Tag Archives: rundumadum

23 & part of 24 – Steinernes Kreuz to Am Hubertusdamm

1 May

We are nearing the end of the Rundumadum. In fact, because I started with the last leg of the trail, I have now come full circle. I do still need to get the stamp from the Roter Hiasl restaurant in the Lobau as they were not open when we passed that way. Then I will be eligible for my City of Vienna hiking pin. ­čÖé

But I am getting ahead of myself, which is a pity because the start of this stretch was so enticing (not just because the bus took us uphill and we only walked downhill ;-)). Here it is, an old “Kellergasse” within the city limits.

An old “Kellergasse” in Vienna’s 21st district

What is a “Kellergasse”? Many will already know that a “Keller” is a “cellar” and, in this case, a wine cellar, and a “Gasse” is a narrow street or alley. They are (or were) common in wine-growing regions and were used to store wine before it was sold. Now, many people are buying them up and converting them into weekend retreats. As they are typically in rather green and agricultural areas, they make good retreats.

We followed Krottenhofgasse all the way down into Strebersdorf (one of the many villages that were incorporated into Vienna), oohing and aahing over the many flowering shrubs, which were at least two weeks behind what they are in town.

In Strebersdorf, we linked up with the Marchfeld Canal again, part of which we had seen on one of the earlier stretches, and carried on in even as it started to rain, noting the many places you could go down to the water and presumably swim. I couldn’t say I’d be very tempted as the water was pretty murky, but it might be nice to have the option nearby on a hot day.

On the left is a stretch of the canal that had an unidentified round structure on the shore (barely visible on the lefthand side) and on the right is a view still of the canal, although it looks like a lake or pond, with a glimpse of the church at the top of Leopoldsberg on the other side of the Danube (not visible). You can see from the photos that the weather was not bright, to employ a bit of understatement.

As has happened before, we at some point lost track of the Rundumadum signs and had to find our own way. We navigated, rather unusually, by checking out the bus route and managed to find our way to the 34A, which took us back to Floridsdorf. And just in time. By the time the bus pulled into Franz-Jonas-Platz in front of the U6 station at Floridsdorf it was coming down pretty heavily.

Trail number 23

Distance: 3.8 km

Time: 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes

Link: https://www.wien.gv.at/umwelt/wald/freizeit/wandern/rundumadum/etappe23.html

Trail number 24

We did 2 to 3 kms of this one, getting in the bus at Am Hubertusdamm.

Link: https://www.wien.gv.at/umwelt/wald/freizeit/wandern/rundumadum/etappe24.html

22 – Br├╝nner Stra├če to Steinernes Kreuz

27 Feb

A week ago, my walking partner and I (and Maylo, of course) walked the 22nd stretch of the Rundumadum trail. It’s amazing to me how the landscape changes. After all, we are circumnavigating only one city.

This time we walked through rather bleak vineyards (well, it is still February) and then open fields on the flat, with a view of Vienna on one side and of Lower Austria (not shown) on the other, before climbing up a stretch of Bisamberg and heading back to Hagenbrunn.

I’ve walked this route before but in the other direction when doing the Stadtwanderweg (city hiking trail) number 5 with a friend. In addition, I have pleasant memories of snacks on Bisamberg before Bergheuriger Langer closed its doors forever, a stop once at the Magdalenenhof, and enchanting coppices (or copses).

It was a pleasant, uneventful hike — even the buses ran when they were supposed to. ­čśë We only did one stretch, which turned out to be just right. Anyway, I’ll be going back to re-visit the Heurigen (wine taverns) out that way when the weather gets warmer.

Trail number 22

Distance: 6,2 km

Time: 1.5 to 2 hours

Link: https://www.wien.gv.at/umwelt/wald/freizeit/wandern/rundumadum/etappe22.html

The Magdalenenhof, as you can see at the bottom, is a Stempelstelle or place to stamp one’s Rundumadum card, necessary for getting the hiking pin of the City of Vienna.

