Sunday, November 11, 2007

Vienna Vacation (part 2)

You know you're in Austria when you type in "" and you're automatically redirected to "".
Austria Google

It's Saturday 10 November, 10.52pm in Vienna, as I blog this (six hours behind Singapore). Using my wife's laptop, via the free Internet access in the hotel room (not all hotels offer free Internet access though).

Been a good learning experience so far. Walked alot. Got lost alot (I guess that's how one learn sometimes, though my wife would grumble at me for not asking for directions).

Today my wife and I stumbled quite unexpectedly to the Austrian National Library (to my non-librarian readers, it's a National Library like this one, not a Public Library).

We knew the Austrian National Library (Österreichische Nationalbibliothek) was in the city area but we weren't really looking for it. We more or less stumbled onto it, so we decided to pop in to have a look.

It looks very grand from far away.
Austrian National Library

I couldn't help but imagine -- in an alternate universe, where statues would come to life, if you've been tardy in paying your library fines (assuming you could borrow things from the National Library), they'll send this imposing horseman to your house!
Austrian National Library

And if that's not enough, there will be these mean looking warriors accompanying the horseman.
Austrian National Library

"Excuse me sir, are you sure you've paid your fines? Try explaining to my trusty broadsword!".

Just kidding!

Seriously, it's a very grand looking building (Greco-Roman architecture?)
Austrian National Library

You walk up the steps and you next face this grand entrance that's well over four metres (of course the door that you actually open is the standard two metres or so).
Austrian National Library

The foyer area is also very grand looking.
Austrian National Library

Ah, I quickly learned that the Austrian National Library doesn't open on weekends (maybe I've been too used to our own National and Public library opening hours).

So I snapped a shot of the member's reading room from outside the sliding door.
Austrian National Library

Notice the "No Dogs Allowed" sign? (first one from the left). In Austria (like in Germany), people bring their pet dogs with them when they go shopping. It's not surprsing to see dogs and their owners in restuarants and shopping districts.

The "No Smoking" sign may seem odd to Singaporeans too (third one from the left). But in Austria, the norm is to be able to smoke in buildings, restuarants etc. For a non-smoker like me, it's not an enjoyable experience dining in a place with second-hand smoke as an ingredient.

So far, my wife and I are enjoying Vienna even though it's been cold (between 2 to 6 degrees Celsius) and wet. Been drizzling. Good thing we were prepared for the weather.

Today's our third day in Vienna. We've been to some of the cultural attractions (the names are lost to me... will check/ blog later). Paid quite a sum in entrance fees too.

Speaking of expensive, seems that most of the public toilets here costs money to use -- 50 cents (Euros). That's about SGD$1.20 just to pee. Darn expensive pee. The next time I use a public toilet in Singapore, I'd be more appreciative that I hardly have to pay for using most of them.

Overall verdict so far: Vienna's nice.

It's safer and more tourist-friendly than I expected.

(p.s. I won't be blogging from Vienna that often, if at all. Will be moving to another hotel, and the Internet access isn't free. Plus it's really tiring to be able to blog properly. And no, the musical genuis of Mozart and Strauss have not rubbed off on me. Heh.)

[Reference: Part 1]


  1. Anonymous7:36 am

    Yups, it is been there in Google's business model for Software Environment Architecture plan. To be precise, it's call localisation. Google is one of the few search engine company since 2004 to provide localisation of search queries.

    How does the system (spidering) works?

    The backend algorithim will send a target to the local search farms first before point to back to Google HQ. That why if you notice, most of you initial search search are local contents first or nearest to you. Alternative, high number of click, depanding which calculation is at a heavy weightage. Learnt this back in undergraduate life on Google's business model and also in Library School, how search engine are developed.

    Wonder, if one day our academic libraries able to come out such system like localisation of initial search with the main campus first, retrieving the scholarly materials. Need precise constraint calculation, too bad, not many technical librarians like to do this ... In my sector, it has been me alone playing with this type ... Till some of the librarians started to address me ...

    Well, Venice is a great place ... Is the water still raising and going to over run the street? Can't wait for the exam to over ...

  2. Anonymous7:38 am

    Sorry, I mean Vienna, Not Venice.
    Vienna , right the city that is floating?

  3. Have you been to the MQ (Museums Quartier Wien) yet? Worth a look-see if either of you are into art. The ferris wheels at Prater are also quite fun and romantic to go up on, especially at evening time.

  4. Hi Hazman, Venice is the one with the water canals. Vienna is landlocked. :)

    Thanks for the tip, WrkShy. Will definitely find time to make my way down to the MQ. I think I passed by that area.

  5. Anonymous9:32 am

    woah coolio man..heritage + and Brudder Walter smell an idea there? ;)

  6. Yeah, google has got a site in every country I think.


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