JenSop: The Singing Traveler!

Idealist. Dreamer. Singer. Explorer.

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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Author: JenSop

One of my favorite quotes is, "If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough." I guess I've been a dreamer all my life - I set my sights high and then I try to reach the sky. Some might call me a naive idealist, but that's just the way I am. I believe in always taking the high road, I believe in true love, and I believe in treating people the way you want to be treated. If you put good out into the world, good will come back to you! Being the dreamer that I am, I pursued singing as my primary life's calling - I've got two degrees in classical voice under my belt, and I sing just about anything under the sun. I also love a good adventure. Over the past few years, I've done quite a bit of world traveling, and have even lived abroad for stretches at a time: mostly in Vienna (Austria) and Croatia. A few years ago, I was lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time, and I became a travel agent who specializes in Disney vacations. (Seriously, I KNOW Disney - I've been going regularly since I was a little girl - and I LOVE it!) And with all my experience traveling and living in Europe, I'm becoming quite the specialist in that travel category as well. (And last year, I started working as a Tour Director in Central Europe!) As to the other juicy details of my life - I'm originally from Pennsylvania, I'm married to an awesome Croatian man named Miloš who is the BEST adventure partner a girl could ask for. (He's also an expert on knowing how to make me smile.) He's truly the love of my life! I've also had all kinds of other jobs along the way, besides singer and travel pro. (Which is pretty standard for those of us who went to school for music.) I've worked part time weekends as a Disney Princess look-alike for children's parties. I've been teaching for almost 20 years, and have lots of experience in retail and customer service. Oh, and I should also probably mention that I'm a huge Lord of the Rings/Star Trek nerd! :-) Let's all go along for an adventure, shall we?

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