08 – Breitenfurter Stra├če to Alterlaa

4 Jan

After an abortive attempt on one of the May holidays (not only the rain but the wind was too discouraging and I wasn’t dressed right), a friend and I decided to attempt this stretch again. Because we were so deep in conversation most of the time, I’m afraid I didn’t get any pictures. Still, if you look at the pictures from this post–Trail 09–you’ll be seeing very much what we saw, complete with ducks.

I did take in some things, in spite of our conversation, and it was special to do this stretch with this friend. She not only lives in Alterlaa and often walks along the Liesing River, but she has lived in the 23rd district all her life and so can tell me about landmarks other people would miss.

We started more or less at the aquaduct that was built in the early 1870s to provide Vienna with clean water from the mountains. Apparently, 40% of Viennese tap water still comes from this source and is exceptionally good. As an old Viennese friend of mine used to say, with somewhat justifiable pride, “We flush our toilets with the kind of water people in other places buy in the supermarket.”

One thing that struck me as we walked was how varied the buildings are in this part of Vienna. Some are clearly from a more agricultural time before the area was incorporated into the City of Vienna. Some are non-descript newer buildings that look as if they are only there to serve a purpose but not to delight the eye. And some are interesting newer buildings.

When we got to Alterlaa, my friend invited me in for coffee and some of the best Christmas cookies around. The deep conversation continuing, I ended up staying for supper. Perhaps it would have been better if this stretch had been a bit longer so as to burn a few more calories!

All in all, though, it was a wonderful way to spend one of my holiday afternoons and evenings.

Trail number 8
Distance: 5.6 km
Time: 1.5 to 2 hours
Link: https://www.wien.gv.at/umwelt/wald/freizeit/wandern/rundumadum/etappe8.html

20 & 21 – Wagramer Stra├če to Br├╝nner Stra├če

21 Nov

It seemed like a good idea to get in a couple more stretches of the Rundumadum hiking trail before we go into lockdown again tomorrow (even though we will still be allowed to walk outside with close friends for purposes of physical and psychological recreation) so off we went.

The weather was suitable for November, as you can see on the photos–a gray, slightly melancholy day–and it was a good day for walking. This is a mood I love in Vienna, like a physical expression of the melancholy underlying the lighter side of life here. It’s not all waltzing and champagne, or concerts and cakes, especially not in the middle of a pandemic.

The Wiener Linien (public transit authorities in Vienna) rather fell down on the job today as they did last time, at least as far as the busses went. We arrived punctually at S├╝├čenbrunn train station to catch the bus that was to take us to the starting point of our first stretch. It never came. On the other end, we arrived at the bus stop with about five minutes to spare and waited almost 15 minutes. That one never came either. What with walking from S├╝├čenbrunn to Bettelheimstra├če and then from Erbpostgasse to Stammersdorf, I estimate we covered 10 km today, about 1.5 more than intended. Thank goodness for good shoes!

Like the last few stretches, these were flat, with small ponds. (The swimming pond for Gerasdorf bei Wien looked especially inviting–or would in summer.) There are still signs of agriculture, including some vineyards :-), and we saw quite a few horses, yet there was also a lot of building going on, the cranes quite visible on the horizon. Given my tendency to pessimism, I did wonder how much longer there would be any fields left. All the more reason, I suppose, to enjoy them while one can.

At Gerasdorf we crossed the state line from Vienna into Lower Austria. One moment we were in Gerasdorf, the next we were in Gerasdorf bei Wien with the blue and yellow logo (I don’t know what else to call it–it isn’t the coat of arms) of Lower Austria. A small, mostly attractive, town, very quiet on a Sunday morning. There were a few people about, mainly walking dogs, but no caf├ęs or restaurants open, even though they don’t have to close until tomorrow. About the liveliest place was the “Hundezone,” a rather bare and not overly large rectangle of earth clearly delineated by a chainlink fence. Outside were acres and acres of fields and other green areas. It seemed a bit senseless to me, and we didn’t go in.

