Wiener Eistraum (skating in Vienna!)

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Earlier tonight, my friend Debbie and I headed into the 1st district to the area of the Rathaus (City Hall) to enjoy the last weekend of the Wiener Eistraum.  Literally translated, it means the Vienna Ice Dream.  For lots more detailed information, you can visit the Wiener Eistraum’s official website.  The entire park area in front of the Rathaus is transformed into an ice-skating paradise.  Not only are there two large ice rinks, but there are also skating paths going all through the trees in the park.  There’s also a DJ from the local radio station spinning all kinds of tunes: classic rock, dance music, easy listening, even Beethoven.  In between the two big rinks, there are tents set up offering food and beverages.

We arrived a little before 5:30pm.  First we paid for our tickets and skate rentals.  The price is 13 € total for both, but they charge an extra 2 € to make sure you return your electronic ticket when you’re finished.  I also rented a locker.  I didn’t want to risk my shoes being stolen – no one was going to take my favorite black boots!

Once we got our skates on, we headed to the entrance to the larger of the two rinks.  I’ll admit – I was a little nervous.  Growing up, we went ice skating ALL the time in winter.  If the winter conditions were right, we sometimes skated every day.  (Having a very large pond on your property makes for easy access to winter skating.)  But for the past several years, the pond has either not been freezing thick enough, or the snow slightly melted on it, creating a non skate-able surface.   Regardless, I think it had been a good ten years or so since the last time I went skating.

My nervous face - skating for the first time in about ten years...
My nervous face – skating for the first time in about ten years…

I’d say the first 20 minutes were a little iffy.  I was very unsteady on my feet when I first entered the rink, and it took me awhile to find my center of gravity.  All my previous skating had been with figure skating skates – the kind that lace up the whole way.  These particular skates were more like ski boots with blades on the bottom.

My tricky rental skates - they looked like ski boots.
My tricky rental skates – they looked like ski boots.

The skates also fit kind of strange.  I think I probably should have gone down a size, but my short wide feet are so hard to fit.  And by the time I realized my feet had a bit too much wiggle room, I had already gotten my balance down pretty well and I didn’t feel like switching.  Eventually though, I was whipping around on the ice like an old pro.  (Well, sort of… haha!  I wasn’t attempting any fancy twirls in those bulky skates.)  I did wish I had my own skates with me – it would have been so much easier to maneuver.

Debbie and I skated for a good hour and twenty minutes before taking a break.  I was able to briefly log onto the free wifi there while we were resting, but the signal was inconsistent and bumped me off after only about 5 minutes.  I had just enough time to post a pic of myself at the Eistraum to Facebook and send a quick message to Miloš.

After resting, we skated for a bit longer, but wrapped it up after we both were feeling a bit too cold.  We returned our skates, tickets, and locker key, and were off to get a nice hot cup of Glühwein (hot spiced wine.)

Here are some pics from the rest of the evening (out of order….)  And you’ll notice that the entire event is sponsored by Coke.  (Lots of Coke Polar Bears everywhere.)

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Jennifer was initially drawn to Europe for two reasons: music and love.  She lived in Vienna for four years, and now calls Croatia home for much of each year, as she married a native Croatian. Since 2015, Jennifer has worked as a tour director and cruise director on European river cruises for a major American travel company, and has become an expert in all of the cities along her routes on the Danube, Rhine, and Main Rivers. She also has traveled to Disney World almost every year since 1985, and knows Disney World inside and out. As a travel agent, Disney World is her primary specialty, and she has helped many Disney newbies and veterans have amazing trips with her insider information.

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