The best way to spend a Sunday in Vienna

We are having the most gorgeous fall weather here right now. Early mornings are chilly enough for us to linger in bed drinking endless cups of coffee with our snuggly cats, but they're followed by crisp sunshiney afternoons, perfect for enjoying outdoor activities. We're so aware that our time here is short and flying by too fast, so even though CM is working lots (he's already opened AND CLOSED a show, is in final rehearsals for another, and starts a new piece in RUSSIAN tomorrow), we're trying to take advantage of the free days to really explore.

Turns out the City of Vienna maintains a series of gorgeous hiking paths (Stadtwanderwege) around the outskirts of the city. We tried out #1 last weekend, #2 yesterday, and now we're hooked and want to hike all nine of them.

Each path starts at the end station of a tram or bus line, so they're easy to access with public transportation. The paths are beautifully maintained and fairly well-signed, and there are various cafés, restaurants, and heurigen (little wine-grower taverns serving wine and snacks) along the way for refreshments. Each path is around 10km or so, making for a relaxing afternoon's walk.

#1 and #2 are both in the wine-growing region of Vienna, the 19th district. They're pretty hilly, and both of them have a special lookout tower at the highest point of the path, in case you want to climb a spiral staircase right after you've climbed a steep hill (we did). We liked #1 better because of the breathtaking views of the city, but #2 is lovely for a more shaded, woodsy walk.

Yesterday was a bit crowded because it happened to also be Weinwandertag (Wine Hiking Day, I am not even kidding), an event with three routes through the vineyards, one of which overlapped with the trail we took. The special wine hiking routes focus less on strenuous hills and more on places to drink wine, and there was even a special path to take if you were pushing a stroller. I love this town.

We're crossing our fingers that the weather stays nice for a while, and we're planning to explore #3 on Sunday!

CM (official photographer) took some pictures, of course.

Everyone's drinking Sturm right now, young fermented wine that's only in season for a few weeks. We haven't developed a taste for it (yet?), so we're mostly sticking to white wine spritzers (perfect for day drinking) and beer.

Grüner Veltliner for miles!

The storm rolled in AFTER we got back home, lucky us.

View of all the Vienna sights from the Stefaniewarte on path #1.

It's just like Texas...

Another gorgeous view of the city

These are the old-timey signs that mark the trails. 

CM caught me taking this picture

We ordered the perfect weather.


Lovely shady path

The Habsburgwarte, which we climbed to see....


Here I am surveying the landscape.

Path #2 just happened to lead us by the spot where we got married! I didn't cry this time...


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