Topic: Austria

Flight Sharing

Flight Sharing: Hitching a Ride aloft


Those for whom regular vehicle sharing, be it as drivers or passengers, has always been a welcome option, may be aiming to raise their transport variety to a faster, higher and more sophisticated level. The services of Wingly, a French-German flight sharing start-up, could be an interesting pick. Their website offers private pilots and passengers a common marketplace based on a simple concept: pilots publish their scheduled flights, potential clients choose their destinations and directly place their bookings. At present, connections are offered from and to locations in France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Scenic flights (“Fly Arounds“) and balloon rides are part of the programme as well.

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A refugee programme in Vienna: magdas – the not-for-profit hotel


The magdas hotel’s homepage not only displays a pretty witty sense of humour and fluffily formulated descriptions. It also shows deep respect for a cause. When scanning the site for the hotel’s location in Vienna, visitors casually learn that it is situated near the city centre, in the vicinity of the Danube Canal mottled with cool clubs and pubs and close to the „Prater“, the popular amusement park that offers space for a wide variety of outdoor activities and sports Vienna’s famous landmark, the Ferris Wheel. Good access from all angles, a key factor for hotels getting booked, is definitely given.

But most importantly for the magdas, it lies within easy reach for its employees „because we want to spare them another round-the-world trip when commuting to their workplace“: magdas staff almost exclusively comprises refugees who descend from 14 different nations. Amongst them, they speak 23 languages. Dinis, the receptionist from Guinea-Bissau, alone is versed in seven! He came by boat. It took almost ten years to be granted asylum.

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A Fiaker carriage in Vienna: as typical of the city as its many coffee houses.

Austria: The science of coffee-brewing in Vienna


Coffee is not just an invigorating brew but rather a scientific area of expertise worth being explored. Barista Schools popping up the world over bear witness to the cognition that a cup of coffee is not something leisurely prepared in one’s stride. It is a challenge which has to be given care and devotion at least as deep as is granted to the meticulously performed Asian Tea Ceremony.

Mistaking a „Kapuziner“ for a „Cappuccino“ – even though both names sound pretty similar – is only forgiven to unillumined foreigners. If a Cappuccino is ordered while in Vienna on a spree of traditional coffee houses (Kaffeehaeuser), one will probably be served it. But the faux-pas lies with the guest: Cappuccino is a strictly Italian thing. After all, the Ottomans had besieged Vienna in 1683 and – apart from war and devastation – they had brought along with them a culinary novelty: In an abandoned Turkish camp, Viennese citizens discovered a number of bags full of precious coffee beans after the battle was over. Jerzy Franciszek Kulczycki, a Polish-Lithuanian nobleman, had taken hold of the bags and opened Vienna’s first coffeehouse in the same year.

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All in white: A glimpse of Alpbach in Tyrol in winter.

Austria. Alpbach in Tyrol: Beauty meets sustainability


Alfons Moser was known as a successful businessman and – from 1945 to 1979 – as the dedicated mayor of Alpbach, a Tyrolean village nestled in a dulcet valley cutting through the Kitzbueheler Alps. He had a vision worldly enough to become reality: according to a law passed in 1953 and prevailing since, all newly built houses had to comply with the existing traditional architecture in local alpine style. Basta!

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LGBTI: Colourful and diverse Helsinki.

LGBTI – der unterschätzte Markt


Diversity Tourism: Reisen im Zeichen des Regenbogens

Vom anderen Ufer rollt – nur scheinbar urplötzlich – eine kraftvolle menschliche Welle heran. Weil lange ignoriert und immer noch stigmatisiert, wird ihr wahres Potenzial dramatisch verkannt: Bis zu zehn Prozent der Weltbevölkerung sollen homosexuell sein oder LGBTI angehören. In Realität sind die Zahlen aus nachvollziehbaren Gründen unmessbar und auch ehrgeizige stochastische Akrobatik kann nur an ihnen scheitern. Es bleibt ein Segen, dass zivilisierte Länder auf ihren offiziellen Formularen auf die Rubrik “Sexuelle Veranlagung” verzichten. Gemäß Statistik von ILGA wird Homosexualität weltweit noch in etwa 80 Staaten und Territorien strafrechtlich verfolgt. Die Palette variiert von einem Monat Gefängnis bis zur Todesstrafe.

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Reading time: about 14 minutes