Postcard from Vienna: Old-Fashioned Diversions

I can't quite leave Austria behind without giving you a taste of my kid's favorite place in Vienna: The Prater.

The Prater is an old-style amusement park in the center of the city. According to the park's website "Austrian Emperor Josef II donated the area to the Viennese in 1766 as a public leisure center" -- so when I say old, I mean old.

There is a sense of danger, a taste of how people used to get their kicks in the days before horror movies, in the park. While none of the rides are technologically impressive by our standards, some of them are more menacing than anything you will find in Orlando.

The Toboggan was first built in 1913, burned to the ground during WWII, and was reconstructed in 1947 using the original blueprints. It's nothing more than a 100 m tall wooden slide, but you couldn't pay me anything to get me to slide down that thing.

At times, the Prater made me think of Pinocchio -- remember cursed amusement park? I expected to see a boy made of wood to come around the corner, but he never did.