Thursday, August 2, 2012

Around Vienna: Summer in Neufelder See (NewField Lake)

Aaah, summer. I distinctly remember the day I stepped out of Vienna airport in the middle of June, still donning my thin jacket. 

"It's hot in here!," I thought to myself instantly removing my warm clothing. "I thought I was in Europe!" Haha. Of course, my memory of this continent from last year, was that it was still nippy even in summer. So for an Asian like me, it was a surprise, because it's even hotter here than what I'm used to in the Philippines. Only difference is that it's humid in my country, while here, they have dry air.

So, how do Austrians revel summer? 

sun-worshipping Austrians

Take note that Austria is a landlocked country, meaning they are not surrounded by a sea or an ocean. They abound in lakes though, and that's where the sun-hungry locals flock to to take advantage of a clear and sunny weekend. One particular lake popular to Viennese is nearby Neufelder See, located in Burgenland.

For this particular trip, I shared the ride with 4 other sun-worshippers. The drive only took 45 minutes from Vienna. Entrance fee: around €3 per person.

Essentials to take with you: 

  • your own blanket (or anything where you can lay down and soak in the sun; others have even brought lounges and tents)
  • swim gear & sunblock (caution: it is a semi-nudist lake, some women go topless; so men, watch your eyes!)
  • food (although the place abounds with restaurants or stalls offering the ubiquitous bread and sausage, kartoffel (potato wedges or french fries), and langosh
  • and anything to entertain yourself with (sports equipment or a book)

Since the lake is the main attraction, I made sure to take a dip, even if the water was too cold for me at 20˚ C. Brrr. The challenge is only in the first few minutes. But once you start to do laps, then you won't feel the difference. Good thing is that when you get out of the water, the air will warm you; compared to the Philippines, when you swim in the warm sea, you wouldn't want to get out to the cooler air. 

After the swim, a walk around the lake dried me in no time at all. I grabbed a bite to eat and explored what the lake has to offer. If you're into sports, you can rent a boat, windsurf, or even dive! Yep, you read that right. There's a dive school in this lake!

dive school. must be boring down there, no colorful corals.

when most of the city-goers have gone home

How about you? How do you spend summer?


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