Dive into Lazyness
It's winter time in Vienna-Austria. The temperature is freezing. What do you do??? Go for an outdoors swim of course!!! Well, that's what we did - and it was great!
The thermal waters in Oberlaa are not only healthy, but the place offers a great variety of activites for all sorts of people ranging from the very active (Eve) to the extremely lazy (Ash). [ASH: HUH! THAT WAS DEFINATELY THE OTHER WAY AROUND] [Eve: he's lazy AND a liar]. Take a pick from a host of activities ... laze, laze OR ... LAZE! And thats what we did .. besides taking a knock at water aerobics. Classes are every 30 mins. and its fun and energy all the way.. it's even more fun to watch Ash being catapulted out of the water by the floating dumbells and watch him struggle through the class, which is mostly attended by seniors who have it down to a science.
The indoor and outdoor pools are connected and one can swim and loiter around with leisure. There is also a cooler (26 - 28 deg) outdoor sports-pool for the the more athletically inclined. A separate children's area offers slides (which we used as training ground for the Jumeirah Sceirah) and waterfun for kids. The water used in Oberlaa stems from a natural well which produces 30 L per second at 54 deg. C.
The fun doesnt stop when the sun goes down: neon lighting on the ceiling and the softly lit outdoor pools give the place a cozy feel. Aaah - and the weightlessness in water - my chance to ride piggy-back on Ash for an hour or so. (Yes, he mumbled and grumbled something about having to carry me around, but got his revenge during a wrestling match when I wasn't quite as successfull at dunking him as I thought I'd be!) If you are getting too cozy: there's nothing like a run through the Kneipp-corner to wake you up. (Ash got stuck behind an - uhm - elderly and somewhat slower couple and his run through the ice-cold water got a bit prolonged. hehehehehe - that was fuuuunnniiiieeee!)
Equipment: Bring your swimtrunks/bathingsuit and a towel - the rest is there:
- lockers (rental)
- water-dumb-bells and all you need for aqua-aerobics
Oberlaa offers 4 huge indoor + outdoor pools, with water temperatures from 32 - 36 deg. C. There are 8 geysers bringing in the thermal water, and 50 underwater massage jets to relax your muscles. There are several walls of jets at different heights, which you move along on and get massaged from head to toe.
- Thermal water massages
- herbal aromatherapy rooms
- hair studio
- restaurants + snack bars
- Water Sports
EXTREME READING - AN INTELLECTUAL PURSUIT FOR ALL!
Frankly I have two problems with the phrase 'Extreme Sports' - one is the word 'extreme' and the other is the word 'sports'. I have great difficulty with any activity that produces as a by-product, copious amounts of a) sweating and b) fear. Frankly neither are gentlemanly and both can lead to huge bills from one's drycleaner. Instead I should like to propose the sport of 'Extreme Reading'...less physically taxing than darts, kinder to the environment than 'Monster truck racing' and an excellent way to build up your brain. All you have to do is read faster than normal and do so for slightly longer. ..'er..that's it! Sadly, you will almost certainly have to walk to a library at some point in the exercise but I really can't help that!
Equipment: Book (compulsory...broadsheets also acceptable),
Spectacles/ monocles/ contact lenses (only when eye strain demands)
Sunglasses (only if reading in desert competitions, ottherwise manly squinting preferred!)
- Business Travel
- Arts and Culture
Vienna on Ice
Yes it gets cold - really cold during winter, and at times all of Vienna is one big ice-rink - when it freezes after the rain and the city doesn't clear off the roads in time... However, if you were thinking more along the lines of putting on a pair of ice-skates there are plenty of ice-rinks you can visit. Most of them are outdoors and open only during the cold months of the year (usually around October through March). Tickets range from 2 - 10 Euros, depending on what kind of ticket you buy and what day and time you go.
Following is a list of some of Vienna's most famous ice-rinks, but there are plenty others all over town - just ask at the hotel you're staying in, or your native friends. If you are on the outskirts of the city, you might even go to one of the lakes - just make sure the ice is thick enough - it's usually safe to go if you see others on the ice first...
