We tried another Vienna city trail today, determined to actually follow the trail for a change. We packed a picnic and headed out to enjoy the beautiful, warm early spring day.
Stadtwanderweg 8 climbs the Sophienalpe, named after Archduchess Sophia, the mother of the Emperor Franz Josef of Austria. Her summer home was located on the mountain. Now it is a national park, with several hiking and biking trails running through it, and great views from the summit, also known as the Franz-Josef Fernsicht (view) because he liked to sit there and enjoy them. It was good to be the Emperor.
Guess what happened? Really, we are not the world’s worst navigators. These trails are just not marked very well! So, though we basically knew where we were headed, we ended up climbing a small mountain through patches of stinging nettles. Only to pop out at the top onto a perfectly civilized, packed-earth trail peopled with babies in strollers and old folks. One lady was actually “hiking” with her walker. Kind of embarrassing, really. I guess if you have been living here a while, you just know the best routes.
Fortunately, the trip back down the mountain was relatively easy. But, I don’t mind saying: though we are used to hiking, we were pretty wiped out by the time we got back to the car. It may be time to invest in a handheld GPS. Or at least find a much better map of the trails.
Still, it was, as always, a great day out in the Wienerwald!