Konservierungsmittel in Naturkosmetik

Wir betrachten die Unterschiede von Hautarzneimitteln zu täglich verwendeter Natur- und Biokosmetik, sowie die verschiedenen Möglichkeiten der Konservierung.

Ich bin Apotheker, das verpflichtet. Die unabhängige Aufklärung über Inhaltsstoffe in Produkten, egal ob Arzneimittel, Kosmetik oder Nahrungsergänzungsmittel ist unsere Aufgabe und sollte stets über wirtschaftlichen Interessen stehen.

Heute möchte ich aus gegebenem Anlass über die Konservierung in Natur- und Biokosmetik berichten, denn es besteht Aufklärungsbedarf. Es gibt verschiedene Systeme, wie man Kosmetika haltbar machen kann. Streng genommen sind auch Pasten, Salben und andere topische Zubereitungen, die in der Apotheke gefertigt und abgegeben werden, Kosmetika – durch Zugabe eines Arzneistoffs werden sie als fertige Einheit dann zum Arzneimittel.

Unterschied: Halbfeste Zubereitungen als Arzneimittel versus dekorative oder pflegende Kosmetik

Klassische Zubereitung in der Apotheke von halbfesten Arzneimitteln für die Verwendung auf der Haut

Warum ist diese Differenzierung wichtig? Ganz einfach: Der Einsatz eines Arzneimittels rechtfertigt die Verwendung indifferenter Salbengrundlagen. So kommen bei topischen Arzneizubereitungen oftmals Paraffinöle, wie z.B. Vaseline zum Einsatz, zum Teil als reine Grundlage, zum Teil verarbeitet in einer komplexeren Salbengrundlage, die wir dann gerne als Creme bezeichnen. Dadurch wird sichergestellt, dass ein indifferenter Träger – d.h. eine Salbengrundlage, die nicht mit dem Arzneistoff reagieren kann – zum Einsatz kommt. Es ist nicht wünschenswert, dass ein Arzneimittel unkontrolliert mit sich selbst reagiert und dabei Reaktionsprodukte entstehen, die am Ende im schlimmsten Fall toxisch sind oder nicht mehr wirken. Die Verwendung von Inhaltsstoffen, die man in Natur- und Biokosmetik niemals finden sollte, ist also für Arzneimittel, die auf der Haut und den Schleimhäuten angewendet werden, durchaus sinnvoll. Eine Therapie ist in der Regel aber immer – eine gute Compliance des Patienten vorausgesetzt – zeitlich sehr begrenzt.

Dagegen steht die Verwendung halbfester Zubereitungen als dekoratives oder pflegendes Element. Hier betrachten wir die Lifestyle Ebene. Natürlich sind Hautpflegeprodukte in gewisser Weise auch verantwortlich für ein gesundes Hautbild. Allerdings werden diese nahezu täglich angewendet und der Körper ist hierbei täglich mit der Verarbeitung, d.h. Abtransport eingezogener Anteile und der Metabolisierung, beschäftigt. Daher sollten für die Hautpflege nur Inhaltsstoffe verwendet werden, die auch natürlichen Ursprungs sind. Das ist einer der Gründe, weshalb nachhaltig gefertigte Lifestyle Produkte, welche aus natürlichen Rohstoffen hergestellt werden, in letzter Zeit so viel Zuspruch erhalten.

Auf die Matrix kommt es bei der Konservierung an: Pur, O/W oder W/O

Eine Creme, die aus verschiedensten Inhaltsstoffen zusammengesetzt ist und in der Wirkstoffe verarbeitet werden, wird von uns als Matrix bezeichnet. Das hat nichts mit dem gleichnamigen Sci-Fi Epos zu tun. So unterscheidet man grob in Matrizes, die pur verwendet werden (ein Öl oder Serum), O/W-Emulsionen, bei denen der Ölanteil der Creme fein verteilt in einer zusammenhängenden Wasserphase vorliegt oder W/O-Emulsionen, bei denen das eben genau andersherum ist und der wässrige Anteil fein verteilt in einer zusammenhängenden öligen Phase vorliegt.

Der verwendete Emulgator entscheidet bei den Emulsionen darüber, wie sich die Matrix anordnet, welche Phase nach innen wandert und welche Phase die äußere Matrix bildet. Klassische Cremes, die gut abwaschbar sind, sind in den allermeisten Fällen O/W-Emulsionen und die meisten Emulgatoren, die in der Natur- und Biokosmetik zum Einsatz kommen, begünstigen die Ausbildung eines O/W-Systems. Eine Ausnahme stellt Lanolin dar, die resultierenden Cremes sind, abhängig von Co-Emulgatoren, oftmals W/O-Systeme, was man daran spürt, dass sie etwas mehr aufliegen.

Wofür ist diese Unterscheidung wichtig? Wir wollen uns ja die Konservierung hier genauer ansehen und dafür ist zu allererst die Kenntnis wichtig, dass Wasser ein optimaler Nährboden für Mikroorganismen ist, ganz egal ob das Bakterien oder Pilze sind – Viren brauchen hingegen immer eine Wirtszelle, um überleben zu können!

Daraus folgt, dass wir für ein pures Öl eigentlich keine Konservierung gegen mikrobiellen Befall benötigen, für ein O/W-System hingegen sehr wohl. Antioxidantien müssen hingegen auch für hochwertige, pure Öle in Betracht gezogen werden, denn diese schützen die ein- oder mehrfach ungesättigten Fettsäuren vor der Oxidation durch Luftsauerstoff. Man kennt dieses Phänomen als ranzig werden.

Die Verwendung von selbst hergestellter Kosmetik sollte aus diesem Grund nur frisch erfolgen. Für alle Produkte am Markt gilt: Werden diese für den späteren Verkauf hergestellt, muss zwingend konserviert werden. Da helfen auch Versprechen von wegen frischer Kosmetik leider nichts, außer in der Marketingabteilung, denn die rechtliche Verpflichtung besteht, es sei denn ein Unternehmen nimmt die Haftung auf sich und registriert die Produkte nicht nach CPNP-Standard. Nach solchen Quellen sollte man als Kunde gezielt suchen.

Eine natürliche Resource für Zitronensäure

Gängige antimikrobielle Konservierungssysteme

Den allgemeinen Background habe ich Euch nun vorausgeschickt, damit Ihr versteht, warum die Konservierung einer Creme überhaupt vorgenommen wird. Nun möchte ich auf verschiedene Ansätze der Konservierung eingehen.

