A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about danube

The Parallel Universe

About the circus. Also about Donau Insel and chilling with comfort.

sunny 29 °C

The second half of August is here -
should I feel the cold autumn breath?

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Actually, this week is hot and temperature is rising.. oh oh, no, I'm not happy with it! We are still skating and swimming daily, but I noticed yellow and red leaves, the smell of cut grass and end of the swimming season is visibly close.

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Light became different and sky sometimes looks dramatic,
alike on today photos.

I enjoy this Danube time very much and don't mind it will last longer. My old skaters are almost collapsed, but I used to them and don't hurry to buy new pair. They also have very good wheels - relatively new ones, that I would not like to miss or exchange. I told you about this island, where we r skating, many times. Being so familiar with - some ppl even begun to say hello!, but I still having new impressions every day. The animal life is very impressive, and we like animal-watching and know to notice things. Also human life on the island is not less impressive. I like to watch characters, to listen to intonations, sometimes even to have a small talk. People, when they naked (nude beach, yeah) - they become more real then ever. I like they are so sunburned and natural. It's not such a thing like "Island Community", but, watching people here I found many (qualities) at common: They are friendly but unobtrusive, extremely neat, not loud, practical and know to make enviroment comfortable.

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At the left: a machine that clean the bottom of the slime and other aquatic vegetation.
Right photo: just WC (one of many on the island). I like its design.

BTW, about comfort: I don't know another nation that knows to organise own life in so intelligent way. It can be seen in many levels of human being - from public toilets to masterly folded firewood. In the nature their habit of comfort excites and misleads me. Many come from far away. Regardless of their age, they bravely pedaling a bike (and others are roller-skating or going on foot). They caressing folding camp bed with attached tent, often also radio, small pillow and book to read - which is quite normal. But sometimes people bring with them half of house equipment, making not ordinary choice of objects,nesessary for sunbassing. I have seen there a mop - to wash the slime from the steps leading to water, a watering can - to water the grass near the river, others come with comfortable wagons for transportation of short-legs pets, etc. But the first place of originality and unpredictability certainly need to give to the thermometer hanging on the tree!

Last days passed with no significant events: same skating-swimming mornings, some walks around, little this, little that. Couple of days ago I met Angelika and Gabriel. We went together to the exhibiton "The Circus as a Parallel Universe ".

I love the circus, and therefore interested in everything connected with it. the exhibition was eclectic but not bad. Some objects where cute and funny - like elephant of a real size, hanging a foot above the floor, with trunk stuck in the wall. Stuffed halflion - halfzebra was masterly executed. Other exhibits - such as dried mermaid and various monsters were creepy.

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I got impression that the exhibition was a marketial act for saling the book. What ever. Photography was prohibited so I found online some photos and video on youtube.

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... wonders and clowns, how they could be missed?
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Posted by vanessa 15:40 Archived in Austria Tagged danube island swim skate comfort skaters thermometer Comments (1)

In Grein

semi-overcast 22 °C

Grein is a village in Apper Austria - about 60km from Linz. Well-preserved and quiet, even in high season, Grein is situated on Danube River and many of region bike-pathes going through. It's famous for the historic town theater (1791) and impressive Greinburg castle on the hill above.

That info that I found about the theatre. Unfortunatelly I only was in the lobby and didn't have time to visit it inside. What a pity!
"...The historic town theater of Grein (1791) is one of the outstanding sights of European importance. Here you can see many curiosities from olden times. Original seats that had to be locked/unlocked with a small key; a toilet that was separated from the auditorium only with a curtain; a prison from where the prisoners could watch the performances and were given food, drinks and tobacco by the audience; the Napoleon box and a lot more."


Deers near the schloss.

Greinburg is the oldest residential castle of Austria (was built from 1500 to 1700), and proudly save history of Dukes that lived and ruled there. It's interesting museum inside, but building itself even more impressive. : late Renaissance courtyard full of light, various rooms, arches, windows, painted ceilings, narror steps and wide balconies, beautiful furniture and art objects, etc.


