This Post Is NOT About Contraception And Does NOT Include Diagrams of Lady Parts

When I’m not ranting about my inner feminist, the State Department, or ugly furniture, I spend a lot of time walking and hiking around Vienna, either on my own or with my favorite FSO. Yesterday’s excursion, on the first spring-like day of the year, was to the famous Vienna Prater.

When most people think of the Prater, they think of the amusement park (Wurstelprater) located at the northern end. You know, the one with the big ferris wheel featured in the movie The Third Man.

In fact, the Prater is much, much larger. Formerly a Hapsburg hunting ground, the park was generously opened to the public in 1766 by the Emperor Joseph. Like most of Vienna, it has that Hapsburg look about it, with grand “allees” and various follies and lodges scattered about, including the Lusthaus, originally a 16th century hunting lodge. But there are also extensive walking and biking trails through the woods and along the little river that runs through the park.

The city of Vienna has a collection of well-maintained “wanderwegs” through parks and other sights, including the Prater. Unfortunately, they are not very well marked, but there is only so lost you can get with bus and tram stops so plentiful on the ground. We’ve learned to just go with the flow.

Yesterday, we accidentally got off the city trail and ended up at a derelict trap racing course. Next to it there was an area that looked just like an east Tennessee holler, with what I suspect were Irish gypsies in residence.The horses out on the track were very well cared for, but the people were living in shabby trailers surrounded by junk and trash.  It was a very un-Austrian scene—except that each trailer had an identical, new-looking solar panel on top. My guess is that these were supplied by the city, perhaps out of sheer exasperation. (I would have liked to have taken photos, but there were some junkyard dogs that were kind of freaking me out, so we decided to skedaddle.)

The trail took about three hours, with a stop for cappucino along the way. On the way back to the car, we walked through the Wurstelprater to take photos. If you like creepy old amusement parks, this ought to do the trick! At $5 a ride, though, it is not for the faint of heart. Fortunately, entry is free, and so is taking photos. Please enjoy them.

This sign indicates city walking path number 9. Good luck finding the next sign along the route.
This sign indicates city walking path number 9. Good luck finding the next sign along the route.
The Belvedere Allee.
The Belvedere Allee.
There is really a LOT of mistletoe in Vienna.
There is really a LOT of mistletoe in Vienna.
The trails go underneath several roads and train tracks.
The trails go underneath several roads and train tracks.
The Lusthaus.  I prefer the translation "Love Shack."
The Lusthaus. I prefer the translation “Love Shack.”
Why look!  A little cafe exactly at the middle of the route. Cappucino al fresco (and a clean bathroom) to fortify ourselves for the remainder of the hike. Such a civilized way to exercise :)
Why look! A little cafe exactly at the middle of the route. Cappucino al fresco (and a clean bathroom) to fortify ourselves for the remainder of the hike. Such a civilized way to exercise 🙂
The Prater Hauptallee is car-free and hugely popular on a nice day. These ski-pole like walking sticks are also a big deal here. I can see why they would be helpful for older people, but otherwise, I just don't get it.
The Prater Hauptallee is car-free and hugely popular on a nice day. These ski-pole like walking sticks are also a big deal here. I can see why they would be helpful for older people, but otherwise, I just don’t get it.
Creepy old rides at the Wurstelprater.
Creepy old rides at the Wurstelprater.
A Jurassic Park sort of ride. Colorful, anyway.
A Jurassic Park sort of ride. Colorful, anyway.
Cool, industrial-looking roller coaster.
Cool, industrial-looking roller coaster.
Terrifying ATM.
Terrifying ATM.
Downright Old Testament, this one. Or something.
Downright Old Testament, this one. Or something.
A hundred-year old toboggan ride with a medieval-looking devil on it.
A hundred-year old toboggan ride with a medieval-looking devil on it.
Toboggan ride: Victorian and pretty cool.
Toboggan ride: Victorian and pretty cool.
A little Americana. Basically, anything involving shooting has an American motif.
A little Americana. Basically, anything involving shooting has an American motif.
Someone is apparently a Dukes of Hazzard fan.
Someone is apparently a Dukes of Hazzard fan.
A Mexican "maus."
A Mexican “maus.”
Yikes.
Yikes.
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3 comments

  1. The confederate flag painting made me laugh. Are those iconic American images? Funny. And you should know that I only meant to post that video clip about separation of church and state, but it turned into a full-blown commentary. Felt good to write, anyway. Now look what you’ve done! 🙂

    Like

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