2010 August :APOShoppers

Archive for August, 2010

Getting Around Austria

Austria’s main airlines are operated by the Austrian Airlines Group, which focuses on travels to and from Eastern Europe and the Middle East. One of these airlines, Lauda Air, is the brand for charter flights. The the rest of the airlines provide, on top of domestic, regional European flights that include destinations as Berlin, Milan, Barcelona, Paris and Rome.

The Vienna airport is 18km away from the city; the Salzburg airport, 4km. Airports have stores and facilities available for your convenience. Most airports have duty free shops, tourism information, restaurants, left luggage, currency exchange and car hire and car parking. You may look up a specific airport (e.g. Klagenfurt, Graz and Linz) to get more details on the services available there. Take note of the fixed fees on porter service.
To get to and from the airport, passengers have the option of travelling by bus, taxi, train, coach provided by hotels and even chauffeur-driven cars.

Travelers who choose to get to Austria by train may do so via the Austrian Federal Railways. The Austrian Federal Railways’ stops include major cities in and outside of Austria including cities in Germany, Russia, Greece, Romania, Turkey and the city of Brussels, Paris and Italy. You can purchase a Eurail, an international pass for railways, to avail of unlimited travel options across Europe and other offers.

If you prefer to travel by car or by motorcycle, crossing the Channel Tunnel will prove to be an interesting drive. Just remember that if you decide to travel by car, do your bookings in advance. Car rentals are available at airports and railway stations. Here are few pointers to remember when travelling by car:

1. Always bring your UK driving license or national driving license.
2. Make sure you have the car registration documents in your travel.
3. Prepare exact amounts for toll booths to avoid delays in your drive.
4. Turn on your lights when driving, whether inside the city or not.
5. Remember that there are strict laws for driving under the influence and the use of seatbelt.

Additionally, motorcycle or motorbike drivers and passengers are required to wear high visibility jacket and helmet at all times.
Cruise and ferries may also be availed when travelling around Austria and some even bundle cruise trips with hotel stays.
Consider these options on your next trip to Austria.

Common Running Injuries

Not too long ago, there was an article in the Army Times that highlighted the fact that many service members suffer from running injuries. I had to look up a couple of these injuries. I know I’m getting redundant posting running articles, but I find that I always need improvement in running.
You may think that running is the easiest form of exercise because the technique is just to allow each of your feet to rapidly touch the ground alternately. Think again. Since running requires a fast movement, a running athlete is prone to injuries. Here are the most common injuries in running and its effective prevention method. (ughh… sounding like a TM, huh?)

Runner’s Knee
Runner’s Knee is also known as (ITBS) Iliotibial Band Syndrome. Runners knee is experienced when an athlete stresses too much in the exercise. You can feel a sudden feeling of soreness felt within the legs because of wrong stretching technique before the sports event or choosing the wrong sports gear – or ill fitting military gear. You can take a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID), massage and use cold therapy would lessen the pain. By NSAID, I do mean Ibuprofen, AKA Ranger Candy, AKA the MF IAM (military fix it all medication).

Shin Splints
Just like Runners knee, shin splints is an injury felt by an athlete, or in this case service member, in his legs as a result of overtraining, wearing the wrong running shoes and poor flexibility. Cold therapy, massage technique and medication of NSAID also cure Shin Splints together with an ample amount of rest. Yes, the same stuff that they tell you at sick-call PLUS rest.

3. Achilles tendonitis or Achilles Tendinopathy is a result of putting too much pressure on the tendons thus allowing the muscles to work beyond its endurance. It is also cause by rapid changes in the distance and speed in an athlete’s exercise with weak joints and wearing the wrong shoes. Similar to Runners knee and shin splints, Achilles tendonitis can be cure by massage, cold therapy and NSAID, for chronic condition, however surgery is adviced.

Austria Part 1

Austria is home to some of the most celebrated music festivals in the world like the Salzburg Festival (of “The Sound of Music” fame), Haydn Festival and the International Chamber of Music Festival in Vienna. Its capital, Vienna, has also been dubbed as the musical capital of Europe. For enthusiasts of both music and art, a trip to Austria would certainly be an enthusing option. Austria is, after all, the birthplace of Mozart.

For those who are just mildly or even remotely interested in the arts, Austria’s artistic influence would merely be an added bonus to some of the other must-sees in the area including horse dances, the country’s snow-covered Alps during winter and the breathtaking castles. The Schloss Bernstein, for one, sits atop a village of the same name and provides a majestic view of its namesake. The castle sits beside Europe’s second largest river, the Danube River.

Horse dances is a travel experience you wouldn’t want to miss when in Austria. The people of this country are very fond of horse riding. Schools that showcase Austria’s 400-year old horsemanship stage open door performances. Just remember to book your ticket beforehand.

Austria experiences rain showers the whole year round and its summer is moderate in temperature—something to consider on your visit. Another thing to keep tabs on is the culture of the locals. The usual etiquette when meeting someone for the first time applies, e.g. addressing the person by their last name until given the permission to do otherwise and offering a handshake.
German is the national language of Austria and is the language predominantly spoken by locals. It can sometimes differ from Standard German, depending on the locality. Some of the minor languages in use in Austria include Slovene, Hungarian, Croatian and Turkish. A simple “Guten Tag” or “Gruss Gotta,” however, is acceptable when greeting people in public; “Auf Wiedersehen” when saying goodbye.

When going around town, it is customary to give cab drivers a 10% tip and to leave a 5% tip on top of your restaurant bill, regardless of the usual service charge.
Additionally, take note of the following duty free items when shopping for gifts to take back home:

1. 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250g tobacco or a proportional mix of these products
2. 1L of spirits over 22% or 2L of fortified wine or spirits up to 22& or 2L of sparkling wine or liqueur and 2L of still wine
3. 500g of coffee or 200g of extracts, essences or concentrates of coffee
4. 100g of tea or 40g of tea extracts
5. 50g of perfume or eau de toilette
6. Medicines sufficient for the journey

All the mentioned items above must be carried by a person over 17 years old.