Benzoesäure und Sorbinsäure

Ein gängiger Wirkstoff-Cocktail ist die Kombination von Bezoesäure und Sorbinsäure. Beide Substanzen werden je nach Hersteller auch gerne als Natriumbenzoat (Sodium benzoate) und Kaliumsorbat (Potassium sorbate) eingesetzt. Das tut auch das Arzneibuch für topische, dermale Arzneimittel. Das System funktioniert sehr gut und wird sowohl in Naturkosmetik, als auch Biokosmetik toleriert. Allerdings sind Unverträglichkeiten gegen Benzoesäure bekannt. Zudem ist die Herkunft der Substanz stets in Frage zu stellen, da diese Aromaten heute in der Regel bei der Fraktionierung von Erdöl gewonnen werden, auch wenn die Benzoesäure ansich in Pflanzen nativ vorkommt. Die großtechnische Gewinnung aus Pflanzen ist sehr kostspielig. Sorbinsäure kommt nativ vor allem in der Frucht der Eberesche vor (Vogelbeere) und ist gegen Pilze aktiv. Aber auch hier ist fragwürdig, ob die in Naturkosmetik verwendete Sorbinsäure auch tatsächlich aus der Natur oder nicht doch eher aus der chemischen Fertigung stammt.

Ethanol

Ethanol, auch bekannt als Weingeist, Alkohol oder Spiritus, ist das wohl einfachste Konservierungsmittel, das wir kennen. Alkohol entsteht in wässriger Lösung aus Zucker durch den Gährungsprozess, der mit Hilfe von Hefepilzen stattfindet. Diese bauen den Zucker ab zu Kohlendioxid und verwerten die Energie. Alkohol ist dabei ein Nebenprodukt und kann in einem solchen Maße gebildet werden, bis er für die Hefepilze wachstumslimitierend, sprich schädlich / toxisch wird. Daher ist der verwendete Ethanol in Naturkosmetik immer aufgearbeitet und durch Destillation vom Wasser und anderen Anteilen aus der Gewinnung befreit. Auch bei Alkohol in Kosmetik gibt es viele Menschen, die darauf reagieren. Pur auf der Haut angewendet führt Alkohol zur Austrocknung der Haut. In Kombination angewendet, in einer O/W-Emulsion, sollte dieser austrocknende Effekt aufgrund der Mischung mit hohen Wasseranteilen und wertvollen Pflanzenölen, allerdings keine Rolle spielen. Ein Ethanol Anteil von bis zu 15% an der Wasserphase eines Naturkosmetikums ist nicht unüblich. Viele Hersteller kommen aber durch die Kombination mit anderen Konservierungsmitteln auf geringere Anteile. Ich würde Alkohol als unbedenklich einstufen, denn er hat kein allergisierendes Potential und verdampft sehr schnell aus einer Zubereitung heraus, wenn diese auf die Haut aufgetragen wird. Daher hat Alkohol auch kühlende Eigenschaften, was in Form des nicht-verzehrbaren Isopropylalkohols auch in Sportgels zum Einsatz kommt.

Ätherische Öle und pflanzliche Extrakte

Natürlich können auch pflanzliche Extrakte und ätherische Öle zur Konservierung herangezogen werden. Bekannte ätherische Öle stammen aus:

  • Lavendel (Lavandula officinalis / angustifolia oil)
  • Rosmarin (Rosmarinus officinalis extract / leaf oil)
  • Zitrusfrüchten (z.B. Citrus aurantium dulcis (orange) peel oil)
  • Minze (z.B. Mentha spicata herb oil)
  • Zitronenmelisse (z.B. Melissa officinalis leaf oil)
  • Anis (Pimpinella anisum seed extract)
  • Zimt (Cinnamomun zeylanicum extract)
  • Phenethylalkohol oder Phenylethanol, Destillat des aromatischen Alkohols aus Rosenblüten
  • Und viele weitere mehr

Für Biokosmetik stellen diese Inhaltsstoffe sicherlich die attraktivste Variante dar. Viele dieser Pflanzen sind in unseren Breiten aus kontrolliert biologischem Anbau gut verfügbar, in einer hohen Qualität und die ätherischen Öle können zudem als Duftstoffe dienen, um einem Produkt einen einzigartigen Geruch zu verleihen. Sie kommen in niedrigen Konzentrationen zum Einsatz und stellen daher in der Regel kein Risiko dar. Allerdings sind ätherische Öle ebenfalls durch Extraktion oder Destillation gewonnen und einzelne Bestandteile eines solchen Öls sind bei dieser Art der Gewinnung (häufig Wasserdampfdestillation oder Kaltpressung) nicht abtrennbar. Dadurch besteht auch bei ätherischen Ölen, ähnlich der Benzoesäure, ein gewisses Potential für allergische Reaktionen. Das ist auch der Grund weshalb die Allergene Limonen, Linalool, Geraniol, Citral und Coumarin immer angegeben werden müssen. Es empfiehlt sich definitiv, vor der Verwendung eines Produkts, welches auf diese Weise konserviert wurde, abzuklären, ob Allergien vorliegen – manchmal weiß man das erst nach Anwendung, denn Kreuzallergien sind hier auch möglich, d.h. eine Reaktion tritt auf, obwohl man eigentlich gegen etwas ganz anderes allergisch ist.

Gängige Konservierungsunterstützende Maßnahmen

Die Konservierung eines Produktes in der Naturkosmetik bzw. Biokosmetik ist natürlich nicht nur abhängig von den oben genannten Substanzen, die Zumeist eingesetzt werden, weil sie direkt antimikrobiell wirksam sind. Eine Hand voll weiterer Faktoren spielt bei der Stabilität und Haltbarkeit ebenfalls eine grosse Rolle:

  • pH-Wert
  • osmotischer Druck, z.B. durch Verwendung von Glycerol oder Xylitol
  • eine hohe Ölphase innerhalb einer O/W-Emulsion

Das sind selbstredend keine Kriterien, die der Kunde am Ende auf der Verpackung notwendigerweise sieht, aber auch sie tragen erheblich zur Stabilität eines Kosmetikums bei.

PALEO KOSMETIK ist eine neuartige, sehr strenge Art von Biokosmetik, die ohne chemische Emulgatoren auskommt und dennoch Cremes in gewohnter Konsistenz bietet. Echte Nahrung für die Haut!

