Sunday 7 June – Exploring Vienna

Sunday 7 June – Exploring Vienna

We had a full day to explore Vienna today. First we went to the Shonbrunn Palace – about 5km from our hotel and a bit out of the centre. This used to be the Emperor’s summer residence and is huge. It was already too hot to walk around the gardens at 9.30am in the morning. I admired the Japanese tourists enthusiasm as they gamely snapped photos and rushed around in the sun (many with sun umbrellas). When we were leaving hundreds of tourists were streaming in the gates.

palace1    palacefountain

palace3     palace2

We decided to escape to the Danube island – about 6km across the city – a favourite spot for the Viennese on a Sunday. It is a long skinny island (21km long) in the middle of the river. As we made our way there on the bike paths, we noticed many other bikes heading in the same direction – people with summer clothes, mats and small small children attached to their bikes. The island is only accessible by bicycle, on foot or roller skating. Once we were there we saw lots of people swimming and sunbathing (also topless) all along the banks – you are allowed to swim anywhere. There is also a big children’s playground with paddling pool. There is a water ski lift, which we had never seen before – it pulls people along on ski boards through a pulley system. The pulley system is in a large square with the track elevated about 10 metres above the water. There are markers, a ramp and a few other items on the track. Some of them could do tricks, such as jumping into the air or going over ramps.

skiing     skiing2

It was incredibly hot so we found or own little stretch of river and had a quick dip – wonderfully cool. The bottom was squishy but the water was so clear that you could see your feet. There was also a curious swan which didn’t seem to like the people swimming on the next cove but left us alone.

swimming1    swimming2


We headed back down town in a cooler state (wet underclothes) to the tourist info taking in some of the fabulous architecture on the way (and also this cool boat on the canal which has a swimming pool on it).



 sights1       sights2

Soon we were too hot again, so we went for a beer at a cafe on the university campus.


Then back to the hotel to rest out of the sun. In the evening we emerged again to walk around. It is still hot at 10 pm.

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