Dean Koontz, Saint Odd
Ghost Castles and Corona
This guy don't look too good, maybe there would be a job opening soon ... cashier at the haunted house! ►
On this day of October 4th I went for a walk in the Prater amusement park. It was a nice Fall day, as it turned out the last sunny and warm day for that week.
An amusement park for many, place of nostalgic dreams for some, oasis of greenery for almost everyone – and the location of the Giant Ferris Wheel, one of Vienna’s most famous symbols. The Vienna Prater is in season from March to October. But the world-famous Giant Ferris Wheel and a few other attractions are open all year round.
Vienna’s famous Volksprater lies in the heart of the city in the district of Leopoldstadt and offers visitors the Giant Ferris Wheel erected in 1897 as well as many attractions such as carousels, halls of mirrors and laughter, ghost trains and rollercoasters. Vienna Info - Prater * even "official" websites can get it wrong - I had to correct the construction date of the Riesenrad (on that website it said wrongly 1827)
While some of the venues were not open anymore, the majority were still operating. I was surprised that even though it was a very warm and sunny day, with temperatures well above the average for October, there were not as many people out and about, and not many were taking the rides. But this could well be because of the rather strict Corona rules in Vienna: to ride, or to eat at one of the many restaurants there, you need what is called here 3G (either vaccinated, recovered or PCR tested). Myself, I am healthy and not vaccinated, but getting the test is a pain in the butt: while just recently before a rapid antibody test was acceptable (which you got results within 15 minutes), now you need a PCR test, and results can take up to 24 hours - and by the "rules" in Vienna, is only valid for 24 hours.
For visitors: Tourist Info Vienna - Latest COVID-19 information - this may not be as informative about the current situation as the official notices, but unfortunately only in German: Aktuelle Maßnahmen in Wien im Überblick.
Walk through the Amusement Park
I didn't plan to go on rides (rarely do, even before Corona) but since this is not far from my neighborhood, in the past I often went there to eat some good local Viennese food at one of the many restaurants there, which are actually cheaper and better than downtown Vienna.
A Wiener Schnitzel with a side of mixed salad, and a large mug of draft beer is my favorite, alas, not this time, since I don't have the required test.
There are not many guests here, unlike on a "normal" day, particularly with such great weather as on that particular day. Usually, it is hard to find a table there. The only place that had more patrons is sort of a "in" place where many prominent people often hang out, including politicians (which were the subjects of derision and boos there in May of this year: Kurz im Schweizerhaus ausgebuht - my German-speaking friend will enjoy this link 🤣) - info about the Schweizerhaus.
so lets get back to haunted houses, where there are plenty of:
(to stick with the theme of the intro quote for now)
this character on the right is munching on a skeleton - it was not animated at this time, so you can't see how the skeleton is trying to get out ....... ►
... funny moment there: a little boy absolutely refused to go on that ride, while his little sister was waiting for him. So the father got the tickets refunded. I do understand, some of those figures, like the clowns, are "creepy"! That locomotive engineer looks a bit strange too!
before the days of ATM's (of which there are several there) we used to refer to the "Geldscheißer" (Money shitter) when we ran out of money for the fair. ►
and yes, also some clowns
a clown hogging the bench - who wants to sit down with him?
I can't quite place this guy,
but he looks familiar too! ►
I need to wrap this up - there are many more photos to see on my Flickr HERE
But last, not least, the giant Ferries wheel:
at the time they built it in 1897, it was the largest in the world until 1985 - the oldest one still standing, that is - the only one built in the 19th Century that still exists at the place where it was built. The only other one, the original Ferris Wheel in Chicago 1893, was moved several times and eventually put into mothballs in 1905.
Last year they built one in Dubai to beat the one in Las Vegas (2014). If those are going to last well over 100 years like ours here in Vienna?
References: Wiener Riesenrad and to compare List of Ferris Wheels
On my way out, walking toward the Station Praterstern, there is the "Kaiserwiese", a place that is often used for events. At this time, a wide open space with just a few people enjoying the late afternoon sun.
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