Category Archives: Sports

So how does Ice Hockey in Austria differ from the USA?


This is the question I asked one of our American visitors as we sat last evening watching Vienna Capitals beat KAC (5:1).

 

Vienna Capitals warming up before the game.

Vienna Capitals warming up before the game.

I rather liked the answer. “Well the Vienna Capitals could be said to play in a style similar to the tactics used in Basketball, while in the States the tactics are closer to those in American Football”.

Last nights game was a sell-out

Last nights game was a sell-out

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Filed under Sports, Vienna Life

A playground for young and old in summer or winter


Back in February I blogged about my day around the Old Danube area of Vienna, enjoying the chance to walk on the frozen waters and watching others ice skating, skiing, practicing ice hockey and generally making the most of this outdoor winter playground.

On Sunday, with the sun shining down on a glorious Viennese day, I was back once again to take pleasure in some of the summer fun available in Vienna’s water world.

One advantage of this area is that there is a good scattering of restaurant around the water’s edge and our first port of call was Zur Alten Kaisermühle….

A lovely place to sit on a sunny afternoon, you can relax while in the distance watching others swimming, sailing, fishing, boating and generally mucking about on the water. Helpful, friendly staff added to the agreeable environment. Alas if you are a vegetarian (such as me) then the menu is very limited, however the meat eaters in my party reported that the flesh was good…..

After lunch we took as stroll. Whether from the water’s edge or from the vantage point of a bridge it was easy to see the attraction of the water’s to anglers, they are simply teeming with fish….

There are a variety of options for spending time on the water but on this occasion we decided to hire a paddle boat, which in the hot sun turned out to be a little more energetic than expected but great entertainment for my nine year old daughter.

Our journey by paddle boat was not without some delay and obstruction when one of the local swans decided to investigate our craft and refused to allow us to pass….

Some parts of the water’s edge provide open access to the public. Others are occupied by boating or swimming areas, as well as restaurants and other facilities. But also occupying space around the Old Danube are small houses with petite gardens and/or piers for mooring boats…….

The lure of the paddle boat was not for everyone last Sunday but luckily on the Old Danube there are a wide range of options….

As we departed I was reminded that further down this waterway I had watched dragon boat racing last June – something I included in this blog post

Useful link: http://www.wien.info/en/sightseeing/green-vienna/summer-at-old-danube

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Filed under Activities for kids, Environment, Sports, Vienna Life, Wine, Beer & Food

Ice World


Back in February 2011 I spent a few enjoyable days sitting around the City Hall square, here in Vienna, whilst H had fun on the giant ice rink that had been placed in front of the Rathaus. This year’s ‘Vienna Ice World’ kicks off tomorrow (20th Jan ’12) and lasts until the 4th March 2012. Here’s the link for more details.

I expect H will be dragging me down to the 7,000 m2 of ice on a regular basis. Here are a few pictures from one of last year’s trips to the City Hall rink:

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Filed under Activities for kids, City Centre, Entertainment, Sports, Vienna Life

What to do during the (football) winter break?


With the winter break leaving me with no Austrian football to watch until early February, I took up a friend’s invitation to go along to see the Vienna Capitals and my first ever Ice Hockey match.

Living in Vienna can sometimes feel like being part of some Art movie but an evening at the Ice Hockey was definitely more in the Hollywood mode, with the soundtrack dubbed into German. I know little about the rules of the game but was aided to some degree by my friend whose knowledge was clearly 100% greater than mine. Alas this in reality meant he understood only the basic rules but we spent an enjoyable and entertaining evening occasionally wondering what had just happened.

I’ll be heading back again next week to see another Vienna Capitals game but I’m not sure it’s really a substitute for the football.

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Filed under Sports, Vienna Life

Vienna – Finding the snow


 

Well we got fed-up waiting for the snow to arrive in Vienna during the Christmas/New Year break, so we jumped in the car last Tuesday and headed down the A2 motorway. Our destination was the town of Semmering which sits on the border of the Austrian states of Lower Austria and Steiermark (Google map).

This really was a case of travelling literally to the snow line. Looking along the upper valley into Steiermark presented me with a winter picture of snow and low cloud.

But as I turned back towards Lower Austria the view became one of snow on peaks bathed in sunshine and then replaced with the green and browns of the lower hills and valley.

