Category Archives: Outdoors

So it begins: CS Vienna Calling 2012

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  • Write a text for my personal main event: check.
  • Receive first couch requests for the weekend: check.
  • Answer and accept request: check.
  • Prepare flat mates for the invasion: partly done.

51 days to go until the 4 days of lovely madness take over the city.

51 days to go until COUCHSURFING VIENNA CALLING 2012!!

Further information is available on the Couchsurfing Main Event Page and the sub-pages, and it will be added on the classical web-site as well.

In case you want to take part:

  1. If you’re a registered Couchsurfer, just click the “join this event” buttons on the events you want to join. Done!
  2. If you’re not a Couchsurfer yet, either create a new account and then go back to (1). Or let me know and I’ll add you to the events I’m attending as a “non-couchsurfing guest” 🙂

In any way, just  be so kind and let the organizers know how many people will attend, as sometimes locations or material have to be organized. In my case, I will probably close the event when there are too many registrations, as I don’t want too many people to come.

Vienna by bike

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Vienna already is a pretty bike-friendly city. And still, politicians are working on improving the network of bike lanes covering the most important routes.

I definitely recommend everybody to try and discover at least some parts of Vienna by bike. The first district is not a good idea, as most of it is paved with cobble stones, but all the surrounding districts are great to bike through. Also, visiting Prater park is way easier by bike than on foot. The same applies to Donaukanal and Donauinsel, and everything in those areas, like Friedhof der Namenlosen (no english wiki page?!). I still can’t believe how fast one can go somewhere compared to public transport and of course walking. It’s all about the first step!

If you’re not from Vienna, check out Citybike Vienna, a nearly free way of renting bikes in the central areas of Vienna.

I’ve even gone so far as not to renew my annual ticket with the public transport 🙂

Meet Maja

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After coming back from the US, I decided to finally take steps against my being lazy and out of shape: I bought a bike. And as I like to give names to everything, I asked Anna to find a name for it. She took only one look and said “Let’s call it Maja.”

So, Maja, this is everybody. Everybody, this is Maja:

Easter Holidays!

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I will spend a part of my Easter vacation at home!

Arrival time will be some time in the evening of Wednesday, April 4th. “Take-Off” back to Vienna will be in the afternoon of Sunday, April 8th.

I would LOVE to once again meet up with some of the lovely people from home, couchsurfers and non-surfers, so PLEASE let me know if you have time to spare.

How about a nice little bicycle trip to Lechtal? Or to Füssen? Or how about hiking up to Schlosskopf? Or Fort Claudia?

According to the weather forecast, there will be slight rain all week long, but who cares; I’ll bring my rain gear 🙂

Hope to hear from everybody!!

Hahnenkamm, der [noun]

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All over the Alps, people never were very creative when naming their villages, mountains and meadows. “Au” is one of the most commonly used name for parts of villages near rivers (it means floodplain), for example. Also, “Ried” (meaning marsh or reed) can be found all over Austria, Germany and Switzerland.

And then there is “Hahnenkamm”, which is of course used for mountains that resemble the shape of a cockscomb. The most famous of these is situated in Kitzbühel in Tirol, and another is the local mountain of my hometown. And that’s where I went to go skiing for some hours with my mum. It’s only 5 minutes by car, and after last year’s renovations, the area has been improved big time 🙂

Like the pictures? If you want to see it in real, just come by 🙂

Skiing, again.

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Telling my partents about my exaxt itinerary (well, as exact as it was at the time), my mum insisted on my coming home before leaving for the US. So I last-minute arranged a train ticket to Innsbruck, a couch to crash on, and made my mum happy by telling her I was free to go skiing somewhere around Innsbruck on Saturday, 4th of February.

My train arrived at 10 pm, and after a short journey through town, I was at my friend Barbara’s where a all-prepared couch was awaiting me. In the morning, my alarm went off at 7 am to make sure I would be ready when my parents arrived. We had decided to go to Kühtai, a medium sized skiing area 25 km southwest of Innsbruck, located 2020 meters above sea level. When we got out of the car, we nearly froze immediately. A really strong wind was blowing, and according to diverse sources, the temperature was – 25° Celsius. To put on our skiing boots, helmets and so on, we went inside – otherwise it would have been way too cold.

