Welcome to the Aqua Dome

First, let me say that my friend Sue has inspired me to join the National Blog Posting Month in November (Hi Sue! I admire your intention to have a goal for this…I’ll be lucky if I just remember to post everyday. Lots of content, poor memory.) So hopefully you’ll see a post every day on this site. If not, well, there is always next year. I’m not sure if every day will be something earth shattering, but I’m going to try to put something, hopefully something readable, up daily.

This post will be easy, as yesterday we went to Längenfeld to visit the wondrous swimming complex, the Aqua Dome, as well as to connect with a family of a school acquaintance of mine. We have been a few times to this, well, I would call it a pool but it is oh so much more, and so we knew that we would have a good time. When you have a family, it probably is one of the easiest places to spend the day and keep everyone entertained. There was only the 3 of us, as Rebecca balked at the thought of leaving the house at 9:00 in the morning on a Saturday. As if!

The complex is about 40 minutes drive from Innsbruck. It was All Saints’ Day, where all good Catholics spend the entire day at the cemetery visiting departed relatives. As no one would confuse this family of being practicing Christians of any denomination, we just appreciated the empty roads and easy drive. The Aqua Dome is a series of pools fed by a hot spring. There are adult areas, kids areas, and 3 outdoor pods that each have a wellness theme: light and sound therapy, massage and whirlpool. There is also a restaurant where you can dine in your bathrobe. Everything is accessed and paid for by an electronic wristband, so it is easy to spend way too much money without noticing. Brilliant from a business perspective. Last time we were here, Markus and I also went to the spa, which was very brave of me as those crazy Europeans walk around without any clothes on. Not even a towel around the waist. That sure pushed the limits of my North American puritanism, let me tell you.

But as we were with Annie and only had about 3 hours, we just stayed in the pool areas. The setting is stunning with mountains close enough to touch and the trees showing off their blazing fall fashions. Here are some pictures of the morning.

Annie and Markus enjoy the indoor pools...

Annie and Markus enjoy the indoor pools...

...and the outdoor pools

...and the outdoor pools

One of the swimming pods in a stunning Austrian autumn setting

One of the swimming pods in a stunning Austrian autumn setting

After our morning activities, we headed over to a different kind of adventure: having lunch with someone we had never met. A high school friend of mine, Erla, reconnected with me on Facebook a few months back. When she read that I was moving to Innsbruck, she offered to forward me the email address of her husband’s cousin. I’m up for any opportunity to meet more people at this point, so Drifa and I exchanged notes and agreed that we would come over to her place for lunch after our swim. Längenfeld has about 4,000 people living there full-time (with 10,000 visitors a year for skiing), and so pretty much everyone can see the Aqua Dome from their living room. After a very short drive, we arrived at the apartment of Drifa Radiskovic and her 3 children, Alexander, David and Sara. As you can tell by her name, Drifa has an interesting story. She is Icelandic and her husband, Zoran, is a Bosnian Serb. They met one summer working at a ski resort near Lägenfeld and never moved back. They speak Icelandic and Serbian at home, and the children are learning German and English in school. (That will be a whole other post about the travesty of our mainly uni-lingual existence in N.A.) All 3 children have blond hair and blue eyes, so the Icelandic influences clearly dominated in the gene pool. Zoran’s uncle moved to Canada and settled in Manitoba with the large migration of Icelanders to Gimil, which is where Erla’s and mine connection kicks in. Whew, this is complicated!

But in any case, we had delicious homemade pizza and Annie played a little bit with the kids until she conked out with fatigue from her morning activities. I found it fascinating to hear about their background and how they made the transition to a little dorf in Austria. I guess there is both some historic and more recent stereotyping of Serbians here, so she has experienced some discrimination. But of course has also experienced many wonderful things about living in Austria, and overall I think she is happy to raise her family here.

And so the adventure continues for all of us.

2 Responses to “Welcome to the Aqua Dome”

  1. sox says:

    Well, we’re two days in and we’ve both posted twice. We’re batting a thousand so far. 😉

  2. eyesage says:

    Ambitious ambition o fellow bloggers!

    Hillary, I have an idea for a post if u are struggling.
    Maybe some of us ( me) don’t have a full and comprehensive understanding of the familial relations of your Austrian family. How about a tree with some faces and names. I know that’s ambitious and complicated…

    Otherwise, glad to read lots of news updates and you are enjoying the introspective benefits of removing yourself from ones usual rat race…