FAZIT

Die Konservierung von Natur- und Biokosmetik ist leider immer notwendig. Dabei kann aus dem oben vorgestellten Reportoire an Inhaltsstoffen gewählt werden und es liegt beim Kunden, sich darüber zu informieren, ob ggf. Unverträglichkeiten vorliegen. Die Verwendung chemiebasierter Kosmetik ist zwar ein potentieller Ausweg aus der Konservierungs-Allergisierung – wenn auf Konservantien verzichtet wird – allerdings sind die Langzeit Effekte nicht bekannt, die auftreten, wenn der Körper stets unverdauliche Bestandteile metabolisieren und eliminieren muss – Bestandteile, die häufig aus der Pietrochemie stammen. Berichten Zufolge leidet darunter das Hautbild stark, weil die Haut nicht mehr vernünftig atmen kann. Wissen ist wie immer Macht und hilft dem Kunden, am Ende das richtige Produkt für die eigenen Bedürfnisse zu wählen.

Bei der Entwicklung meiner eigenen Biokosmetik sind all diese Überlegungen natürlich mit eingeflossen. Bei Interesse besucht doch mal unsere Website der CREAMS OF THE STONE AGE – wir nennen diesen Ansatz, zertifizierte Biokosmetik noch natürlicher und damit verträglicher zu machen, Paleo Kosmetik, denn damit betonen wir den Bezug zu ursprünglichen Rohstoffen und unseren holistischen Ansatz. Uns war es wichtig, dass die Rohstoffe eindeutig zugeordnet werden können, dass diese nachhaltig angebaut werden und das ein möglichst geringes allergenes Restrisiko bleibt. Daher sind wir auch immer daran interessiert, neue Wege zu beschreiten und viel zu experimentieren. Am Ende bleibt es, neben der Verträglichkeit, natürlich Geschmacksache, auf welche Düfte (Konservierung mit ätherischen Ölen) man sich einlassen kann bzw. welche Inhaltsstoffe man besser verträgt. Alkohol ist aus meiner Sicht jedenfalls zu Unrecht in Verruf, da dieser als einzige Komponente definitiv kein allergenes Potential besitzt! Abschließend möchte ich allen dazu raten, sich bei der Inhaltsstoff Auswahl gut zu informieren, wenn Unverträglichkeiten bekannt sind und diese Erkenntnisse unbedingt beim Kauf zu berücksichtigen. Wenn man etwas gefunden hat, was passend ist, darf es dann dafür ruhig etwas mehr kosten – kauft nichts, was Euch mehr schadet, als das es hilft. Solltet Ihr Fragen zu diesem Thema haben, schreibt mir bitte mittels des Kontakformulars. Ich bin Apotheker, das verpflichtet.

Innsbruck / BeNicoMa

Der Paleo Lifestyle

Der Paleo Lifestyle – Mein Einstieg in einen Mythos. Angenommen der Mensch hat sich seit Erreichens der letzten Entwicklungsstufe – Homo Sapiens – nicht weiter entwickelt, unser Essen jedoch schon, dann müssten wir mit einer Steinzeiternährung in der heutigen Zeit besser kompatibel sein, ein besseres Lebensgefühl erfahren und von der vergessenen Esskultur profitieren. Im Umkehrschluss ist es auch kein Geheimnis, dass unsere moderne, schnelle Ernährung Ursache vieler Krankheiten ist. Ich finde über die kommenden 30 Tage für euch heraus, ob an dem Mythos etwas dran ist.

Ich ernähre mich normalerweise recht gesund. Das ist zumindest mein Weltbild, von dem ich als Healthcare Professional ausgehe – manche Worte sind echt nicht elegant, wenn man die Deutsche Übersetzung verwendet, daher seht mir bitte den einen oder anderen Anglizismus nach. Trotzdem habe ich gerade in letzter Zeit wieder recht viel zugenommen, ganz ohne über die Stränge zu schlagen und obwohl ich immer mit dem Fahrrad unterwegs bin und ebenso oft in den Bergen, ganz egal, ob auf Mountainbike, Ski oder zu Fuß. Nicht das es großartig stören würde, aber das gesamte Körpergefühl ist derzeit nicht so, wie es sein könnte, wie ich es aus fitten Tagen kenne. Daher habe ich beschlossen, mal etwas Neues auszuprobieren und darüber werde ich hier am 15. Januar 2017 berichten, so ziemlich genau in 30 Tagen.

Vor etwa zwei Jahren habe ich zum ersten Mal vom Paleo Lifestyle gehört. Meine Freunde in Berlin sind voll darauf abgefahren und der eine hat es nun sogar zu seiner Berufung gemacht, oder zumindest teilweise. Er betreibt ein Cross Fit Studio in Berlin, ein modernes Fitness Studio, bei dem es nicht darum geht, irgendwelche Übungen 100 mal zu wiederholen. Bei Black Sheep Athletics Berlin  geht es darum, Spaß in der Gruppe zu haben und dabei überaus fordernde Übungen spielerisch umzusetzen – eben mit Spaß bei der Sache, gepusht durch die Gruppendynamik. Die Leute dort ernähren sich fast alle nach der Paleo Diät. Ich konnte einige Eindrücke gewinnen und das Prinzip hat mir sehr gut gefallen. Und ich werde auch darüber noch schreiben, dann könnt ihr mich leiden sehen – auf den entstandenen Bildern versteht sich.

Zurück zu Paleo. So wie ich es verstehe muss man eigentlich nicht auf vieles verzichten. Gut, Getreide jeglicher Art ist Tabu und anfangs auch industriell verarbeitete Milchprodukte. Da fällt in unserem Kulturkreis schon eine Menge weg. Hinzu kommen viele Hülsenfrüchte und das wichtigste, Zucker. Damit soll erreicht werden, dass unser Körper, der in der Evolution keine großen Fortschritte mehr gemacht hat, seit es die Spezies Homo Sapiens gibt, keinem artifiziellen Ernährungseinfluß ausgesetzt wird, welcher quasi menschgemacht ist. Beobachtet man die Zunahme an industriellen Erkrankungen, insbesondere des metabolischen Syndroms mit Adipositas, Asthma und Diabetes, sowie Allergien und Krebs, so könnte also durchaus etwas dran sein an der Theorie. In jedem Fall soviel, dass ich interessiert daran bin, mehr darüber heraus zu finden und was wäre nahe liegender, als es selbst auszuprobieren? Klar könnte man jetzt auch mit dem zunehmenden Alter der Weltbevölkerung dagegen argumentieren, aber das metabolische Syndrom, Krebs und letale Herz-Kreislauf Erkrankungen kommen immer häufiger schon bei sehr jungen Menschen vor. Das halte ich dagegen und deshalb überzeuge ich mich selbst.