The next stretch went along the Marchfeldkanal (canal) for a long stretch. We enjoyed the crows and magpies and got into an interesting discussion on the–as any student of German knows–often senseless gender assignment of different creatures or objects. Magpies and crows are feminine (“die Elster” and “die Kr├Ąhe”) while bird as a generic term is masculine (“der Vogel”). Larger birds of prey like the eagle are, apparently, more typically male, a point my (male) hiking companion seemed to take greater exception to than I did.

As we got closer to Br├╝nner Stra├če (the road to Brunn or Brno in the Czech Republic), the landscape changed slightly. It became more wooded and slightly, but only very slightly, hillier. The bus stop was opposite a rather garish industrial structure in the middle of what was otherwise fields and woods, closed, of course, on Sunday. Given that the bus did not arrive and the next one was scheduled for an hour later, we were happy that there was a nice little path running along the road that took us to the tram in Stammersdorf.

Trail 20

Distance: 3 km

Time: 45 minutes to an hour

Link: https://www.wien.gv.at/umwelt/wald/freizeit/wandern/rundumadum/etappe20.html

Trail 21

Distance: 5.5 km

Time: 1.5 to 2 hours

Link: https://www.wien.gv.at/umwelt/wald/freizeit/wandern/rundumadum/etappe21.html

18 (2nd half) & 19 – Aspern Nord U to Wagramer Stra├če

13 Jun

Today we carried on with the second half of Trail 18 and more than all of Trail 19 (we missed a sign and probably went about 2 kms out of our way). And today I have photos! ­čÖé

It was a beautiful sunny day (although with such a wind that a friend sent a message: “Hopefully you will not get blown away!”) with beautiful flowers (see above), including lots of elderflowers (visible on the left of the photo below), which my hiking partner collected to make syrup, and some interesting wildlife. We saw a bird that neither of us had ever seen before and I couldn’t find in my field guide and which I think may, in fact, be a pet that escaped and is now living it up in the fields of the 22nd district. In shape it had some similarities to a dove but was much larger, had bright blue markings on its head, and interesting black and white striping on its tail. If anyone has any ideas, please let me know.

We were still in a very flat part of Vienna with scattered small bodies of water. It is still quite rural (see below) and had horses! As with other parts of the Rundumadum trail, I was amazed to see food being grown on a relatively large scale (the 10th district also has proper fields with grain and vegetables). From the underground train you can see extensive greenhouses and the paths we took today were almost all through open fields. Really extraordinary for a city of almost two million people. Long may it last.

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This was such a nice stretch that I would like to come back and perhaps even swim in the S├╝├čenbrunner Teiche (ponds).

Trail 18

Distance: 4.1 km

Time: 1 to 1.5 hrs

Link: https://www.wien.gv.at/umwelt/wald/freizeit/wandern/rundumadum/etappe18.html

Trail 19

Distance: 5.1 (if you do it right ;-))

Time: 1 hr 15 mins to 1 hr 45 mins

Link: https://www.wien.gv.at/umwelt/wald/freizeit/wandern/rundumadum/etappe19.html

17 & half of 18 – E├člinger Furt to Aspern Nord U-Bahn (instead of Breitenleer Stra├če)

13 Jun

You can see I’m getting sloppier in the execution of (as well as the writing about) the Rundumadum hiking trail. Half of 18? Really? I don’t think it’s entirely my new hiking partner’s fault, but I must say he’s more ambitious than I am (trying to do two or three at a time) and in this case we didn’t manage to do the whole two stretches on 2 May 2021. (You can see I’m trying to catch up in my reporting of progress, even though I in this case didn’t take any photos.)