3, Lothringerstrasse 22
Tel. 713 63 53-0
Sports Complex Windtenstrasse
10, Windtenstrasse 2
Tel. 604 44 43-0
15, Vogelweidplatz 14
Tel. 98 100-0
Albert Schultz Ice Skating Hall
22, Attemsgasse 1
Tel. 204 85 80
Rathausplatz Information: Tel: 40 900 40
Equipment: all you need is warm clothing and ice skates. The ice-skates can usually be rented for a small fee - call ahead and check.
- Family Travel
- Adventure Travel
The Donauturm (Danube Tower) was built for tourists and natives to have a nice meal in the rotating restaurant while enjoying the astonishing view. Until some crazy people decided to jump off the tower.....
Jochen Schweizer organizes a 152m (500 feet) jump off a ramp on the Donauturm. This is one of Europe's 10 highest jumps, usually offered during the summer months. Cost is about 150.-- to 200.-- Euros, depending on whether you want to get the video and the T-shirt of the experience.
Ashley was insane enough to do it, and he says it was one of the most thrilling experiences of his life. I was courageous enough to go up with him (via elevator) and take some pictures....fear of heights ...Argggghhh!!!! I'd highly recommend for any adventure-seeker to do this - just watching it was a thrill. Plus Donauturm might be a practise-run for the 192m jump off the Europa-bruecke (also in Austria). ;-)
Ash: Eva's mom actually scared me on the way up, absent mindedly saying in German 'Come here, come here, Let me hug and kiss you, in case you don't make it back alive!' ... I was like .. 'HUHHHH??!!!'. And as usual Lil Miss Giggles was upto her neck in laughter!
But the rush was tremendous! Hurtling towards the ground in freefall, I guess all I could think about was ... 'So this is what flying feels like..' and then again .. 'Argh SH*T, What MADE ME DO THIS??????'. Well a once in a lifetime experience anyways.
Equipment: Just wear regular loose clothing - they will put overalls and a harness over your clothes. You can take a choice of leg or mid harnesses, but here because of the height, its a standard mid-harness here.
The day I decided to do the jump it was freezing. It has been raining all night long, the ropes were soaked, and the machines weren't working, so assistants manually hauled me back onto the ground, once the jump was over and the rope finished tossing me all over the tower. I was given precise instructions to keep my arms spread wide, and back arched so as not to sprain it, and as far as possible to try and stay horizontal! Yeah right, like I was gonna remember all of that on the way down.
- Bungy Jumping
Ice-skating in front of the Vienna's City hall
The place, in front of the Viennese town hall, is also in this winter, as every year, a real ice dream.
Viennese ice dream, is called this important event that begins at the 20th January, and lasts until at the 5th March.
The numerous visitors, can ice-skating here, and enjoy the beauty of the winter sport, on an ice surface of 4200 square meters.
The children have the possibility to spend wonderful hours on several ice surfaces.
Around the ice, there are also numerous barrack rooms that spoil the guests with their culinary exquisiteness from the whole world.
- School Holidays
- Family Travel
Ernst Happel Stadium
The Ernst Happel Stadium (before 1993: Prater Stadium) was inaugurated in 1931 and renovated in 1986. It hosts all major international soccer matches in Vienna, but is not home to any local club.
The seating capacity of the stadium is 49.000, but will be increased to 53.000 for the Euro championships in 2008 when the final will take place here.
- Budget Travel
Eisstock-Schiessen and skating in MQ
Inside the MQ (Museums Quartier) you will find a big variety of winter-activities such as skating or "Eisstock-schiessen" that you may see on my main picture. This is quite a popular sport in the alpine regions of Austria and Germany and you will have to try to get your "stick" as close as possible to another stick that is placed at the end of the track. Several players try to do so and each of them also has the possibility to push the "target-stick" and the other sticks away from its original position and so the game could be ended completly as a surprise. Mostly it is played by 2 teams fighting against each other
Equipment: You get all of the equipment there, you simply should have shoes that are not extremely slippery on the ice.
- Family Travel
Vienna-Woods-hiking is FUN !
The "Jubilaeums-warte" ("Anniversary-vantage-tower") was constructed on occasion of emperor Franz-Josef`s 50th emperorship-anniversary . It has been refurbished and reconstructed after ww2 and offers a nice view over the vast Vienna-Woods and beautiful beechtree-forests.The hike is marked as "City Walk no. 4" and takes you through "Dehne park" and as far as the Jubiläumswarte vantage point. Enjoy stunning views of Schneeberg mountain (weather permitting).
