The Vienna 2015 trip was conceived during last year’s trip to Amsterdam when Austrian locals Heinz and Alexandra began telling us about the wonderful skating in and around Vienna.
I knew nothing of the city and hadn’t heard about skating in Austria but Heinz soon produced some great evidence in the form of photos, maps, routes and Friday Night Skate information. I was convinced!
The Friday Night Skate on 10th July was about 1000 people, a mixture of skaters and bikes, as the event is organised by the Green Party championing alternative forms of transport. The quality of tarmac throughout was generally very good with many long smooth and flat sections which felt like they were endless. There was also a distinct lack of slopes and hills (only very occasional and gentle).
Saturday’s tour on Skatefresh trips are traditionally countryside skates as Europe has so many more options of this than the UK where skating is very urban. In Vienna this countryside feeling is very close to the city on the island of Danauinsel which is a very long and skinny island in the Danube where there are just smooth tracks and no cars.
Heinz and Alex were joined by two experienced marshals Roland and Ernstl who helped make the days smooth and fun. Huge appreciation goes out to all four of them for their efforts.
The weather was perfect, blue skies and little wind. The skating was smooth, flat and never far from water and views of the city.
A hearty lunch was followed by a swim and some sun bathing and of course more skating.
In the evening we met for a traditional Viennesse buffet followed by ice cream in the street.
On Sunday we skated again in perfect sunshine around the more central district and the Ringstrasse guided by Andrew’s extensive knowledge of history and art. Here we came across some ancient cobble stones and at times more challenging conditions.
Some skaters ended their tour at lunch time with more opportunities to swim and relax. The remaining skaters hit a faster pace to return to the city in less than an hour.
The photos show more than my words can express. The Whatsapp group messages of Goodbyes were a testament to the cohesion of the group and openness of all participants. I loved everyone’s parting call,
“see you in Copanhagen”. July 2016 in Copanhagen is now in planning. Are you coming?