Hiking (Saturday, Sept 8)

After the false start on Friday, Ryan and I set alarms to get up and out for hiking on Saturday. We packed up, took the first tram to the second tram stop, ate breakfast at a small cafe, and hopped on the second tram for the 45 minute ride out to the hike. Ryan took on planning for the hike, and had settled on Staadtwedenweg 1 (city hiking trail 1), up to Kahlenberg. Vienna is in the foothills of the Alps, and there are many close hiking trails. Like the previous days, the weather was gorgeous. Low to mid 70s and sunny. Most of the hike was on paved narrow roads, through peaceful suburbs with lots of greenery and big trees and vineyards. The last part of the hike led us off onto unpaved paths through the forest, with steep switchbacks.

Path through suburbs

Path through suburbs

Vineyards in the cemetary

Vineyards in the cemetery

Lots of grapes!

Lots of grapes!

More grapes

More grapes

Buddhist temple

Buddhist temple/shrine on the side of the path.  Looked slightly like a bunch of junk.

These markers were all throughout the hike, still haven't figured out their meaning.

These markers were all throughout the hike, still haven’t figured out their meaning.

At the top, I used what I described to Ryan as a futuristic toilet. I wish I’d taken a picture. The whole thing is metal. You walk in and close the heavy door, and push a button to lock it. The toilet is this massive basin, presumably so the guys can’t miss. There is a toilet seat up against the back wall, you grab the handle and pull the toilet seat down. Again, perhaps so guys don’t make a mess of it. After using the toilet, you raise the seat back up, and push a button on the right wall to flush. On the left wall, there is a soap dispenser and faucet built right into the wall, extending slightly over the massive basin. You push the button to dispense soap and turn on the water. When all done, another button is pushed to unlock the door. Overall, very clean and well maintained.

Also at the top, we walked around the small area of Kahlenberg, with shops, cafes, and a hotel. While we hiked, one could drive or take a bus up to the top. From the top, there were great views of Vienna and the Danube River.

We could have taken the little train up, but since when do we do things the easy way?  This train picture is for Sam.

We could have taken the little train up, but since when do we do things the easy way? This train picture is for Sam.

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The hike continued back down the mountain. We passed through a fun ropes course with ziplines and considered trying it out, but decided it was too crowded. Instead, we continued the hike and stopped at a cafe and winery overlooking the vineyard with the city in the background. What a delightful place for a break and some refreshments! It would have been easy to just sit relaxing there all day. Reminded me a bit of the wineries in Mendoza. Ryan had a glass of Reisling, while I tried the sturm.

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Raisins on the side of the road

Raisins on the side of the road

Post-hike beer at the bottom

Post-hike beer at the bottom

FaceTime with Sam when we got back to the apartment! He was involved in one of his favorite activities, moving water from one container to another, and then dumping it on Pumpa’s feet!

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The evening consisted of Mozart’s Requiem in Karlskirche. Ryan and I grabbed an early dinner before hand and then wandered around the Busker’s Festival going on in Karlsplatz before finding Kate and Egg and going into the church. This was our first experience dealing with vouchers, which are quickly becoming a thing on this trip. Apparently we had vouchers for tickets for the concert, not the actual tickets. We had to stand in line to swap our vouchers for tickets, and then stand in another line to get into the church with our tickets. The church was a very majestic venue for the concert, and the symphony and choir were very moving. So moving that all of us except for Kate fell asleep at some point. I was probably the biggest culprit. Regardless, we all enjoyed. Afterwards, we watched a fire thrower perform outside the church (part of the festival), and attempted top stop for dessert/coffee/wine at a cool looking cafe on the way home. After sitting for 20 minutes with no one approaching us to take an order, we called it quits and went back to the Airbnb to go to sleep.

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Some art we passed by on the walk home

Some art we passed by on the walk home

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