Whilst R & H went sledging I took a more leisurely (if somewhat of the slipping and sliding variety) walk down the mountain. This rather less bumpy approach gave me the chance to take a few snaps as I descended. Skiing venues always leave me with the feeling of something rather industrial but they can be fun.

 

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Filed under Out and about in Lower Austria, Out and about in Steiermark, Sports, Vienna Life

The Dutch, me & winter destinations


You don’t have to like winter sports to enjoy spending time in the Alps.

A report in today’s derStandard names Austria as the top destination for winter sports according to a survey by a Dutch tourism website. Personally, winter sports and I go together as naturally as oil and water. However, living in Austria, winter is probably my favourite time of the year and I enjoy spending time up in the mountains.

Whist I may not participate in most of the traditional sporting activities of tourist and locals, I do find plenty of things to entertain, amuse and inspire me on my trips to the Alps.

One of my pastimes starts by travel up the mountain on a cab car with the morning skiers, strolling slowly over to the restaurant, taking up residents at a table by the window, and ordering the first coffee/strudel combination of the day. If you want an alternative winter sport let me explain.

Now some of these restaurant/cafe huts can have the look and feel of a factory canteen, whilst others have that traditional look associated with Hollywood Christmas movies . For this particular ‘sport’ either type of venue will do but you need a table with a good view of the ski lift(s).  Ideally, if they have one, your table should also be near a roaring open fire to add an additional layer of snugness and smugness. After having settled down with your coffee you can turn your attention to the warm-up game. This one is called spot the Brit and it’s not that hard to pick up your first points. You turn your attention to the endless queues waiting for the ski lift(s) and simply look for the ‘skiers’ who seem to be continuously failing to reach the front of the ‘queue’. These are the novices Brit’s who will take some time to overcome their ingrained desire to stand and progress in an orderly fashioned. Gradually you can observe them coming to the realisation that the word for queue when translated back into English from German re emerges as the word scrum. However all this, as I say, is by way of a warm-up exercise. The skill in this particular window ‘sport’ is to pick a dozen or so subjects and commit them to memory. This is a relatively easy exercise as you will have plenty of time to get to know your chosen targets – most people on the slopes spend hours standing/shuffling in the scrum for the pleasure of a few minutes going downhill on their bone breaking device of choice. You can then take up to an hour’s break reading a book or catching up with twitter (reception is often excellent in such locations whilst oddly and annoyingly none existent in some parts of Vienna!). It’s important not to spend more time on these distractions or you can miss the chance to pick up points. Three points are awarded for ever person who comes off the slope in under two hours and one point for those that last a full two hours. An additional three points are gained for each individual who spends more time then eating and drinking than they did on the ski slope. On a sunny day these points are also awarded if the individual takes a seat outside and after eating then joins the others around them in the ritual by which you spend a long period of time with your eyes closed, head tilted towards the sun. If you are playing this game competitively then the skill is in selecting those rare individuals who will provide you with an automatic 30 points. These are the ones who actually spend more time on the slopes than sitting around enjoying the food, drink and sun – but they are a truly rare breed and not easily spotted.

For a more energetic time on the mountains I would recommend taking a stroll along (safe) paths ways from the ski slopes. The frozen landscape, the beauty of the mountains and the peace of the walk is often without comparison. It also happens to be health, cheap, fun and you still end up in the ski hut drinking and eating but without the frustration of the queues and the pain from the bruises. For something even more special take a stroll through the winter landscape after dark on a clear night. Venturing out into the icy landscape and seriously sub-zero temperatures to observe the night sky, the woods and mountains under moonlight, the stillness in the dark, are all truly worth leaving the warmth of your accommodation and afterwards there is always a mulled wine to warm you up again.

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Filed under Entertainment, Holidays, Sports, Vienna Life

First Vienna girls start training


H joined other girls at the Hohe Warte stadium, last Monday, for the second taster session and trial for First Vienna FC’s new girl’s football teams. With parents sitting in the stands watching on the club coaches took the girls through an hour long training session. The quality of footballing skill shown by many of the girls was highly impressive.

Now the serious effort will begin on the 26th September with the girls having twice weekly training sessions and playing friendly matches over the course of the season (and then entering league competition next year). For the parents watching on its going to be an entertaining but rather cold winter 🙂

Some images from Monday night:

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Filed under Austrian Football, Football, Girls Football, Sports, Vienna Life