But at the end of the courtyard, few steps down, here is Sala Terrena, which is refreshing surprise. This grotto room is unique in Austria as one of the earliest examples of such an interior room north of the Alps. Outstanding and unusual, very spacious room(s), all covered with figurative and ornamental mosaics, all made from Danube pebbles (riverstones).


Most of mosaics are monochrome, made in tones of gray, but here and there they flash with red pach or black line.
Beautiful. Guess when Sala Terrena was built?


From the castle we stepped down to the town (3,500 citizents - counted as a village or town?)

Oh, that's very sweet!
Many beautiful buildings, greenery and no crowd except of group on bicycles.

There r lovely Central Square and famous old theatre

Street barometr - for comfort of citizents, here and still works since 19th century.

and other signs. Between cafes and souvenir shops (standard crap to lure tourists) - it was something else that caught my eye.

It was a small shop of crafts that sold goods and souvenirs producted by ppl with special needs. When we entered - we seen them inside, working, because it's also workshop there. They were excited by appearance of visitors and watched us with interest. Most of these people are very uncovered emotionaly, just like kids, so I could see how pleasured they were when we made a choice and purchased semitransperent scarf in colors of autumn. I didn't take any photos inside as was not sure if it was ethical, but may be I should do.

Later, walking in the street, we seen cafe and bakery, where those people worked. They looked happy being involved in real production. I think community of Grein doing great thing, making it possible. I'm sure that behind of it - there is an organisation and professionals who help, but also citizents (don't forget that it's just a village!) need a heart to accept this everyday involve and interraction.

Posted by vanessa 05:43 Archived in Austria Tagged danube castle schloss dawn grein autism upper_austria special_needs Comments (1)

Donauinsel (Danube Island)

Place of rollerblading, cycling, swimming, canoeing, water-skiing, eating, drinking, dancing, tunning (very popular nude beaches), fishing, jumping from the bridge to the water, etc. etc. etc. Well-known for international Musc Festivals at summer.

32 °C

It's time to tell you about Donauinsel.

The Donauinsel (Danube Island) is a long, narrow artifical island, between the Danube river and the parallel excavated channel Neue Donau ("New Danube"). The island is 21km in length. The main purpose of the island however is to be part of Vienna's highly sophisticated flood protection system. As river Danube crosses the city, this has constantly been a concern for hundreds of years. Also river originallty took curve loop which was additional trouble for navigation. Danube is known for intensive water-traffic.

In 1970, a new plan was conceived and soon executed: digging an additional channel and using the spoil to build up the remaining strip of land between the straightened bed from the 19th century flood defence schemes and the newly created one. The new channel is called the Neue Donau (New Danube). The works were finished in 1988.




Nudity is natural. Donauinsel Nudity means freedom, happiness and good health. Many people bring to FKK areas (official nude beaches) their families, kids and dogs. It's right place for socialising, taking sunbathes and swimming. Other people are reading or feeding birds, scating or cycling, fishing, etc.


The island is house of open air Donauinselfest (Music Festival)- Europe's biggest event of this kind. Usually lasts 3 days (weekend) in June. The music styles vary from stage to stage, and there are enourmous amount of stages on the island. All this is free of charge. I had oportunity to be in this festival twice, it impressive event. They say it hosts about 3 mln visitors. Madonna gave her first concert in Vienna there in front of an impressive crowd of 57,000. There are also food, beers and fireworks.


Donauinsel is green zone, located just inside the city; it's very near metro stations, train path and even some industry. But if you come early enough, you have a chance to meet there society of wild animals (hares/ wild rabbits, beavers, hedgehogs, etc)...

The tree, damaged by beaver.

... variety of birds (magpie, pheasant, kurpatka, songbirds) and water-chickens (swans, ducks, herens, gulls, etc.),

diffferent kinds of frogs, snakes, many interesting insects (big bugs and beautiful butterflies, dragonflies and, as it appeared last year, awful mosquitos!)

I mentioned few herbs (buckthorn, dog rose, linden) and we even collected some St John's wort this year. There are bushes of cornel and an amazing cover of wild flowers.

Sea Buckthorn Berries (oblepiha)

Posted by vanessa 15:16 Archived in Austria Tagged bridges animals birds danube vienna nature austria ecotourism donauinsel danube_island Comments (1)

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