Point of departure: Bahnhofstrasse tram stop (49)
Tram #49 from Karl Renner Ringstrasse or Volkstheater (about 30 minutes to Bahnhofstrasse)
Walking time: 2.5 - 3 h
Pubs and restaurants: Gasthaus Silbersee, Buffet Kreuzeichenwiese, Rosental, Zlamal
Additional tip: walk down via "Kreuzeichenwiese" to Heuberg (very nice restaurant and "Heuriger") where you can take bus 44B to tram #43 (another hour)
Equipment: Just take good hiking-shoes and good temper!
- Hiking and Walking
Prater Stadium hosts all important international soccer matches. In summer it is also used as open-air arena.
The stadium is located on the edge of Prater park, midway between the swimming pool and Krieau trotting course.
Capacity: seats 49,000 people and stands 19,000.
Fishing on Donaukanal
Fishing on Donaukanal was one of surprises for me. Next to the Urania I saw a fisherman. I didn't see others and I don't know it is legal. In that case I assume that it would be a many others here or not it is not so peaceful place.
Equipment: Fisherman gear.
- Water Sports
Especially great in warmer weather, there are so many outdoor swimming pools to choose from and you will find them packed out with sun-hungry viennese at weekends.
In fact there are more than 30 swimming pools and saunas in Vienna (for their names and links to their pages see www.wien.gv.at/baeder/baeder) some of which are only open in the summer.
For more general information including opening hours and prices also see www.wien.gv.at/baeder/. These also detail water aerobics and other activities. Most pools have an afternoon price which is a lot cheaper than a day ticket for example the Theresienbad only costs 2.50 Euro for an adult after around 3pm.
My recommendations are:
Amalienbad (10, Reumannplatz U1)
Theresienbad (12, Meidlinger Hauptstrasse U4)
Schafbergbad (18, Josef-Redlgasse 42B bus)
Kongressbad (17, Julius Meindlgasse S45 Hernals or 43 tram)
And last but not least my local indoor pool Margaretenbad (5, near Margaretenplatz, 13a bus, U4 Pilgramgasse) has tropical evenings and a great slide.
Good Jogging areas in western Vienna
In Vienna it is not easy to find an area, where one can walk or jog good, average distances.
You may go for the "Danube Island", but if you are staying in western Vienna, the Vienna Woods and surroundings are excellent, but not easy to reach without car or bike.
Equipment: I prefer 2 areas, close to my neighbourhood and would like to recommend them as an "Insider Tip"!
a.) the "Steinhofgruende" close to Hotel Schloss Wilhelminenberg" (see my hotel tip for directions etc), and
b.) The "Schwarzenberg-Allee" in NEUWALDEGG (tram 43 )
the green areas show the jogging- and walking areas !
- Hiking and Walking
In winter a large ice rink is available at the Rathaus. They play music and there are several stalls selling food and drink. I can't skate to save my life so watched while drinking a hot mug of Glühwein!
Equipment: It seems that most people bring their own skates but I'm sure they are available to rent too.
- Adventure Travel
Swimming on the Danube
On a hot day in the city this swimming swimming pool just looked too tempting. Too bad we were on a treasure hunt through Vienna and didn't have the time to jump into the attractive looking water!
The so-called "Badeschiff" is located at Donaukanal, between Schwedenbrücke and Urania. One of the two barges is completely filled with water. The pool is almost 30 metres long and when other ships pass by you can feel that you are actually in the water on the water...
Equipment: Bring your swimsuits, bikinis, shorts to refresh from all the sightseeing and walking in the heat of the city.
Ice Skating in Winter
In winter time, the Rathaus opened up its front courtyard to the ice skating rinks of the Wiener Eistraum. You can go skating there - for a price - and around the ice paths set up around the parks nearby. It is fun and exhilarating, especially when you can skate very well. Latest pop hit music will be played over the speakers all over the place, and at night, the disco lights will be on to add more fun to the sport.
Equipment: Ice skates and warm clothings. If you don't have your own ice skates, you can rent them at the stalls there.
- Adventure Travel
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