Grown-up Travel Guide News Update – 16.11.2012

In which we present a regular round-up of news from the world of Grown-up Travel

Ten of the best alternative music venues in Vienna

The Guardian

There’s more to Vienna than classical music and glühwein – check out these cafes, clubs and bars to discover its growing underground and alternative music scene.

On 17 November Vienna’s Christkindlmarkt – one of the oldest markets in Europe – opens in Rathausplatz in the centre of the city, and the music of Strauss, Mozart and Schubert along with the aromas of roasting chestnuts, baked gingerbread and glühwein will drift across the city.

It’s classic Vienna –like a Christmas card scene – but alongside traditional arttractions, this city is becoming a European hotspot for a more underground and experimental vibe. Electronica, hip-hop and noise rock provide the backbone of an energetic and exciting alternative music scene. With an impressive club music festival, Waves Vienna, now in its second year, the city could soon catch Shoreditch or Berlin in the hip stakes.

If you visit this winter, here are the 10 best music destinations to help enjoy Vienna’s vibe.

Pony Club at Rote Bar in Volkstheater

The Pony Club is currently residing in Vienna’s glorious Volkstheater, or people’s theatre, close to the MQ. Following on from every show each evening, a small door to the left of the theatre’s main entrance leads the way to the Rote Bar, where the Pony Club sets out its stall. All forms of electronic music, disco and more are served up to a mixed-up party crowd that stems mainly from the creative industries. Very new and not widely known outside of Vienna, this seventh district night is a world away from the neo-goths of the Prater and very much geared towards the flamboyant and decadent. But the recommendation is to visit soon as already the Fashion “after-parties” have started to move in – the Vivienne Westwood gold label party was held here in October!

Neustiftgasse 1, +43 699 1501 5014,, entry before midnight €5, after midnight €8. Open from 6pm

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Hotel guests face carbon monoxide risk

USA Today

Eight people have died and at least 170 others have been treated for carbon monoxide poisoning in the past three years in hotels, which rarely are equipped with CO alarms, a USA TODAY investigation finds.

And a review of state and local laws finds that few states or municipalities require hotels to be equipped with the alarms — devices that the National Fire Protection Association says should be near bedrooms in every home.

Carbon monoxide in a hotel “can harm dozens at a time,” and a hotel “has a duty to protect its guests,” says Lindell Weaver, a University of Utah professor of medicine who’s written studies on the subject and evaluated more than 1,000 patients with CO poisoning.

Often called “the silent killer,” CO is a colorless, odorless and tasteless toxic gas produced by incomplete combustion in fuel-burning devices such as motor vehicles, furnaces, boilers and heaters for water and swimming pools..

There are no complete statistics on how many people are treated or die from CO poisoning annually — let alone in hotels.

A USA TODAY analysis of more than 1,000 news accounts of hotel incidents and interviews with local fire departments found 30 instances from 2010 through Nov. 8, of fire and other public-safety officials finding high levels of CO gas in hotels.

More than 1,300 people were evacuated in the incidents.

At the Embassy Suites near San Francisco airport in Burlingame, Calif., for instance, about 400 people were evacuated on Nov. 8 because of high CO levels. Central County Fire Department Chief Don Dornell said a boiler malfunctioned.

And in January, a guest was killed, 16 others were taken to a hospital and the Holiday Inn Express in South Charleston, W.Va., was evacuated after carbon monoxide leaked into the hotel from a swimming pool heater, South Charleston Fire Chief John Taylor says.

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World’s highest resolution image of Machu Picchu released

The Telegraph

A photo with perhaps the highest resolution of any image ever captured of Machu Picchu has been posted online.

At 15.9 gigapixels (one gigapixel is equivalent to 1000 megapixels), the image of the Inca citadel allows viewers to see the site in impressive detail.

The online image was taken using a Canon 7D with a 400mm lens. It actually consists of 1,920 pictures taken using a robotic camera mount, which were then stitched together. The photographer was Jeff Cremer, the photo tour director of Rainforest Expeditions, a tour operator that specialises in trips to Peru. He believes his image is the highest resolution picture of the World Heritage site that has ever been taken.

Click here to view the complete 15.9 gigapixel image

“In 2008, the World Monuments Fund placed it [Machu Picchu] on its Watch List of the 100 Most Endangered Sites in the world due to environmental degradation mostly from tourism,” he said.

“I believed that this extraordinary site deserved a remarkable photo to hopefully raise awareness and help in its preservation.”

He pinpoints his favourite part of the image as the person standing on top of one of the mountains in the background.

“Before I explored the image I never even knew that it was possible to climb up there,” he said.

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Armageddon: The strongest beer in the world

Most beers have an alcohol content of only five to eight per cent but in Scotland they do things differently.

They’ve produced a beer with an alcohol content of 65 per cent, stronger than vodka, whisky or tequila.

The appropriately named Armageddon is the kind of drink you’d expect someone to make on a dare.

“It certainly gives you a warm glow on a cold day,” says the beer’s co-creator, Lewis Shand.

Shand and his friend John McKenzie are the proud owners of Brewmeister Brewery  and despite their relative youth – they are both 26 – the two have made beer history.

They say the secret to a good cold one is trial and error. “Try home-brewing for a year first to get a few good recipes under your belt,” advises Shand. “That way you don’t make costly mistakes on batches of beer.”

Brewmeister’s beers come in two lines – local and national. The local beers are traditional Scottish ales and only available in Scotland but the main range is available internationally online.

Which means Aussies can get their hands on a bottle of Armageddon.

If you do find it in your hand, be careful. Don’t drink it like you would a schooner at the pub on a Friday night. The key to enjoying it, Shand says, is sipping it like a fine whisky.

That doesn’t mean it tastes like a spirit. The recipe consists of only four ingredients, including 100 per cent Scottish spring water, and is void of any chemicals.

“Our beers are naturally carbonated and non-filtered which bodes well for your hangover the next day,” Shand says.

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