Ich möchte euch hier im ersten Beitrag nur kurz sensibilisieren und gegebenenfalls um Mithilfe bitten, falls ihr bereits Erfahrungen habt, diese in den Kommentaren zu teilen und weitere Empfehlungen auszusprechen. Ich habe noch Nachholbedarf bei der Differenzierung der verschiedenen Stile der Paleo Diät, dabei sind mir Labels und Verbote solange egal, solange sie nicht sehr gut begründet sind. Es soll schmecken, Spaß machen und etwas bringen, einer unnötigen Qual möchte ich mich nicht aussetzen. Aber die Meinung ist frei, daher nur her mit euren Kommentaren!

Gängige Seiten, die ich selbst verwende und konsultiere sind Mark’s Daily Apple, der Blog von Chris Kresser, das Paleo Wiki und Paleo360 – eine erste Einleitung könnt ihr auch bei Wikipedia unter dem Begriff Steinzeiternährung finden. Ich freue mich über euer Feedback und hoffe, dass ich noch den einen oder anderen nützlichen Hinweis von euch einsammeln kann, bevor ich euch in knapp 30 Tagen berichte, wie es mir bei der 30 Tage Paleo Challenge ergangen ist. Ich veröffentliche dann mein Logbuch, mit dem, was ich gegessen habe und wie sich das Gewicht dazu verhalten hat – und am wichtigsten, wie es mir dabei ergangen ist.

Noch etwas in eigener Sache: Bisher war der Blog stets in Englisch geschrieben und ich mache damit auch weiter. Dennoch möchte ich in Zukunft meiner eigenen Sprache mehr Gewicht einräumen. Daher wird es zeitlich versetzt zu den Originalartikeln immer ein englisches Transkript geben, ganz so, wie es sich zeitlich einrichten lässt.

If you are used to the English version of BeNicoMa.com I kindly ask your patience. Since I want to focus a little bit more on the people and community of my surrounding, to catch regional trends, I will write in German first. I promise to repost the English transcript of each article which will be published on the Blog a tad later – when there is time for the translation. Many thanks for your understanding!

Nightshift in the hospital

Nightsessions are one kind of my favorites. A little variation with a workflow shooting in the clinic at night can be a welcomed diversification to the beautiful city- and landscapes

I love to do sessions where I get the opportunity to document pros at work. A recent night spent with two lovely nurses brought up some cool insights into worklife at the clinic. There’s more to come, but those are the first impressions for you. Pretty cool, right?

Inspiration from charismatic Timothy Ferris

You need inspiration to flee the rat race (Hamsterrad)? You are sick to be a slave of society, where the dictate of wages and employment takes lots of your energy, which could be spend elsewise to perform better? Just get inspired by the attached video and dig the book I provide here. It might be a long needed initiation for you as well!

As you see, the whole project suffered a bit from the latest duties I had to fulfill. Some are duties of honor, others are simply to be able to pay my bills, like working 7 – 4. Time to get back to what this blog was ultimately all about – travel, information for your convenience, insider tips and the photography which depicts everything in an easy accessible way… For me the finding of Tim’s newest activity is like a backflash, like a sunrise, after a long period of darkness.

https://instagram.com/p/34tEsIn9yu/

For now, I want to share some inspiration I just received by the one, who opened my eyes a couple of years ago, when I read his first book – Die 4-Stunden-Woche: Mehr Zeit, mehr Geld, mehr Leben, that is better known as The 4-Hour Work Week: Escape the 9-5, Live Anywhere and Join the New Rich with its original English title. I am referring to Timothy Ferris of course, a charismatic guy, who mastered self-establishment and learning.

You cannot imagine, what a lasting influence his work brought to my life. It basically opened my eyes, and although I am still working, and really love what I do, I prefer to leave the rat race as well as soon as possible, to be free to chose, what I really want to do and what I really want to learn – most importantly, to chose where to live on this wonderful planet. Who isn’t?

Tim refers to us, who are on the step of realizing the freedom and self-employment, as “Wantrepreneurs”, and he is right, that dreaming and hazzling with those dreams doesn’t move a penny. To get you a deeper impression I recommend to view this quick trailer, and if you are interested in what you see, you can dig deeper e.g. by checking out the book, which is easy accessible via the link you find above. Have fun getting inspiredn and remember, it is never too late to start. I promise to come back with some new reports from recent travels soon!

Nordkette Wetterleuchten Festival over Innsbruck

The Nordkette Wetterleuchten Festival is a cosy open air on Seegrube (1905 m) over Innsbruck. You get two days of electronic sounds, served with THE VIEW, down to city and far into the Alps at night. A truly amazing experience!

This year’s Alps Festival Wetterleuchten has been stunning! The weather was stable and actually perfect, with true Wetterleuchten – thunderstorms seen from the distance – over other regions of the Alps.

Overlooking the festivities of the Nordkette Wetterleuchten Eletronic Music Festival over Innsbruck, Austria
Overlooking the festivities of the Nordkette Wetterleuchten Eletronic Music Festival over Innsbruck, Austria

There have been two tents with great, bassy electronic beats, in the bigger tent mashed up with some classics from time to time. Sound was great and dancing actually lots of fun! Everywhere you go up there, you find the tents of the people who stay there over-night. A mild night with around 18 °C on 1905 m, pretty warm and comfortable.

Chillout at the campfire
Chillout at the campfire
The big campfire, chill and warm-up while the bass vibrates in ears and body.
The big campfire, chillout and warm-up while the bass vibrates in ears and body.

People are in a good mood, but many decide to take the cable car home before 3 A.M. I sit down at the campfire for a while, get back to dancing and decide to leave with the last cable car at 3 A.M. as well. It takes me another hour to get home, but the walk was worth it. To be continued…

Happy New Year 2015

A happy New Year 2015 to everyone!

