Tag Archives: wienliebe

Vienna 101, continued

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Showing the city I love to people who are new to it or want to discover new places – I LOVE it 🙂

As everybody at the first meeting liked the idea, we visited Zentralfriedhof on our second trip. I changed my usual tour a little, so we would see different parts of the cemetery, including the old Jewish cemetery where I don’t go that often. We also checked off some Geocaches that had been placed at the cemetery after my last visit.

Our third visit to Places You’d Usually Don’t See Or Visit In Vienna was to Lainzer Tiergarten. Unfortunately, most of the park is closed in Winter, due to all the game living there and their need of having a quiet time during the cold season. So instead of having a rather long hike starting in the North of the park, and having a great view over the city, we spent most of the Tutorium on the tramway and waiting for it – but the small part of the park that was open was definitely worth it! That part is called Hermesvillapark, and that Villa is a lovely piece of bavarian Kitsch in the middle of a lovely area –  built by Emperor Franz Joseph for his beloved Sisi.

We tried solving a multi stage geocache, but didn’t succeed. Obviously 3 informatics students can’t count letters as good as a 7 year old girl (we met a geocaching family along the way, and they had a different outcome, and logged the cache … ). Later on, we DID log a traditional geocache, so bringing the GPS device wasn’t totally futile 🙂

Last but not least, trip number 4 took us to Heeresgeschichtliches Museum (HGM, Museum of Military History). Every year, usually on the first weekend of advent, there’s a medieval market happening outside the museum, and the entrance to the museum is free of charge. This time, only 2 of our usual participants came, and even Boki didn’t have time to come. I decided to also invite some other friends and acquaintances, but still we only were 4 people 🙂  We learned some things about Austria’s wars from 17th to 19th century, about fencing in the 14th century, fashion in the 13th century, and about the area where HGM is located (called “Arsenal”). Of course we also tasted a couple of punch variations and logged a geocache. I sure am happy that people don’t mind, or even enjoy, my hijacking the Tutorium for finding geocaches 🙂

Vienna 101, lesson 1

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As I mentioned before, I’ll be a tourist guide for students who just moved to Vienna, or would like to (re)discover Vienna, this semester.

Unit 1 of the “Wien-Tut” was an easy walk from our University’s main building at Karlsplatz to Stephansplatz (aka, the city center) and then we had a coffee and talked a bit about what they wanted to see in the next unit.

Well, that’s the extra-short version of it. Along the way, Boki and I showed them the Opera, the Albertina museum, the Crypt of the Habsburgs, Stock-im-Eisen-Platz, and my personal favourite in the first district: Blutgasse. The unanimous feedback was that the students want to see more of the unusual sights, sites and sides of Vienna, just like Blutgasse – so we decided we’d go see Zentralfriedhof cemetery next.

It’ll be great 🙂

Amazing Vienna

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Although I’ve been living in Vienna for nearly 5 years now, there are still lots of places that I haven’t seen, or have only seen parts of. One of them is Kurpark Oberlaa and Wiener Internationale Gartenschau 1974 in the 10th district.

I found the place this spring when I was on one of my hikes. It included a lot of getting lost, as there are basically NO signs around that would indicate the trails I was looking for, and some standing around in awe. A couple of days ago, I decided to go visit the park, not only pass it by, and see if I could find any of the Geocaches in the area.

I actually spotted 2 of the 3 Geocaches I was looking for. The one I did see but could not log was a T4 (terrain 4 out of 5 stars), nestled into the branches of a big nice tree. Unfortunately, the lowest branch was at about 1.90 meters 🙁 The one I found was placed at a not-so-nice location (meaning that the area has obviously been used as a toilet), and the third one I couldn’t even spot – it should have been somewhere on an art installation consisting of red steel bars in the park’s center.

More pictures will follow, as I hope to go there again soon 🙂

Hiking around Vienna, with Couchsurfers

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Stadtwanderweg 2 seemed to be more interesting for others than 1 and 1a. Or did they like the weatherforecast more? Anyways, a handful of people signed up for the event, and they even showed. Just like before, it was not always easy to find the route due to the strange placing of signs: they’re never where you need them. If there is a crossing of 2 or more routes, and you’re not sure which to take, when you just started, and have no idea in which direction to go, be sure there won’t be a sign. If there is only a joining of routes, or not even a forking anywhere to be seen, there will be a sign. And with any luck, it will point in the right direction, and only in that direction. It won’t point in between two routes, it will be intelligible, and will leave no unasked question unanswered.

