A Hot Time in the Old Town

It’s been really hot in Vienna this week. By “hot” I mean high 80s-low 90s. Pretty average for DC in June, but considered a major heat wave here. (In part because no one will turn on the freakin’ air conditioning even if they have it–but I digress.) The point is: without air conditioning, and in the city, 90 degrees is pretty darn hot.

The local American women’s club offers a monthly “brisk walk” which I really enjoy. I get to see all these parts of the city that I probably wouldn’t know about otherwise, and without getting lost in the process! Today, we grabbed our water bottles and floppy hats and headed to the Alte Donau, or “Old Danube.” This used to be a part of the main Danube channel, but was cut off by flood control projects and is now a lake. You can read about the Old Danube, which was “rather frivolous in terms of floods” in this very badly translated travel article.

My son told me a few weeks ago that he had gone swimming “in the Danube” and I freaked out slightly, thinking I should take him in for immediate tetanus shots. My fears were unfounded, as this enclosed body of water is quite clean and essentially a swimming hole for the city. There are “beaches,” cabanas, bars and even boats available for rent. The lake is surrounded by little Gartenhausen with lush gardens and leathery, scantily clad old people drinking beer in the front yard at 11 a.m.

I only had my cell phone with me, but here’s a few photos that provide a feel for the place, I think.

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