Vienna Calling Retrospect: Day 2

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Wednesday. This would be the first actual day of Vienna Calling, with the Kick Off Party at Weberknecht. I had to get up damn early, as I had an appointment with the doctor, and afterwards was working until 5 pm.

In the late afternoon, Kira, CSer number 3, and her dog Tulku, arrived at my place. After everybody was ready (not too easy – one bathroom, 4 persons!), we walked to the party. As Carlos and Mitie were hungry from all the sight seeing they had done, we stopped by to have some typical Viennese food: Kebap.

The party was good, though I was really tired because of getting up so early. There were lots of people I got to know during the last years, at Vienna Calling, or the Wintercamps in Budapest and Targu Mures. And of course there were new people to connect with ๐Ÿ™‚

Vienna Calling Retrospect: Day 1

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I was really looking forward to Vienna Calling. And I was RIGHT!

It was great. Lots of hanging around with friends, enjoying sun, being caught by rain, having drinks and dinner. But let’s start at the beginning.

Mitie arrived first. It was Tuesday around noon, and Georg and I met for lunch at my place to receive our first guest. She had nearly no problems in finding the spot – whew! After some food, we talked a bit about Vienna, about Vienna Calling, and what she could do during the afternoon, as we were both busy. She decided to go to Belvedere to see the Klimt collection.

Carlos arrived in the evening, coming by bus. We cooked Wiener Schnitzel with Potatoe Salad and Rice, had a nice dinner, and afterwards went for some ice cream in the surrounding. For the next day, Georg offered to take the two for a city walk.

Day 1 – a relaxed, nice way to start the craziness of Vienna Calling.

Vienna Calling Surfers

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Thanks to one of my flatmates, Stefan, who spends most of his time not in Vienna, but back home in Upper Austria, my CouchSurfers will have their own room, including a real bed. Isn’t that great?!

And I’m already excited, as Mitie will be arriving in only a few hours. Carlos will take a bus from Budapest to arrive in the early evening. And Kira – well, we’ll see about Kira, I don’t know about her exact plans yet.

Vienna Calling: the insanity starts in 24 hours and something!

Couchsurfing aside from Couchsurfing

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Sounds crazy. But it’s great!

Couchsurfing doesn’t stop when you found a host, arrived there and slept on the couch/mattress/whatever.

It goes further. Even further than going out to restaurants/bars/pubs with your host.

Couchsurfing even gives locals the chance to find others sharing their ideas, interests and hobbies. One great example is the Vienna Taekwondo Group. You might encounter problems when trying to read this article. The CS tech team is working on it. However, this is an alternative link, the article is on page 5.

Another nice group is the Vienna Kickball Team. I went to one of the games yesterday, and we spent 4 hours (!) playing kickball. It was amazing! So much fun! And the weather was just perfect ๐Ÿ™‚

So, whenever you come to a city, be it traveling or moving there, also if you don’t need a couch – check the local Couchsurfing community. It might have something to offer to you.

Hosting during Vienna Calling

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I decided to take the chance and host some people during Vienna Calling. There won’t be much sleeping taking place anyways ๐Ÿ˜‰

The first to send me a reqeust was Silvio from Poland. I checked his profile and got pretty excited, as he seems to be a pretty active member of Wroclaw CS Community. Unfortunately, he cancelled again, as he found a friend of his living in Vienna who can host him.

Second was Carlos from Portugal, who seems to be much like me, considering his style of life. Working person, likes cats, lives in a shared flat … I think, we’ll be getting along pretty good. I’m really excited now I sent him a positive reply, too.

Also, Georg told me that Kira and her dog Tulku were looking for a host. I already hosted them for a Vienna Stammtisch, and we spent some time together before, and it was great ๐Ÿ™‚

Only yesterday I received the last request, from Mitie, Brasil. I think I got nice mixture of people, and consider my couch/flat being full now. Of course, last minute requests may also be answered positively ๐Ÿ˜‰

For example, if I may again have the honors of hosting Imre, I would be glad to do so ๐Ÿ˜‰

CouchSurfing events

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CouchSurfing is more than having a free place to sleep in a foreign city, that should be clear. It’s also a possibility of meeting awesome people and having a good time with them.

CS Vienna offers different regular events in order to give travelers, newbies and regulars the chance of meeting up:

The weekly meeting was introduced about one month ago. It takes place every Thursday, 8 pm, at “The Flying Pig” in Vienna’s 7th district.

The monthly meeting, called “Stammtisch”, is taking place on a fixed date once every month. It started 4 years ago and has attracted several thousand people already (according to meeting pages). In 2011, it takes place on the 11th of every month. 2012, it will be 12th, and so on.

And then there’s Vienna Calling. It was introduced 2 years ago, as part of the world wide festivities to celebrate CouchSurfing’s 10th birthday. It was such a success that it was repeated the year after. And immediately after arriving back home, people asked to repeat it again in 2011. You can find further information on the website, which also links to all meeting pages (yes, there is more than one meeting/event during Vienna Calling!).

I’ll be doing the Central Cemetery Tour (again). Feel free to join! Newbies, travelers and locals – everybody’s welcome!

May 9, 2011

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I really like my flat. I just moved in by the end of December/beginning of January. It’s shared flat in the 7th district of Vienna, with good bus and tram, and therefore subway connections. There’s some shops, bars and restaurants within walking distance and the architecture of the district is very nice. There’s not even traffic on my street, as this part of it is a pedestrian area. I really like it.

There’s only one problem: my room is facing the entrance and the facade of a youth hostel. In summer, this has one major disadvantage: lots of school excursion groups with lots of noisy young people with incredibly bad taste of music…

By the way …

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Ischgl Tourism Association and the ski resort produced their own smartphone app this winter season. It is available for Android, iPhone and BlackBerry and has some nice features as a display of the current lift statuses, information on restaurants, events, videos and lots of pictures. AND: it has a feature that combines your GPS-signal with the skimap and shows your current position on the panorama map. Nice, huh?

iSki Ischgl on iTunes
iSki Ischgl for Android

If you were wondering why I am posting this … I’m working with the company that programmed this app and I’m looking forward to getting some feedback ๐Ÿ˜‰

GeoCaching on the tracks of …

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There is some pretty creative minds out there, in Vienna. Some have nothing else to do than finding places all across the 1st district that remind them of books somehow. So yesterday, George and I started to solve a multi-staged Geocache in Vienna: “Fantastic Beasts”.

It is a pretty intense cache, as it consists of 15 stages. Still, they are all located pretty close to each other, and the spots to visit are great. We managed to visit half of the stages within 3 hours, because there was so much to look at – so far, the stage “Hidden Treasure” was our favourite.

I’ll keep you updated!