The last year has probably been one of the strangest that most of us have ever experienced (except that year we spent most of it in a Pikachu onesie, but that’s a story for another time).
We are talking Vienna being completely closed down, masks everywhere, social distancing, and rules put on our lives that basically changed every single week. However, something that has been a constant and a silver lining during a time where we felt like crap (mostly) was Vienna’s many green spaces that we spent A LOT of our time hanging out in.
The parks and the forests on the fringe of the city saved us on those long and frustrating weeks of home office. They made us feel a little better when lockdown number 354145 was announced and gave us the space we needed so badly.
Here’s 7 ways Vienna’s green spaces were a place of refuge, peace, and the main setting for our social distanced social lives, over the past year and a bit.
1. The park benches were the location for many Tinder dates
Dating certainly got a lot more interesting during the time of ‘Roni. We can’t even tell you how many Tinder dates we’ve had/ witnessed on Vienna’s park benches. When we were the observer (yep, kind of creepy, we know) of these bench dates, it almost felt like we were watching a reality TV show.
But we loved how on some of the dates, people would pimp it up by bringing some nice wine, or by packing a picnic. Some would say it looked kind of sad, but it’s also somehow kind of sweet.
2. They became a space for our daily walks and workout
With the gyms closed, in-person workout and yoga classes cancelled (let’s face it – the online courses never could cut it) the parks became filled with people working out and doing their exercise thing.
Also, considering how little we could do with our lives, going for a run or walk in the park became quite the highlight of our days.
3. They gave us a holiday feeling when there was no holidays in sight
Yeah, holidays… what do they even look like?
Of course, the Danube is not the ocean, having ice cream in Stadtpark is not the same as having one in Italy and the Wienerwald is not as exciting as a jungle in some Latin American country, but when lying in the parks of this fine city, we still kinda managed to get those vacation feels. Especially when the crowd next to us – that were smoking some funny-smelling substance – started up with Bob Marley’s ‘No Woman, No cry.’
4. They were a quiet place where to escape reality at a time when reality seemed so damn loud
If you’ve been feeling some form of claustrophobia, or like it’s all a bit too much over the last year, there’s no doubt you are not alone. It’s been quite the ride. Meanwhile, one place of escape throughout this whole shit show has been the parks.
Sitting in the Prater, or Augarten and enjoying some peace and quiet every once in a while has contributed a great deal to keeping us sane over the last year.
5. They served as an outdoor restaurant when we couldn’t dine out in actual restaurants
You never thought that the image of somebody eating a pizza in a park during winter in Vienna would be considered normal, right? Well, in 2020 and 2021, this was a common sight.
In all kinds of weather, the parks were peppered with people (yep, that’s a lot of Ps) munching away on some take away meal they’d picked up. It was like the 2020 and 2021 version of dining out.
6. They kept us updated about the passing of the seasons during a time when all days seemed to blend into each other
With our lives being slowed down by the pandemic, we found ourselves appreciating the small things a lot more, including the changing colours of the leaves in autumn and the first buds of spring (we know, we’re sounding super kitsch, but we can’t help what Corona has done to us).
Meanwhile, 2020 and lockdown life of 2021 feels like somebody is watching the series of our lives at x2 speed on Netflix. It’s all a blur and most days feel the same, however, the changing of nature in the green spaces of the city reminded us that life continues moving, and the seasons are changing and (finish this sentence with a poetic line of your own – you get the point).
7. They were the garden for all those who don’t have a garden (or a balcony)
Yeah, those people without a garden or a balcony definitely got the short end of the deal during this pandemic.
However, Vienna’s green areas became our communal public garden. OK, that’s kind of literally what a park is, right? Anyhow, we appreciate that we could set up our hammock between the trees in the Prater, or just lie in the sun on the meadows of the Burggarten as if we owned the place.