Sunday, January 24, 2010

Austrian Times readers don't like snow!

Snow Cat

Sissi doesn't really understand snow - but just loves it.

I am planning our next holiday and we have booked a Bike and Boat trip from Balzano to Venice in July.

Balzano to Venice

We had planned to go from Bruges to Amsterdam but that tour was fully booked. It is six months away in July so obviously there is a big market for this type of stuff.

Cate and Gwenyth are a bit worried because there are some ‘gentle slopes’ and the first bike day is 44 Miles (70 Kilometers). This is not really a long way on a bike – when I am riding in Wien I regularly do 32 Kilometers without any difficulty - so with some training beforehand they should be just fine.

Gwenyth shouldn’t be worried because when she was here in summer we rode 30 kilometers together one day and she had no problems - and could walk almost normally again after physiotherapy.

I am currently doing 20 kilometers daily on the exercise bike and will ramp this up later in the year when I start serious training.

I must say that – as much as I love the cold weather – it will be nice to get on the bike again and go cycling around the Donauinsel. Vienna is lovely at any time but it is particularly delightful in Spring.

Cate is off to Israel today and the cats and I are planning our four Cate-free days. We usually have a knees up on the first night and watch trash on TV. Luckily there is masses of this on the 150 channels which clog up our Sky box.

It is incomprehensible to me that people make some of this stuff – and other people watch it. It is so excruciatingly bad it makes we sweat with embarrassment for the poor wretched souls who have agreed to participate.

I can never do more than 5 minutes of any show. However – by all accounts they all seem to love it – and I guess it gives them their brief moment in the sun.

I have deliberately refrained this year from giving you any accounts of the numerous gruesome deaths sustained by the Austrian Ski Suicide squads which are infesting the slopes.

Suffice to say that there are many and varied way in which the Austrians merge with infinity and I am constantly amazed by their ingenuity – and particularly their apparent fascination with snow ploughs, piste groomers and snowmobiles. All of these seem to have some magnetic attraction for skiers who flock to them like moths to a candle – but at much higher speed - with predictable results.

The Austrian Times specializes in pointless surveys. One of the latest ones is about snow – and I quote:

“A majority of Austrian Times readers dislikes recent massive snowfalls, a new poll has shown.

More than one in two readers (54.1 per cent) said in the online newspaper’s latest poll that they hated snow since it "makes getting around more difficult".

More than a third of readers participating in the poll, however, said they loved the white stuff since it meant lots of fun for kids and great conditions for winter sports.

And 12.2 per cent said snow did not make a difference to them”.

Fantastic stuff! There is not much point in living in Austria if you hate snow. I think the 54.1% are probably living in the wrong country and should move to somewhere like Zanzibar.


  1. More than one in two readers (54.1 per cent) said in the online newspaper’s latest poll that they hated snow since it "makes getting around more difficult".

    It's evident that they never lived in places like Washington, DC - there they would learn that five snowflakes not only form immediately a congregation, but make it impossible to get around. For days! ;-)

    I have nothing but admiration for the snow removal crews of the city of Vienna. There they wait, shovels ready, for the first snowflake to fall (and hardly any gets a chance to survive more than a few seconds before it gets shoved into that large pile in the sky!).

  2. You and the cats need to check out W24, a cable TV channel I recently discovered. To my delight it seems that between the hours of 10pm and 5am this channel shows nothing but film shot from the front of various forms of transport going around Vienna. So you get a tram driver's eye view of the entire route of the 38 tram, for example. More interesting for you might be the films shot from the front of this weird, bright red enclosed bike thing which some bloke pedals around the Prater, along the Donaukanal and whatnot. Must be seen to be believed.

  3. Austrian Times has ceased to entertain me. It is a stupid stupid stupid paper run by jumped-up amateurs, which made it funny for a while, but now it's just annoying. Anyway, I'm going to stop there. There's plenty more ranting where that came from on VV.

    On a more positive note, that is a great kitty photo!

  4. English people love the snow for the first 24 hours and then hate it!

  5. Merge with infinity. Brilliant!