My skiing jacket includes a kind of thermometer, but obviously it is either 10 ° off, or it just couldn’t bear the cold.

Due to the wind, the cable car was shut down, so we had to stay at the one chair lift with a bubble that is available at the area. This also restricted us to 2 variations of the same slope, but it was still okay as we had anyways only planned on skiing for half a day, and there was nearly noone around. The snow was powdery, the sun was shining, the air was clear, … and after 2.5 hrs we decided to stop by the one hut along the one slope to have a hot chocolate and some Gulaschsuppe.

The hut was awesome, they had a tiled stove heating up the whole place to a cosy 20 ° (plus), there was a lot of wood used in the rooms, and decoration was suiting the name: “Zum Kaiser Max”, which shows the connection of emperor Maximilian (I.? II.? I always forget) with the area. This guy loved to go hiking, hunting and fishing, and in Tirol you can do it all. He made Innsbruck his seat of power and also came to my home town once in a while.

After this relaxing and re-warming break, and some more skiing, we got out of our boots (which took some time especially for my mum) and helmets and took another way – through Ötztal valley instead of Innsbruck – back home.

Home leave to Winterwonderland

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Time and time again when I come home, I am astonished of how beautiful my home area is. Meet lake Plansee, one of the larger lakes in Tirol. It’s not an accident that I linked to the german Wikipedia article – the english version is literally 3 sentences long, so I’d recommend to use some translating service like babelfish to get the information out of the german article.

Anyways, here are some pictures from a walk I took with my parents on Sunday, February 5th.

Winter: 1 – everyone else: 0

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This usually is one of the busiest north-south connections in Tirol, Fernpassbundesstrasse, leading from Füssen in Germany to Nassereith and on to Innsbruck.

It was closed yesterday morning due to high avalanche risk, and was reopened this morning.

The only other way to get to the south because of this was to drive north to Füssen, then southeast to Garmisch-Partenkirchen and south via Mittenwald and Seefeld to Innsbruck, though parts of this route were restricted to vehicles using snow chains.

Hell yeah, that’s winter.

Recap: Skiing at Stuhleck

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So last Sunday, January 8th, Georg and me went skiing. Kira, a CS friend of ours, had posted on the Vienna Group that she wanted to go, and we immediately decided to join her. At the weekly meeting on Thursday before, one of the tenants of Flying Pig said he’d also come with us.

On Sunday morning though, I received a text from Kira that she wasn’t feeling well and would stay at home. Paul did not show up at the meeting point either, and also did not call, so this left Georg and me alone.

But this gave us the possibilty to last-minute change our plans upon arriving at Semmering train station. First we had planned to go to Zauberberg, which is actually at Semmering itself, but as a free shuttle bus to Stuhleck skiing area was waiting at the train station, and the bus driver and the skiers already aboard the bus were so nice and convincing, we decided to go to Stuhleck.

The weather wasn’t too nice in the beginning: it was snowing und heavily clouded until noon. As snow kept falling, heaps and heaps of it made a mogul pistes out of every slope. It was quiet fun, but very exhausting, especially as there were lot of people on the pistes.

After our lunch break, the clouds parted, and especially the lower parts of the area became more and more sunny. We did our last descent around 3.20 pm, having skied for about 4 hours. Unfortunately, it was way too cold to stop and take pictures from the slopes, so here are two pictures I took while being indoors:

Finally: Skiing!

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Thanks to Kira, I will finally make it to my first day on skis this season. She suggested to go to Semmering on Sunday, and so we will do. It will be Kira (a snowboarding beginner), me (pretty good skier), Georg (trained ski instructor) and maybe even Paul (intermediate skier as far as I know).

I’ll see how my phone copes with the weather conditions and try to take some pictures for you 🙂