Friday, 16 June 2017

The Wiener Riesenrad.... Or, Massive Old Ferris Wheel In Vienna

Vienna was never a city on my bucket list of places to go but when the local Austrian zoo announced that twin baby pandas had been born there, a trip to Vienna was firmly on the cards.

So far our city break had been amazing with boat trips on the river Danube and sight seeing from the top of the 1960's built Donautrum tower.
We continued to utilise our Vienna Pass that we had purchased and ticked off as many tourist attractions as possible. Next on the list was the Wiener Riesenrad. This is a giant vintage Ferris wheel that stands over 200ft tall on the edge of the cities amusement park. Sadly our visit was during a period when the amusement park, the Prater was closed but luckily the amazing Ferris wheel was open for visitors.

The Ferris wheel was constructed 1897 and until 1985 it was actually the tallest Ferris wheel in the world. It was actually supposed to have been dismantled and removed 19 years after it's construction in 1916. However the deconstruction couldn't be financed and the Ferris wheel survived.

The Ferris wheel was badly damaged during the second world war and when the wheel was rebuilt only half of the gondolas were reinstated, you can see the gaps between the gondolas in my photographs. I'm not personally a fan of James Bond movies but I have been told that some rather romantic scenes were shot around the Prater amusement park and on the Ferris wheel in the film 'James Bond - The Living Daylights' From 1987.

As we got off the train at the nearest station to the amusement park we were instantly greeted by the sight of the Ferris wheel. It really did look very impressive and we couldn't wait to go for a ride on the old girl.
The Wiener Riesenrad Ferris Wheel Vienna
The Wiener Riesenrad Ferris Wheel Vienna
 We used our Vienna pass that gave us entrance to the Ferris wheel and we walked around the museum section of the entrance and saw little models of the wheel and the area. After a quick walk around we were ushered on the wheel and into a carriage. The wheel actually moves incredible quickly. I think I compare it to the London eye where the wheel rotates at a leisurely pace and you have plenty of time to view the scenery of the skyline. However, this wheel moves a lot quicker but the scenery is still impressive. It's not a roller coaster but you are soon up and back down quicker than expected but still worth a visit.
View from the Wiener Riesenrad Ferris Wheel ViennaView from the Wiener Riesenrad Ferris Wheel Vienna
 View from the Wiener Riesenrad Ferris Wheel Vienna.

The sun was low in the sky and the city looks truly stunning. We were in the gondola with many other tourist and we each shuffled around the area to get different view points at different times. 
View from the Wiener Riesenrad Ferris Wheel Vienna

Looking down over the prater amsement park from View from the Wiener Riesenrad Ferris Wheel ViennaLooking down from View from the Wiener Riesenrad Ferris Wheel ViennaComing down on the Wiener Riesenrad Ferris Wheel Vienna
 Looking down over the prater amusement park from View from the Wiener Riesenrad Ferris Wheel Vienna
The gondolas on the Wiener Riesenrad Ferris Wheel Vienna
The gondolas on the Wiener Riesenrad Ferris Wheel Vienna
The gondolas on the Wiener Riesenrad Ferris Wheel Vienna
The gondolas on the Wiener Riesenrad Ferris Wheel Vienna
Looking out across Vienna from the giant ferriss wheel
Looking out across Vienna from the giant ferriss wheel
Going on a vintage 120 year old Ferris wheel was such an awesome experience and really was worth the visit and I would highly recommend the trip to any one getting a city break in Austria.
 Next on our Vienna trip is to explore the random architecture at the KunstHausWien.