It may have been the discouragement of arriving at the U2 Seestadt station and then not being able to find the bus we were supposed to take (and this on a Sunday when nothing runs as often as on other days) so having to wait almost half an hour or it might have been the considerable and rather unpleasant wind blowing across that very flat part of Vienna (Transdanubia) on a steely gray day or it could have been the frustration of the detour along the road instead of through the fields ostensibly because of construction, where the U-Bahn line they were supposed to be working on was completed several years ago. (It turns out the City of Vienna is not perfect! ;-))

In any case, we did get discouraged and stopped halfway through the second stretch. We enjoyed the walk through neighborhoods neither of us knew before, though, as well as through fields that may not much longer be fields (this part of Vienna is being developed very rapidly) and past Himmelteich (~ Heaven’s Pond), one of the small bodies of water that is so common in the east of Vienna. We also enjoyed a picnic before we got the underground back to the city center, eating cheddar and spinach muffins and bananas in an out-of-the-wind spot in what will one day be a park across the street from Nelson-Mandela-Platz.

Sadly, all I have to report …

Trail 17

Distance: 3.7 km

Time: 1 hr to 1 hr and 15 mins

Link: https://www.wien.gv.at/umwelt/wald/freizeit/wandern/rundumadum/etappe17.html

Trail 18

Distance (if you do the whole thing): 4.1 km

Time: 1 to 1.5 hrs

Link: https://www.wien.gv.at/umwelt/wald/freizeit/wandern/rundumadum/etappe18.html

14 & 15 & 16 – Nationalparkhaus to E├člinger Furt

13 Jun

It seems a bit strange to be writing about this on a summer afternoon. We actually did this walk in February on one of the coldest days of the year on a sheet of ice (some of which is visible on the photos). We were concentrating so hard on not falling down that (a) we missed a turn-off and ended up doing three stretches rather than the two we planned and (b) I, at least, could hardly move on Monday my body hurt so much from the strain of trying to stay upright! (This, I remember. ;-))

It was a beautiful walk though (even without Maylo, my dog, who stayed at home).

This was where it started:

And this was where it finished:

As you can see, this part of Vienna has a fair amount of water. In fact, it word “au” in the name of this region, Lobau, means “water meadow” or “wetland”. It’s a very precious ecosystem with some rare species and is endangered by plans to build a tunnel through it to enable car drivers coming from the east to get into Vienna more quickly. (How 20th century is that?!?) It hardly bears thinking about and I try not to. If it comes to protests, though, this seems like a good place to put my protesting energies.

In February, when we were there, Vienna had been in hard lockdown since the day after Christmas. About the only thing we were allowed to do, other than go to the grocery store, was to walk outdoors and so it came that even on this very cold and slippery day there were more people on the trail than there usually would be on a beautiful spring day.

I’m afraid that is about all I remember about this hike. A lot has happened since then. I did want to mention it though.

Trail 14
Distance: 4 km
Time: 1 to 1.5 hrs
Link: https://www.wien.gv.at/umwelt/wald/freizeit/wandern/rundumadum/etappe14.html

Trail 15
Distance: 4.7 km
Time: 1 to 1.5 hrs
Link: https://www.wien.gv.at/umwelt/wald/freizeit/wandern/rundumadum/etappe15.html

Trail 16
Distance: 4.2 km
Time: 1 to 1.5 hrs
Link: https://www.wien.gv.at/umwelt/wald/freizeit/wandern/rundumadum/etappe16.html

12 & 13 – Zentralfriedhof to Waldschule Lobau (almost)

22 Mar

Full disclosure: The walk itself was three weeks ago. This is the first chance I’ve had to post in anything like the detail I would like. There is something to be said for this coronavirus lockdown.

So, I know! Two in one! Well, they were short and the public transporation routes to get there were relatively long … Also I was hiking with a friend. And wouldn’t you know it–I warned him that I had hardly had a walk along the Rundumadum trail without getting lost but we didn’t get lost once. He must have thought I am unusually incompetent at finding and following trail markers!

What was special about this for me, on top of the fact that we crossed the Danube canal and the Danube itself (see photos), was that once again in the middle of a residential area in the 11th district there were fields to walk through. Vienna is such an amazing city that way.

