Tips for enjoying an Austrian summer
With temperatures rising across Austria and people flocking outside to enjoy the sunshine here are some tips for dealing with hot weather.
1. Even if the weather is crying out for barbecued sausages in the park, lighting an open fire is dangerous and strictly prohibited in Austrian parks. Barbecue season (Grillsaison) usually begins in April and then people are free to use the official fixed barbecues located in city parks.
2. Austria has many beautiful open air swimming pools and lakes - but do remember to rinse yourself under the shower before plunging in, and don’t give yourself a soaping in the pool. Also, swimming nude is not permitted unless it’s a designated nudist (FKK) beach. And dogs are not allowed in swimming pools.
One man recently got into trouble for bathing naked in the fountain at Graz’s Eisernen Tor. Please remember that bathing in the fountains is not encouraged, but dipping your feet in is OK.
3. Do get out and enjoy Austria’s parks - but don’t damage plants and flowers. Feel free to play games but wearing football spikes is discouraged in city parks.
4. When temperatures really start to soar, and you don’t have air conditioning (not that common in Austrian homes) seek out places that are air conditioned, such as cinemas, shopping centres, libraries, and museums.
5. A helpful tip if you can’t sleep at night - soak some towels in water, and hang them around the bed. The evaporation will slightly cool the room, making it easier to get back to sleep.
6. Pay particular attention to domestic pets. They can’t always let you know if it’s too hot for them, so ensure they have enough shade and plenty of water. And whatever you do, never leave them locked in a car while you’re doing your shopping, even with the window open.
7. Elderly people are physically more vulnerable to the effects of hot weather, due to temperature regulation issues. Make sure you stay in close contact with your older relatives, and ensure they’re comfortable. They want you to visit anyway, and the hot weather is no excuse to avoid that.