Of course, we again took shortcuts (unintended, as always), and once or twice took the long way around. Still, we always managed to keep our walking time under the time stated in the information brochures.

As the last Stadtwanderweg, number 9, runs through Prater, I decided to skip that one. Prater is a great area, and I’m sure the route is nice, but I prefer to go (and also to move around) there by bike. So after Stadtwanderweg 7 (happening today), which will feature also a pre-hike hike from Rodaun to Altes Landgut, and number 8 (next week, at Sofienalpe), I will start to walk parts of the Rundumadum trail that goes all the way around Vienna. After walking 10-14 km every time until now, I want to get closer to the “real thing”, and hike 20-25 km per day.

Hiking around Vienna, alone

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To prepare for the long walk to Graz in September, I decided to do some hiking around Vienna. The city’s administration maintains 11 routes called “Stadtwanderwege” (city hiking trails), which are circle routes starting and ending at the same points and can be finished within 3-4 hours each, and 5 routes that consist of multiple stages each. In sum, the city offers about 500 km of hiking trails of easy and medium difficulty.

I did not have any preferences concerning the hiking routes or their areas, so I just decided to check them off according to their numbers, starting of course with number 1 – on the hottest day in June.

Although I had set up a meeting on Couchsurfing, and although I had announced it early enough, nobody joined me – I guess it was because of the weather reports. For once they were completely right …

When I started at 8 am, it was already damn hot. Still, I managed to finish the hike, without taking too many breaks, in under 3 hours. To be completely honest, I took an unintended short-cut somewhere, but only noticed that when I was back on the right track again. I had a great view from Kahlenberg down onto the city, and managed to walk by at least 3 geocache hideouts without remembering to check the app. The way back through the vineyards of Kahlenberg was also nice, but totally exposed to the sun…

The next hike, 3 days later, was number 1a, which shares some parts same with number 1. On this hike too, nobody joined me. One person had signed up for the event, but canceled last-minute – again due to the weather 🙂   I took this opportunity to make up for the shortcut I had taken before and this time took the long way around. The ascent to Leopoldsberg was incredibly exhausting – due to the rain in the morning, and the rapidly raising temperature, I felt like walking in a sauna. For my efforts, I was rewarded with great views on Kahlenbergerdorf and Vienna. With breaks, this hike took me 4 hours.

Museum recap: Technical Museum

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To accomplish one of the many exercises IT students have to complete for a positive grade in “Gesellschaftliche Spannungsfelder der Informatik” (roughly “Areas of conflict in between Society and IT”), we had to pay a visit to the Technical Museum in Vienna. We, that’s me and a couple of friends from University, and we had a great time at the Museum on April 20th.

Enjoy the pictures of some grown-up nerds, childishly exploring and enjoying the museum!

Museum recap: Museum of Natural History

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On May 12th, Georg and I decided to pay a visit to the Museum of Natural History in Vienna.

It is situated close to the city center of vienna, just 2 minutes from Heldenplatz, and right opposite the Museum of Fine Arts. The special thing about these two musems is that they look the same from the outside, except for some details as statues on the facade and the dedication over the main doors.

The entry fee for students is € 5, so if you don’t plan on going to the NHM (German short for the museum that I will use now) at least 6 times within a year’s time, and you’re a student with a valid student’s ID, it’s better for you to just stick to the normal day passes. Awesome, in my point of view!

The NHM was built in order to host the “k. u. k. Naturalienkabinett”, the huge collections the Habsburg emperors had accumulated through years and decades of exploring our world.

Because of the Habsburg’s acquisitiveness and the hard work of the museum curators, in the last 250 years, over 25 million objects (!) have found their way to the museum. Of course, only a fractional amount of this collections can be shown in the museum itself – and still, some rooms seem to be crowded with exhibits 🙂

Also, the exhibits are not the only thing to be amazed by. Just like the Museum of Fine Arts on the other side of the square, NHM is a masterpiece by itself. Take time to take in the frescoes, the stucco works, the busts and so on. You won’t regret it 🙂

I didn’t take too many pictures, but let me assure you: the 5 to 10 Euros you will spend on the ticket, depending on if you’re a student or not, are totally worth it. Just make sure to be well rested, wear comfy shoes and have something to drink with you. The geological collections alone can keep you staring for hours.