It was an easy walk (this part of Vienna is very flat) and I remember the the weather being a bit friendlier than it looks in the photos. It was chilly though. Difference between a New England upbringing and an Austrian upbringing, albeit in Carinthia where they still get proper winters? I didn’t bother to bring gloves because the forecast said it would be 12┬░C and my friend wore gloves because we were only going to get 12┬░C. (Mind you, I’ve gotten soft after over 30 years in Austria. I wished I had had gloves!)

Special sights along this trail other than the fields and the Danube: some early blossoms, some rather ugly public housing from the 60s and 70s, the Cemetery of the Nameless, where unknown dead who are fished out of the Danube are buried, a hydroelectric dam, and, more or less at the end of the route, a famous Gasthaus, Roter Hiasl. (To be precise, we didn’t actually go through the cemetery. We walked by it and talked about it. Then, for me, it was quite exciting to finally find out how to pronounce the name of the Gasthaus and why it is pronounced the way it is–“Hias” is short for “Matthias” and the “L” on the end makes it diminutive. In translation the name of the restaurant would be something the Little Red Matthew.)

We caved and stopped at Little Red Matthew’s place. We didn’t quite make it to the Waldschule. Next time …

Trail number 12

Distance: 3.5 km

Time: Approx. 1 hour

Link: https://www.wien.gv.at/umwelt/wald/freizeit/wandern/rundumadum/etappe12.html

Trail number 13

Distance: 4.3 km

Time: Approx. 1.5 hours

Link: https://www.wien.gv.at/umwelt/wald/freizeit/wandern/rundumadum/etappe13.html

11 – Laaerberg to Zentralfriedhof

16 Feb

This stretch we did a week ago, all in one go. We tacked on about two kilmeters by missing a turn, but it still felt like a miracle after the missteps and detours of the last two stretches. And because of the extra stretch I discovered a “Weinschenke” (like an even more rustic Heuriger) that I would like to try out another time.

And, boy, did this stretch have its beauties. I like my usual stomping grounds–in the northwestern part of Vienna–because there a hills and woods as well as meadows (and vineyards :-)). This part of Vienna, still in the 10th district, was an extremely pleasant surprise. This is a part of Vienna where food is grown, within the city limits. I hope the photo of the fields catches some of the sense of space and almost rural character.

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One of the reasons I write “almost rural” is the amount of traffic. There aren’t many cars–we finally got away from the Autobahn in the other part of the 10th district–but the buildings you see in the photo are on the other side of railways tracks and the hiking trail is right under a heavily traveled route to Schwechat, the Vienna airport.

As you can see, it was a beautiful day and lots of people were out, with dogs, without dogs, on bicycles, on foot, scruffily dressed, nicely dressed (perhaps on their way to Sunday lunch at grandma’s?), quickly, in a leisurely manner, in groups, and alone. I always think you see on Sundays in the Vienna Woods and environs how the Viennese actually survive the traditional diet of Wiener Schnitzel and so on. They get out and walk. Long may it continue!

This stretch takes you to the famous Zentralfriedhof, where people like Johannes Brahms, Ludwig van Beethoven, Johann Strauss, Theodor Billroth (Austrian medical pioneer) and the late presidents of Austria are buried. There is an honorary grave here for Mozart, who, as most of you know, was actually buried in a communal grave in St. Marx. Surely, there are many important non-musical people buried here but my Baedeker’s–a guide book after my own heart–mainly lists the musical ones.

Understandably, dogs are not allowed in so an alternate route was provided along the wall. We still got to see a bit of the cemetery, when we weren’t dodging bikes on the pedestrian / bike path.

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The last stretch for us, along the tram tracks of the 11 and 71 trams was not so nice. In fact, I almost gave up on got on at the first gate to the cemetery rationalizing that we could make up that stretch by starting there next time, but the idea of actually finishing one of these routes for a change motivated me to keep going.

Not a great photo (below) but here is proof that we walked all the way to the main gate before getting on the 71 and going home.

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Distance: 5.3 km

Time: 1 1/4 to 1 3/4 hours. We, of course, took longer given that we unintentionally added quite a stretch to our walk. (Also think the alternative route for dogs was a bit longer in this case.)