BeNicoMa wishes a great start into 2015 to everyone, with a bang, with friends and family and lots of joy!

Germany 2011 Berlin 2011-09 Fireworks 1250x1250
New Years Eve fireworks in Berlin, Germany and many spectators… Enjoy the night!

 

Lots of health, love, satisfaction with what you do & achieve and last but not least, some beautiful adventures to everyone! Celebrate well and get into the new year2015 – safely!

Christmas, time for family

I want to wish a Merry Christmas to everyone reading this blog! The most valuable institution in our life is our family. This is why I dedicate this entry to my family and its history that nothing will be forgotten and the history can be passed on.

I want to wish a Merry Christmas to everyone reading this blog – or in German Frohe Weihnachten! The most valuable institution in our life is our family. This is why I dedicate this entry to my family and its history!

Merry Christmas to all of you!
Merry Christmas to all of you who follow the entries on BeNicoMa.com and many thanks for your support, I am glad to have you here and wish you peaceful Christmas holidays!

Many conflicts divide our society, the different peoples of the world and the family as an institution suffer from restrictions, which are caused by our economic interests and the pressure, built up by our society… This should not be the case since the family is the only institution in life, that is not exchangeable and if you are peaceful and in harmony with the ones you are related to, everything is so much better.

With this entry I want to remember my grandparents, who both were Chinese, coming a long way during the time of Nazi Germany. This entry is dedicated to all relatives, as a source of history that our ancestors may not be forgotten …

Madga 03
The inner family on a glance: Madga with Teh Wei on her lap, besides my father Teh Li, Teh Dscheng (Ted), Teh Ko and Teh Hsing – from left to right. In the back is my grandfather Ting Sheng. The picture is from 1944 or 1945, and was taken in Germany.

The name of my grandmother, Chao Ti Ling (that is her maiden name) and later Ma, means as much as “Call me the little brother” since Madga (mother) as we used to call her, was born into the Chinese part of my family solely with sisters. The name implies the wish for a son. She was from Wenzhou in China and was born in 1916.

Chao Ti Ling, with 16 years in China - We just called her Madga
Chao Ti Ling, with 16 years in China – We just called her Madga. For what she achieved in those tough times, she is one of my alltime idols, may she rest in peace!

My grandfather Ting Sheng Ma was merchant and much older than her. He was born in 1898 in the region Chekiang (Zhejiang) in China but I couldn’t get more detailed information about him from my uncle. Here you see some pictures of family members from China but my uncle Teh Ko couldn’t provide more information about them since he doesn’t know better. The pictures are all what is left as a connect to the Chinese background of the family in China and albeit from him, nobody speaks Chinese anymore, which is a pity.

BeNicoMa
I use the Chinese letter for Ma as signum for my photography and in future I will apply it as a seal in all official purposes.

Our last name Ma is written like depicted here and the meaning is “Hemp plant under the firmament“, if you translate it into a western meaning. The name is rare in the meanwhile, since most Ma‘s are derived from the meaning horse. We don’t know much about our family background in China. My grandparents came alone in 1933, when my grandmother was 17 years old. They came with the Transsiberian train, via Russia, to Dingen in Poland as their first home in Europe. I could not find the Polish name for it nowadays but have the names of the other cities where my family lived in those times. They moved several times in between Germany and Poland.

All my uncles were born in Europe. My grandparents moved from their first destination Dingen to Łódź – which was called Litzmannstadt by that time. In Łódź, which belongs to Poland again after the end of WWII, my uncles Teh Ko (1935) and Teh Hsing (1937) were born. Most of the provided information was given to me by Teh Ko, who remembers lots of details, despite his age. Teh Tscheng (1939) – who was just called Ted later, because he moved to Canada to found his own family – was born in Poland as well. The family wanted to return to China in 1939 due to the ongoing and developing war on the countryside in the East. My grandfather was quite successful with trading by that time but the Germans took everything, which made their return impossible. A relatively big Chinese community lived in the Łódź area and many of them returned to China if somehow possible. In 1939/40 the family moved to Berlin. Their first home in Berlin was in Wallner Theaterstrasse 26, in district C2 in 1940. My father Teh Li was born in Charité in 1942.

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Madga in Germany, before the times of color photography

In the winter of 1942/43 the bombings of Berlin started and Teh Ko remembers that they have been heavy. He remembers that the windows were clotted and covered with paper everywhere to prevent the breaking glass, due to the bombings, from scattering as dangerous slivers. He also remembers, that he was once hit at the leg by a shrapnel while leaving the bunker. In general he reports that they had relatively few problems with the Nazis. The only thing he mentioned was, that my grandfather should get retracted by the Nazis to fight for the Wehrmacht in 1942/43 – In contrast my father and my Canadian cousin Oliver claim, that my grandfather was forced to leave for compulsory labor in a camp but Madga prevented his vitiation by arguing with the Nazis how she should be able to feed and raise four boys without a father, that’s what she said herself. Maybe the truth is somewhere in between… It will be tough to reproduce the true happenings.

Due to the massive bombings families with many children were evacuated to the countryside – as Teh Ko states on a tractor – in the year 1944 and in a measure called “Storch“. They were moved to Dahlhausen in Brandenburg, about 110 km North-East of Berlin, close to Wittstock / Dosse, and lived initially in the house of Pastor Schmidt in the year of 1944. They were looted again, this time of the Russian red army, although the grandfather had buried everything. On the countryside they were shifted several times and in the same year 1944 my youngest uncle Teh Wei was born in Kutno, which was called Schröttersburg by that time and was part of Schlesien, but belongs to Poland again today. 

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On this picture are Teh Hsing, Teh Tscheng, Teh Li, Madga and Teh Ko from left to right and some unknown friends of the family.

After the war in 1945/46 the family returned to Berlin and lived in the Auguste-Viktoria-Strasse in Berlin-Grunewald. The children received Chinese lessons from their private teacher Gau Guan Shi. My grandfather didn’t return with the family, he traded with slippers in Poznan (Posen) of Poland, where he lived and worked in Loketka 26 to support the family, and while in Berlin, he carried luggage and traded carpets and china porcelain together with Teh Ko. The both were hawking, traded in the streets and in restaurants, my grandmother took care of the children by that time and the family did alright – both, my uncle and my father confirmed that, independently from each other.

