Deutsch

What´s hot in Villach - März 2013

only English version available

Trudging through slush and coping with piles of snow at the roadside can hardly make us feel like spring is round the corner. The heavy falls of snow we’ve had in February are obviously the lifeblood of the local ski industry, and the snowploughs by and large do an outstanding job. On the other hand, driving down narrow roads and squeezing into car parks with reduced occupancy is no fun. Also, if like me you come from a country with milder winters you will be used to the heart-warming sight of bulbs in bloom at this time of year. Once the annual carnival “Villacher Fasching” is over there’s naturally a lull in town life; but the days are noticeably longer and Easter is coming early which has to be cheering. The clocks go forward on 31st March.

On March 3rd there was the election for the governor of Carinthia state. Following extensive coverage in the media and a healthy dose of suspense, the winner was Peter Kaiser of the socialist party SPÖ, but he only won just over 37% of all the votes cast. Without a clear majority, he is considering a coalition with either one or two other parties; if this is a subject that interests you, you can read more here.

http://kaernten.orf.at/news/stories/2573878/

The most striking aspect of the results is the swing from the former governor’s party to others, ostensibly due to widely reported fraud and corruption issues. EU members were not eligible to vote in this election, but they can in the one for the city mayor.

A subject that may interest you more is inoculation against tick-borne encephalitis, an infection or inflammation of the brain. The town council health department offers immunisations from now till the end of June on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 2 and 4 p.m.. Don’t forget to take your green social security card along. The standard prices are 22 euros for an adult and 19 euros for children up to sixteen. However, if you are insured with the ‚Gebietskrankenkasse’ the costs are only 18.30 euros and 15.30 euros respectively, deducted automatically. Refund applications can be made to other insurers. Following the initial shot and booster injection three years later, vaccinations are recommended every five years. If you are over sixty, this should be every three years. And if you want to give blood you can do so on Wednesday March 6th in Landskron primary school or on March 25th at the town hall, from 3.30 to eight o’clock.

On March 22nd we can look forward to a fabulous spring display in the town hall square – always a joy and financed by the council. In the local media the council is always keen to tell us about how much it’s invested in the town centre: in the redevelopment of the road leading up to the railway station, in car parks, in the music school and of course in the town square which has existed more or less in its present form since the twelfth or thirteenth centuries. The next area to be improved is Lederergasse – parallel to the river, it takes its name from the leather industry, while Gerbergasse further along was the site of a tannery.

Villach’s annual Easter market will kick off on Thursday 21st March this year, with crafts, sweets and refreshment stalls open from ten to seven, with reduced opening hours of ten till two on Saturday 30th. Parents will be aware that schools only close for a week and a half – the school holiday system here means that children get more than two months’ holiday in the summer and far fewer the rest of the year than in England or Germany. Traditional Easter symbols in Villach are decorated blown out eggs - „ausgeblasene Eier“ - and the Easter bunny - „der Osterhase“. Both are symbols of fertility which can be traced back to pre-Christian rites and celebrations. It’s traditional to hang coloured or glittery eggs in windows, on trees and on pussy willow 'Palmkatzerln', and on Easter morning parents hide decorated eggs, chocolate ones or sweets in the garden for the children to find. The end of lent fasting is celebrated with sweet bread called “Osterreindling”, cold meat with “Apfelkren” (mashed apple and horseradish) and coloured eggs.

As temperatures rise and we can enjoy both more light and sunshine, this month is a good time to take your first skiing lessons. Everyone knows that ski equipment is very expensive, but if you want to look cool on the slopes the reductions are at their greatest in March. On the other hand, I’ve just had a look in the sports shops and noticed that in some there is not a lot of ski gear out, so you may want to take a look sooner rather than later. Helmets and back protectors are the best investments. A spokesman for the ski rescue service ‘Bergrettung Villach’ says in the local paper that accidents are most frequently caused as a result of poor equipment or over-estimation of one’s abilities. Young people suffer more accidents than adults and the most common injuries are to knees, hands and legs. With regard to ice skating you may find the following website helpful. It tells you which lakes are currently officially open for ice skating, which at the moment are regrettably none.

http://www.evw.at/

I know it’s early to start thinking about summer cultural events, but the classical musical festival “Carinthischer Sommer” which takes place in July and August has already assembled its programme. You can read about the festival in English on this website and reduced rate tickets can already be ordered there.

http://www.carinthischersommer.at/index.php?cccpage=ticket_verkauf

Enjoy a relaxing Easter in our pretty town.

