Puzzlement at Vienna parks ban on skiing

Residents in the Austrian capital Vienna woke up this week to discover that skiing had been banned in the city’s parks.

Although many of the Viennese parks such as the Volksgarten and Burggarten are relatively flat the signs have nevertheless been erected with park officials explaining that it was a cost-cutting measure.

Spokesman for the city park authorities Günter Wimmer said that it had been cheaper to arrange for one sign that fitted all of the city’s parks and that although most of them did not have slopes that would be suitable for skiing when it snowed – there were one or two exceptions such as the gardens around the Schönbrunn Palace.

He said that as a result they had one multi-purpose sign which included everything from a ban on dogs being able to run free through to the ban on skiing.

But fans of cross-country skiing don’t need to be disappointed – as soon as there is more than 20 cm of snow in the city then the “Snow Sports Academy” will arrange for tracks at 8 separate locations in the city to be opened –  including one in the Prater and another on the Wienerberg and a third on the Donauinsel.