Tag Archives: Family Day Out

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

Some walk, some hike, some climb, whilst others fly

With the sun shining and the temperature only having dropped down to the mid 20’s we made the short, hours or so, journey yesterday from Vienna to the Hohe Wand Nature Park for an afternoon of hiking.

The Hohe Wand forms a high plateau to the south-west of Vienna not far from the Wiener Neustadt. It’s an area that provides pleasant forest walks and children’s activities for the family or those wishing for a leisurely stroll in the countryside. However, for those who prefer some more vigorous hiking, there are longer more demanding forest trails and the opportunity to scramble up and down gorges around the edge of the plateau. In addition the area attracts those who like to launch themselves into the sky or cling onto a rock face.

Originally, R and I had planned a leisure walk for a few hours through the forest combined with sometime for H and her friend to enjoy the children’s attractions. However, a wrong turn saw us undertake a longer and more enjoyable afternoon navigating our way down one side of a gorge and up the other. After this we made our way back through the woods and fields to the skywalk (not itself terribly impressive) and the cliffs on the far side of the plateau with their scenic view and aerial entertainment.

Here are a few images from our walk:

Fly and the south cliff view

North cliffs

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Filed under Activities for kids, Environment, Out and about in Lower Austria, Vienna Life

A glimpse of Roman life – Carnuntum

Sitting by the Danube River, at about the half way point between Vienna and Bratislava, is the site of the Roman City of Carnuntum. An important location within the Empire, part of the City has been brought back to life with the reconstruction of a small number of Roman buildings on the original site.

Combined with an excellent visitor’s centre, the reconstructed Roman buildings provide a wonderful opportunity for young and old alike to gain a sense of what living in the Roman world would have been like. Testament to this was H and her friends (all eight or under) abandoning the climbing frames to return to the reconstructions to ‘play Romans’. They were the ones who insisted that the adults wait whilst they listened to the video presentations on the history of the settlement and life in the Roman Empire. My adult companions also took a genuine delight in wandering around the site and I found myself drawing on the depths of my knowledge as the walking through the buildings inspired them to more and more probing questions.

The highlight of the day for young and old was oddly enough Roman central heating. The discovery that the under floor fires were actually lit caused a great deal of discussion and excitement. This grew further as we entered the building which was wonderfully warm and everyone in our party knelt down to touch the warm floor. As we moved through the room everyone was fascinated by the two bath rooms, one with a cold bath and the other with warm water. Whilst not quite real life, this ability to touch and feel the past created additional interest in the more traditional sights such a excavated stone walls and historical descriptions of the Roman world.

 As the site is located in wine country we ended our trip with a visit to a Heuriger for a little light food and of course a glass of wine. The consensus in our party was that, all in all, it had been a very enjoyable day for young and old.  



Filed under Austrian History, Austrian Roman History, Out and about in Lower Austria, Vienna Life