Amusement Parks are not our thing. But, some friends of ours from from Nova Scotia had been to Vienna years ago and marveled at the large old Ferris wheel at Prater. He wanted us to see if it was still there, and if so, relay to him our impressions and send him some pics so that he could vicariously recapture its charm. The Ferris wheel is indeed still operating. It is a classic. The uniquely rail like seating compartments that enclose the riders leave them just enough room to see out.
We thought we'd take some quick pictures of the Ferris wheel and then promptly leave the Prater. But despite our initial intentions, we were drawn to all the hoopla and surprised that there was no charge to stroll around and take a good look-see. Hovering over many of the amusements were huge figures of gargoyles and a menagerie of other grotesque creatures, manlike and animal or in between. One such grisly animated monster with a cavernous mouth continuously munched on a human skeleton.
There was the most unusual merry-go-round we had ever seen. Little children were riding real ponies that pulled carts that went faster and faster as the motorized ride progressed. The kids were awed, and so were we.
But the most spectacular scenic wonder was the jaw-dropping ride around a replica of the Eiffel Tower. Every seat was completely filled for each excursion that started with slowly circling the base of the tower, then gradually spiraling upward with increasing velocity until reaching the apex. After that, the ride identically reverses the process.
We took pictures of all of these high adventures. That’s as far as we would go. We like to stay firmly on the ground.
When we finished surveying Prater, we just happened to notice a wooded park alongside the amusements. Instead of heading home, we began walking through it. It is a vast area studded with stunning patches of vibrant yellow and red flower beds. Like the other verdant parks that we traversed in Vienna, we saw other walkers, skateboarders, runners, families picnicking, and people leisurely lying on the grass.
But we had an extra treat as we ventured further into the park. On one of the narrow medians next to us, we heard a trotting noise: a man was seated on a chair while controlling the reins of a horse way in front of him. We have never seen a steeple-chase tournament, but at least we have now had the pleasure to witness one such horse and rider combo.
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