In 1947 my grandfather moved to Frankfurt / Main and Teh Ko followed him in 1949, while the rest of the family remained in Berlin. In 1961 Madga opened the first Chinese restaurant in Müllerstrasse, Berlin-Wedding. Another business of hers was a shop for Chinese wares in Hauptstrasse, Berlin-Schöneberg…

To be continued!

If anyone can and wants to contribute to add to the puzzle of family history, please contact me via my contact form. The attached gallery shows different members of the family and the names and relations to me are given as far as I know. The idea and task to create this entry was granted to me by my cousins Oliver Ma from Canada. I met him, his sister Stephani Ma, and my little cousins Savanna and Etienne, his kids for the first time (that I remember) in 2013, during my Eastcoast Roadtrip. An awesome experience and we will see each other again! I wish happy Christmas Holidays to everyone and hope to be able to gather some more info during the time. Take care!

Berlin Special: The 25th anniversary of re-unification

The re-unification of Germany is the glorious history of November 9th in German History. There have been different times at this date, but today this entry brings some impressions from my childhood in West-Berlin, some thoughts and of course photography of the 25th anniversary celebrations.

“I’m a child of an island in the red sea.” That’s what I always stated, when we had discussions about East vs West in the past. This is a long topic and the re-unification was not always as smooth as it might seem to you.

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We had many discussions with our East German counterparts, because we – from the West – had everything and were arrogant – from the point of view of East Germans. Heard that the last time, when the East Germans behaved exactly like that, getting everything we prepared as group work and being arrogant when questioned for doing so in the studies of Pharmacy in Berlin“Now it’s our turn, you had everything, all the years before” was the unacceptable answer. Maybe they have been right, but it was not my fault or the fault of my colleagues from the West, we have been small children by that time. That’s already nearly ten years in the past – and the sad thing about it is, that all the glory of a moment and all the hope and good will is replaced by routine – getting back to the routes, forgetting what was important, all too fast.

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Today it’s hard to distinct who is East and who is West German – it does not matter anymore or the importance vanishes more and more, at least in my generation. It’s good like that, we are one people. 

“I’m a child from an island in the Red Sea.”

By employing this phrase I stated, that I am from West-Berlin, I was born and raised there. Former West-Berlin to be adequate. The place in Germany which was surrounded by the soviet occupancy – the red and since it was a big area surrounding West-Berlin the metaphor “Island in the Red Sea” made sense to me. The DDR (GDR, i.e. German Democratic Republic) was under Russian patronage, but still controlled by their own East German people – the secretary general and his executive the VoPos (Volkspolizei, i.e. peoples police). West-Berlin was a spot of Western life in the middle of the communistic driven DDR – connected to East-Berlin via closed bridges everywhere, with the most prominent Oberbaumbrücke, Bornholmer Brücke in the inner city and Glienicker Brücke towards Brandenburg – those are bridges over the rivers Spree and Havel.

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I come from the former British sector, from Berlin-Wilmersdorf. I still remember radio stations like RIAS which means Radio In the American Sector. I still know the surveillance station on Teufelsberg as a guarded stronghold of the American – or allied – forces. I know the term “Rosinenbomber” and connected to that, the importance of the Airport Berlin-Tempelhof, which was the only airport in the beginning, right after the wall was built in August 1961, to bring supplies and food to West-Berlin. Visit the memorial park while you are in Berlin, Checkpoint Charlie and Brandenburger Tor, to see the most popular places, where the separation was obviously visible – and Eastside Gallery to see authentic left overs of the Berlin Wall.

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While for us in West-Berlin traveling was possible during the whole time, it was not as comfortable as today. We had to pass the DDR, on the corridors that were open to the West-Berliners and Western Germans to enter Berlin. This act – yes it was! – was called Transit. You had to wait at the border leaving West-Berlin and again at the border to enter BRD, or Western Germany, as it was called in the past. And this Transit was not always smooth, some days you had to wait hours to be allowed to reenter or they didn’t let you at all. I remember one night in winter, when I was a small kid. We have not been allowed to enter BRD and had to wait at the border for ten hours, before it was reopened. The allied forces handed soup and sheets for the people waiting and the VoPos checked every car with dogs for fleeing people. That was reality and I still have this image on my mind of soldiers digging our luggage, a submachine gun over the shoulder, the dogs in the car. On the highways of DDR, the speed limit was 100 km/h, unimaginably slow compared to today – for Germany, that is known for the fun Autobahn experience. When you took your pets, you had to present them to the veterinaries at the border and pay a fee. When you wanted to enter the DDR to visit relatives or friends, you had to pay a fee and change Deutsche Mark into Ostmark. Life was certainly different.

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I was six years old, when the wall fell on November 9th 1989. I don’t remember too much anymore. I just remember everyone went nuts. There was a great excitement in the air. My mum went alone, she left us at home on this night. I think it is a pity. I think we would still remember what happened nowadays. But a couple of days after the fall of the wall, we went into East-Berlin to discover it. What I remember: The smell was so different! It smelled like coal, burning coal. The wall must have prevented the smell to come over. And the Trabbies smelled horrific by that time as well. Everything was grey and rundown, compared to today where the eastern parts of Berlin shine so beautiful. You could still see the bullet holes in the walls of many buildings, the holes which date back to WW II. 

We visited Friedrichstadtpalast and witnessed a suite of Tschaikowski, played by the former East-German variete, and we visited the Naturkundemuseum in Mitte. That have been the first two events respectively places I remember in accordance to the re-unification. And today?

Everything seems normal! Berlin is one, no doubt about that. But I still have the feeling it is different when you hit the East German countryside in Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. But it is good that it is like it is and our children will hopefully realize, that times have been different, will hopefully understand, that everyone can be thankful, this never ending cold-war is over, once and for all. What we should learn out of that? Make Love not war, everywhere on this planet. It might be a special case in the history of Germany, with all the guilt, the forgiveness, the separation and finally the re-unification – November 9th is a dark and a glorious date – has both sides in German history and a date which will always be bound to that history. But the principle I address of making love and not war is the same, no matter about what wall we are talking, no matter which religion we believe in and which economic interests are on our list. People have to understand that, finally, once and for all. 

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And to visualize the celebration of the 25th anniversary of this epic event, I took some pictures, mainly in Mauerpark of the event itself, some close to Bornholmer Brücke and some the days before along Oberbaumbrücke and Eastside Gallery, as well as at Brandenburger Tor, where the rests of the inner Berlin wall can be found. I wrote about the area between Kreuzberg and Friedrichshain – including Eastside Gallery – a couple of month ago and you can find the entry here.

