffee. They use the same beans as Bold cafe.

27 Duke St

Jamie’s Italian

On our last night at Liverpool, we had dinner at Jamie’s Italian – one of celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s many restaurants. The man had built an empire of restaurants using his celebrity status.

Jamie’s Italian was packed most of the time hence we had to make reservations a day before.

True to his business acumen, there were loads of Jamie Oliver cookbooks on sale in the restaurant. However, food is pricey and just so-so. It’s overrated.