Link: https://www.wien.gv.at/umwelt/wald/freizeit/wandern/rundumadum/etappe11.html

10 – Wienerberg to Laaer Wald

9 Feb

Part One – 12 January 2020

For all that I felt parts of the last stretch were too obviously close to or even directly under major highways, I have to say that the Wienerberg recreational area has something to offer.

There is some frustration, though, that certain stretches are through areas with “Hundeverbot” (I’m sure you can tell that means “No dogs allowed”). An alternative is given–and, as I belatedly discovered, marked on the map provided by the City of Vienna–but it is without trail markers.

In this case, we made it to Neilreichgasse, as we should, and could not find out how to continue. The direction was clear but not which street we should take. And if you get the wrong street you could end up not knowing where a bus or tram stop is, that is, not really knowing how to get home.

After looking around for a bit and trying to figure it out, we opted–well, actually, I opted as Maylo, as I have pointed out before, has no choice in the matter–to give up for the day, get over to the 15A bus, and go home. Discretion truly is sometimes the better part of valor.

Intermezzo

Frustrated by the lack of clarity on the last few stretches of the trail, I have worked out a new system. I no longer rely solely on the (rather vague) maps provided by the City of Vienna, with the (even vaguer) route descriptions nor on the (sometimes missing) trail markers. I now photograph with my phone the section of town we will be covering from my excellent Falk city map of Vienna. That way I get the details I long for and can zoom in so that I do not need to get out my reading glasses. Much better. ­čÖé

Part Two – 2 February 2020

Suitably equipped with a photo of the map as described and picking up where we left off at Neilreichgasse, we walked down Sibeliusstra├če, I appreciating very much the residential character of the area (so different from where I live). Parts of it didn’t look distinctly Viennese, but it did look pleasant. One thing that’s interesting is that there are considerable swathes in Vienna where you leave the houses completely behind, as you can see in the picture(s) below. (The church in the photo directly below is the Parish Church of St. Francis de Sales in the 10th district, appropriately at Holeyplatz ;-), a whole Autobahn away from where I took the picture. ;-))

We carried on to the Volkspark (see photos below)–passing the Fachhochchule Wien or University of Applied Sciences for Management and Communication on our way, notable because someone had just mentioned to me that she was looking into study programs there–and enjoyed the spacious park with the lovely little lake and mini amphitheater.

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We found Endlichergasse and made our way to Theodor-Sickel-Gasse, where the path split, again one way for people walking with dogs and one for people walking without. At this point it started to rain. We walked along looking for the right path. (The route for people with dogs is, as I have mentioned, not marked at all.) It started to rain harder. Eventually, I decided to give up and look for the nearest bus stop–and, lo, and behold, it was the one we were supposed to end up at. Victory!

A brief philosophical reflection

Some thoughts on hiking with a plan instead of just going:

It can get me going even when I feel like staying at home. (I want to make progress and the next step is spelled out for me so I go.)

I find hiking according to a plan less mindful. I am so wrapped up in looking for signs and trying to make sure we are on the right path (oh, that bugbear, the right path!) that I pay less attention to sounds, smells, colors, and so on. On the other hand, I am sometimes more attentive (that is, not on autopilot and not so wrapped up in my own thoughts) because otherwise I would lose my way.

It is taking me to neighborhoods and areas I probably wouldn’t go otherwise. In fact, I’m pretty sure that is one reason the City of Vienna has set up the Rundumadum trail. To get us out of our Gr├Ątzls. One of the ways I recognize that I’m in new territory is that I am not at all familiar with the public transportation network “out there”. Never mind “Where’s the tram stop?” Far more “Which lines even run out here?”

Distance: 5.3 km (This estimate is according to the map and description provided by the City of Vienna, but I have to laugh as it took us well over two hours to do the whole thing and we didn’t get THAT lost!)

Time: Supposedly 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 45 minutes

Link: https://www.wien.gv.at/umwelt/wald/freizeit/wandern/rundumadum/etappe10.html