Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Water Forest

Austria is one of the many Catholic countries in Europe that celebrates Whit Monday. To the average Viennese, all this means is that we get another 3-day weekend in June to enjoy. As for us, we spent 2 of the 3 days with friends soaking up the start of summer in the city's Lobau region.

The Lobau (or "water forest") is 1/3 of the Donau-Auen National Park which stretches from Vienna to Bratislava and is one of the last remaining protected wetland areas in Europe. It's a huge recreation area (2,300 hectacres) with a massive network of hiking and cycling paths. If we had not been riding with a pro, we certainly would have been lost within the first 10 minutes of the park. We made it out this time unscathed. Perhaps next time we'll lose ourselves.


Our cycling path (we covered 26 miles total)
Riding through an open field
Stopping for a proper refueling break at a conveniently located Gasthaus in the Lobau.

Crossing over the Danube River back into Vienna. We biked right over a watering skiing competition. The speed boats were going at least 60 mph. It was pretty amazing to witness the professional skiers holding on.
On the last stretch home

This time, we drove to the Lobau and then walked a short distance into the park in search of a nice picnic spot.
Here we enjoyed a little Mittagsessen. . .
. . . a little Bommerang. . .
. . . a little schlafen. . .
. . . a little Frisbee spielen. . .
. . . and a little Fußball spielen. . .
Then the holiday weekend came to a close and we headed home to prepare for the work week.

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