What´s hot in Villach - March 2013

Trudging through slush and coping with piles of snow at the roadside can hardly make us feel like spring is round the corner. The heavy falls of snow we’ve had in February are obviously the lifeblood of the local ski industry, and the snowploughs by and large do an outstanding job. On the other hand, driving down narrow roads and squeezing into car parks with reduced occupancy is no fun. Also, if like me you come from a country with milder winters you will be used to the heart-warming sight of bulbs in bloom at this time of year. Once the annual carnival “Villacher Fasching” is over there’s naturally a lull in town life; but the days are noticeably longer and Easter is coming early which has to be cheering. The clocks go forward on 31st March.

On March 3rd there was the election for the governor of Carinthia state. Following extensive coverage in the media and a healthy dose of suspense, the winner was Peter Kaiser of the socialist party SPÖ, but he only won just over 37% of all the votes cast. Without a clear majority, he is considering a coalition with either one or two other parties; if this is a subject that interests you, you can read more here.

http://kaernten.orf.at/news/stories/2573878/

The most striking aspect of the results is the swing from the former governor’s party to others, ostensibly due to widely reported fraud and corruption issues. EU members were not eligible to vote in this election, but they can in the one for the city mayor.

A subject that may interest you more is inoculation against tick-borne encephalitis, an infection or inflammation of the brain. The town council health department offers immunisations from now till the end of June on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 2 and 4 p.m.. Don’t forget to take your green social security card along. The standard prices are 22 euros for an adult and 19 euros for children up to sixteen. However, if you are insured with the ‚Gebietskrankenkasse’ the costs are only 18.30 euros and 15.30 euros respectively, deducted automatically. Refund applications can be made to other insurers. Following the initial shot and booster injection three years later, vaccinations are recommended every five years. If you are over sixty, this should be every three years. And if you want to give blood you can do so on Wednesday March 6th in Landskron primary school or on March 25th at the town hall, from 3.30 to eight o’clock.

On March 22nd we can look forward to a fabulous spring display in the town hall square – always a joy and financed by the council. In the local media the council is always keen to tell us about how much it’s invested in the town centre: in the redevelopment of the road leading up to the railway station, in car parks, in the music school and of course in the town square which has existed more or less in its present form since the twelfth or thirteenth centuries. The next area to be improved is Lederergasse – parallel to the river, it takes its name from the leather industry, while Gerbergasse further along was the site of a tannery.

Villach’s annual Easter market will kick off on Thursday 21st March this year, with crafts, sweets and refreshment stalls open from ten to seven, with reduced opening hours of ten till two on Saturday 30th. Parents will be aware that schools only close for a week and a half – the school holiday system here means that children get more than two months’ holiday in the summer and far fewer the rest of the year than in England or Germany. Traditional Easter symbols in Villach are decorated blown out eggs - „ausgeblasene Eier“ - and the Easter bunny - „der Osterhase“. Both are symbols of fertility which can be traced back to pre-Christian rites and celebrations. It’s traditional to hang coloured or glittery eggs in windows, on trees and on pussy willow 'Palmkatzerln', and on Easter morning parents hide decorated eggs, chocolate ones or sweets in the garden for the children to find. The end of lent fasting is celebrated with sweet bread called “Osterreindling”, cold meat with “Apfelkren” (mashed apple and horseradish) and coloured eggs.

As temperatures rise and we can enjoy both more light and sunshine, this month is a good time to take your first skiing lessons. Everyone knows that ski equipment is very expensive, but if you want to look cool on the slopes the reductions are at their greatest in March. On the other hand, I’ve just had a look in the sports shops and noticed that in some there is not a lot of ski gear out, so you may want to take a look sooner rather than later. Helmets and back protectors are the best investments. A spokesman for the ski rescue service ‘Bergrettung Villach’ says in the local paper that accidents are most frequently caused as a result of poor equipment or over-estimation of one’s abilities. Young people suffer more accidents than adults and the most common injuries are to knees, hands and legs. With regard to ice skating you may find the following website helpful. It tells you which lakes are currently officially open for ice skating, which at the moment are regrettably none.

http://www.evw.at/

I know it’s early to start thinking about summer cultural events, but the classical musical festival “Carinthischer Sommer” which takes place in July and August has already assembled its programme. You can read about the festival in English on this website and reduced rate tickets can already be ordered there.

http://www.carinthischersommer.at/index.php?cccpage=ticket_verkauf

Enjoy a relaxing Easter in our pretty town.