Eastcoast Roadtrip 2013 – Boston nightlife, an inner monologue

A small report about my nightlife experience in Boston, where I attended a concert of a faous rockbank, the Two Door Cinema Club.

F*ck, they really start on time… First thought when I enter the concert hall. Today I attend the concert of the Two Door Cinema Club.

WTF a small beer costs $7?! Glad I came here by car. A band plays some decent rock music, a group of about 50 people is nodding to the sound, they form a little block right in front of the stage. This is obviously not Two Door Cinema ClubGoing out in the USA is certainly different. You have to leave the building to smoke and on return line-up again, a good reason to let it be.

By the way, this monologue comes right out of my mind, exactly like that! 🙂

My way here was crazy: I am quite late so I decide to take the car. And have an accident with an afroamerican guy, I hit the brakes hard… but my car touches his, when he suddenly brakes, while I check the way with a quick peek on the map. – He jumps out of the car, I tell him I am foreigner and needed to check the map, that I am very sorry and I could call the cops, if he insists. The magic word, he says I better take care the next time, there is no damage at our cars, and he doesn’t seem to like the cops, so he leaves. Man that was close and I was really lucky…

But back to the happening in the concert hall. It was just a pre game band, but they were good. I ask at the bar, they tell me, there will be two more groups before the main act starts. It’s really weird how the people in front of the stage form this block. The emotions are not yet at climax. It seems a bit like they are waiting to be invited to enjoy themselves.

Besides me sits a kid of 10 years with its mom. Isn’t it a tad late for such little kids? Thought it’s AO in the USA to get into a nightclub, at least in regard to drinking. And the kid really sleeps now on the lap of the mom. It’s so loud in here but it sleeps. Crazy!

Next pre band coming up, it’s getting full. The band sounds like a synthesis of Coldplay and Bloc Party.

Damn, just saw Mount Kimbie hits this place next week, they are really great! Just saying Made to Stray Morning High Remix. I will not make it to that concert, and this is one of their songs I really worship and you should check it out. A pity I will miss that.

The plan is to discover Maine for two days and the wilderness and do some Indian Summer hiking in Baxter State Park. The summit is the aim and without that I don’t want to continue… A preferable plan in my opinion, since the mood it still not bursting and a summit experience beats that by far. Hey but the band has a really hot keyboarder girl! 🙂

Just now a tad obese person gave some ear protections – the ones you put in the ears – to the mother of the little girl. Awww, hope they are unused. The pre-band just finished, I go for another cigarette, the whole lining-up shit included. Seems to me like a musical with plentiful breaks and I hope in that moment, that first of all Placebo appears in concert in NYC and second, that the NYC crowd rocks a little bit more, than people do here. The pre-bands have been Smallpools and St. Lucia, they were actually pretty decent, just for your info, when you want to study Indie Rock that is outta there and need some ideas. And what I notice as well… The floor is covered with carpet, I hate carpets and in a place like that, where thousands of people go around, it’s probably not the best choice.

It’s quiet… nothing goes on stage… And then they start Limp Bizkit from the record with Keep Rollin’ – alright! But not necessarily what I expected.

Harpoon Beer is actually quite tasty… This thought of mine is followed by Nelly with Must be the Money… Alright, what a mix of genres! What’s up in the almighty land of entertainment? Seems to me, Europe is far ahead in the meanwhile in regard to nightlife entertainment – especially Berlin – but even IBK in some regards. When the Two Door Cinema Club does not deliver properly, even newcomer Milky Chance, who I saw in Innsbruck‘s Weekender last week, was better.

The hall is huge by the way… Hope you can see it on those cellphone pictures.

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It’s as huge as the hall Tyrol of the IBK convention center, the biggest lecture hall of Free University of Berlin in Rostlaube or has the double size of our foyer in CCB.Not so easy to draw a comparison here, which will be understood by everyone.

Ahhh Still D.R.E. is played – good old reliable Hip-Hop. And it is still alive in America, which I love. Memories of my time as teenager come up.

And there it plays… Eric Pryde, Call on me… Followed by Darude with Sandstorm. 1999 here we are! Some rednecks dance discofox to that song (!!!), epic fail. On the other hand: For those images alone the admission fee von $75 was worth it! Then: Hedaway, What is love (baby don’t hurt me), back to the early 90’s ya!

Finally Two Door Cinema Club hits the stage, the girls scream, some probably lose their conscious, awesome! It’s 8:05 PM, pretty much on time! I head to the crowd now, to experience this concert right up front.

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The concert is awesome and I am in the 10th line in front of the stage. Party is on and when the concert is over all too soon at 9:20 PM the crowd yells, screams, and due to that asks for another round of concert awesomeness – even without the necessity to ask for “One more song!” – this is delivered automatically by the band. Have to say the mood was really cool when the actual band attended, the wait until they attended, not.

Now everyone leaves the hall all in a sudden, I don’t know why? I look around and walk up to a guy from the security what’s the matter. They tell me, the underaged need to leave and from 10 PM the party starts again, with the door selecting all the underaged, i.e. < 21 years.

I am hungry so I decide to go to Taiwan Cafe in Chinatown, right around the corner. I ride home and get more cash, than I return – and find out that I am numb after this experience.

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After the party, my impressions from the party – it’s 2:00 AM. The club became empty at 1:30 AM all of a sudden and outside everyone was fighting for the Taxis – good to have a car, it started raining as well. And I hope, it won’t rain or even snow, when I go hiking, it’s the least I would wish for.

The look back to this event: 11:55 PM. Now we talk party but truly PAAAARTY! I didn’t expect that to happen anymore – and there are again ladies who heat up the mood of the people in short clothes – to bring the mood to the climax. The music is mediocre but I have a Red Bull, that builds me up after so many kilometers of walking this day. I have some nice flirts, a hot girl pours me a drink, but when I ask her out to talk somewhere else where I can understand her better, she neglects. Strange world.

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The resumee: It was a stunning concert but the nightlife seems so controlled in the USA. You can not just go to a public event / party and enjoy yourself and the fact everything is over at 2:00 AM was not really appreciable. But after all this experience was great and the Two Door Cinema Club in concert is worth to be visited!

