A friend, Hilda, took me to visit Lobau Park in Vienna over summer. It was nice to take short train and bus rides to somewhere green and quiet place. We walked around, chatting and stopping to see the flora and fauna in the park.
One thing that surprised me was seeing snails climbing plants – all snails I had seen before moved on the ground and none had ever shown off by sliding ‘slimily’ up a plant.
We continued to a small lake and saw plenty of large fish. I am not sure if they were carp, so I will just call them “Large Fish”.
We walked further up the lake around a bush and found another type of ‘fauna’ – people sunbathing in the nude! We looked at them, they looked at us then this happened:
- Hilda continued walking and chatting
- I stopped, stumbled on ahead and then said “Hilda….”,
- Hilda paused and looked at me
- I shifted my gaze questioningly to the sunbathers
- Hilda said “oh, you want to look at the fish some more?”
- Hilda then guided me nearer the lake to see more fish, right between the sunbathers who were be now ignoring us
We watched the fish for a couple of minutes and then continued on our way. When we were out of earshot, Hilda apologized for not having warned me about the nudist beach. Yes, I had heard of nudism before, but unexpectedly seeing the real thing was a shock. I just never expected nudists to be out in public like that. I had always imagined that there would be signs alerting people about what to be expected. I was also amazed that all these were elderly people with elderly looking bodies and no sick pack in sight – at least I did not see any in the brief moments I looked them.
I know I have written about some Americans being surprisingly prudish, but that was in saunas and when with friends. I found the Lobau experience more than interesting because the nudists were not protected from strangers’ eyes and they are freely out in public. Hilda informed me that I would have seen a more interesting sight – nudists riding bikes in the Lobau!
I should have taken a photo as a souvenir, but of course it was not the right thing to do and I do not think the objects of my curiosity would have been pleased.