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SWMBO gets wow-ed by Linz.

linz net2

A few days ago, we visited Linz for the first time.  Linz is Austria’s third largest city and is located in the province of Upper Austria, close to the German border.  Lifelongfriend took us to an art installation, dahling.

See that lit up area way up high?  That’s where we jumped our hearts out as part of the installation, Giant Billiards

See that lit up area way up high? That’s where we jumped our hearts out as part of the installation, Giant Billiards

Here is a short video of the kids and I jumping!

In 2009, Linz was designated as European Capital of Culture. This designation is given by the EU for a period of one calendar year and allows a spotlight to shine on a city with a lot to offer that might otherwise not get the attention it deserves.  To mark its year as  culture capital, one of the things that Linz did was to organize “Höhenrausch”.  It has since created a new Höhenrausch every summer.  Höhenrausch translates as “drunk” and I think it is meant to express a heady euphoria that I know my family experienced there.

You enter Höhenrausch by taking off your shoes, putting them in a special backpack and climbing up this net!

You enter Höhenrausch by taking off your shoes, putting them in a special backpack and climbing up this net!

What is Höhenrausch?  I’m not sure but it’s pretty awesome.  For 19 euros a family can be amazed.  That’s two parents and ALL their children, a rarity in Austria.  For example, at the Hallstatt salt mine, a family is two parents and ONE child, each additional child paying 11 euros!  As far as I can tell, Höhenrausch is a bizarre physical construction that connects the rooftops of downtown buildings and allows for art exhibits to happen in stairwells and various odd places.

Höhenrausch walkway high above Linz

Höhenrausch walkway high above Linz

It is also comprised of the Voestalpine Open Space. Voestalpine is an international steel-based technology company headquartered in Linz.  The company says that the Open Space is a cultural and spatial laboratory.  Too true.  It’s a constantly changing artist event space.  Oh ya, and also a place to watch movies under the stars.

A wonderful part of Höhenrausch is seeing familiar buildings from an unfamiliar vantage point

A wonderful part of Höhenrausch is seeing familiar buildings from an unfamiliar vantage point

The theme for Höhenrausch 2014 is Bewegte Räume or Living Rooms.  This summer, Höhenrausch explores how we move through physical space and how our physical surroundings can inspire us.

The hop tent, a beautiful place to watch the sun set

The hop tent, a beautiful place to watch the sun set (yes we stayed a long time!)

linz sunset

The 2014 Höhenrausch contains a 30 metre high “No Worries” tower that you can climb high above the city.  It also contains a beautiful Hop Tent and a Waterfall Swing and Giant Billiards among many, many other things.  We enjoyed it all but the Waterfall Swing and the Giant Billiards were pure joy.  I can’t imagine a better summer job than working at the Waterfall Swing.  You get to be outside, exercising and making people happy for 8 hours every day.  Here is a few second video of swinging awesomeness:

Like the best art installations the world over, Höhenrausch needs to be experienced in person.  Words, pictures and movies don’t do it justice.

Quote of the Day comes from Onlyboy during our visit to Höhenrausch.  No higher praise than:

I think I want to be an artist.

Happy 5th Birthday, Lastborn!!