Innsbruck – About my Home – Part 1

Part 1 of my introduction of my home Innsbruck is all about the lifestyle, what you can do and where you can go at night. I give you recommendation on what to obey and where to inform, when you plan to hit the mountains. In the upcoming second part I will give the more basic info like touristic sights and going-places.

The Innsbruck “skyline” with the dome and clouds from an incoming thunderstorm.

Innsbruck is quite a small city, compared to my hometown Berlin, where I was born and raised, but is still well known for its divine nature and sports opportunities all over the world. It lies at the river Inn – where the name is derived from – and has a count of about 125,000 people when all the students are present – which is not so common, especially not over the summer month where the inhabitants count around 95,000. That’s an equal count of citizens like in Berlin Charlottenburg, the district where I originally come from. With that count the city is Austrias 5th largest city. From this point of view, I did not move into a smaller place, when I came here… 😉

Most people associate Innsbruck and Tyrol with wintersports or ridiculously green meadows on the mountains during the summer time, where you can give credit to your Wanderlust.

A typical street scenery in Innsbruck’s old city – a beautiful city with colorful and old houses, since the city was not destroyed in WWII

The term cultural capital is of course not comparable with the likes as the opera in Verona (Italy), Wagner in Bayreuth (Germany), sights in Vienna (Austria), and the tons of great entertainment Berlin (Germany) has to offer, it is a small city after all – but you should not make the mistake to compare those names with each other and the main “sight” is nature and the mountains of the Alps. I will give you more information on the touristic important sights of Innsbruck and the surrounding area in my next entry – part 2. For us, who live here, those sights are playing a minor role of course, but when you are here for the first time, you should definitively check them out, since they characterize this place and give it a special character.

Events & Artists in Innsbruck

Anyways, there have been several great artists coming to Innsbruck over the last years since I live here and for some reason Innsbruck seems to be an important place for those artists on their way up to a bigger career. I was able to see the Blood Red Shoes, The Cinematics, Portugal the Man, Steaming Satellites, Blumentopf, and just last year Milky Chance live, and there are always great gigs every now and then – impressive for a city of this size – as of last with more and more popular DJ Sets like one of my favorites Worakls. A huge advantage are the relatively small stages where you get in touch with artist and mood much closer than on those huge stages, like in New York (I saw Placebo there), Berlin (Fugees, 50 cent), Munich (Lana del Rey) and other big cities. Another advantage is the relatively low entry coverage, if the concerts aren’t for free completely. The boys and girls from BONANZA do a great job as well, since they brought an open air to Innsbruck, which has always a great line-up and during the summer month they entertain us at the Inn, playing decent electronic beats for free – the place to be on Wednesdays to enjoy your well deserved after work beer, having a BBQ and chillout to Electronic music!

Nightlife in Innsbruck

The Place of the Dome
The Place in front of the Dome

For a relatively small city there are plenty opportunities for nightlife! I will just give you a selected selection of great bars and clubs. My favorite bar is by any means the Café Moustache. You can already go there in the afternoon for a very good Falafel and at night chill-out to good music, meeting friends, with a beer that is absolutely fair priced and enjoyable in the surrounding – team is cool as well! The Club Aftershave is related to the Moustache and always worth a visit in season, when the students are present. We had fun nights down there!

For live music the Weekender is the address to be. Most of the concerts I attended have been there and they offer free concerts of upcoming artists on Mondays during the semester, a great service!

Good bars to start into the evening are Innkeller, Zappa, Treibhaus – known for the big variety of cultural program – and Prometheus (Proml), when the cafés close at 2 a.m. the Limerick Bill’s Irish Pub and the Babalon. Another Irish Pub, to watch football and enjoy good German beer, is the Galway Bay.

The nightlife takes part in different locations, on one hand the “Bögen”, where you find my favorite clubs the Project, the p.m.k. – if you are interested in culture, gigs, concerts and acts, the Bäckerei with a focus on cultural program and products from the region and the Tante Emma, a classy cool nightclub which is open until sunrise. A little further off the track is the Club Cubique, where the well known DJs attend for sets in town. And last but not least there is a relatively new “underground” location Kindergarten, quite cool and in the modern style of an abondoned place – they don’t have a website, it’s “underground” and nightlife takes place to special events. A special and unique location to celebrate, aprés ski and enjoy life is Cloud9, which is nothing more than an iglu on Seegrube in winter time, where you can celebrate Wednesdays and Fridays – I say, this is the coolest (in the true meaning) location you can find!

Activity & Outdoor in Innsbruck

Nordkette at night
Nordkette at night, illuminated with snow covered mountains

Sportive events exist plentiful. The Air & Style took place every winter – but will be in Beijing in 2014, the Nordkettenquartett is a very cool event where teams of four people compete against each other and each team member has a different task: biking up the mountain, claiming the summit via touring ski, freeride it down again and come into the aim with the mountain bike downhilling the track from Seegrube – which is also called Gruabn’. The Vierschanzentournee is an annual visitor to the city, just to mention the most famous out of so many, not to start with the plentiful freeride events in Innsbrucks surrounding in winter. The sportive opportunities are endless here and Tyrol becomes more and more a paradise for alternatives from the classic wintersport. Skitours are very high on the list – but I recommend you an appropriate training in avalance awareness before you start into the freeride and skitouring adventure! Good sources to prepare your mountain experience are…

  • Bergfex for maps of skiing resorts and wander-routes and recommendations of the community
  • ZAMG to check on the weather which is inevitable before you start
  • Lawine to check the dangers and risk of avalances in certain regions – I recommend to train the awareness in the SAAC course (link above), when you have not done it before!
  • Almenrausch to plan your summer hiking tours and the stay at a hut
  • Alpenverein the official site of the community and society to worship the Alp of Austria – you can borrow equipment there
  • Alpenverein Aktiv to plan your tour based on a map, very nice if you want to browse & discover based on your location
  • Powderguide to check on the new snow and to find your pristine powder experience

You can explore everything of course without the need to visit events, museums and sights.

The Alps are THE major sight itself and you will find such a proximity to the high mountains nowhere else…

At least not with a city of this size right to its feet. And when you are in good physical condition, have respect for the mountains and want to experience a fun thing in summer, you should go hiking and check out boulder running – the fastest way to get down the mounain after you hiked it up. 

I will deliver a second report from my home and bring the main touristic sights to you and a little outlook, what you can and should do as daily tours, when you are here, stay tuned!