Travel sustainably in Austria – Bahn zu Berg

Since I started to hike a lot again, I was also looking for nice hiking spots in Austria where I am able to travel to sustainably. My hubby and I do not own a car and never regretted not having one. He loves to go by train anyways and I am happy as long as someone else takes me vom A to B – I hate driving myself and have never gotten the hang of it. So going by public transport is not only much better for our environment, it’s also much cheaper than owning a car and much more relaxing as you do not have to cope with all the crazy people out there that have won their driving license in the lotteries.

So a couple of months ago I stumbled over “Bahn zu Berg” – a non-profit organization that is dedicated to support sustainable travel and hiking in Austria. I was hooked and therefore joined the Facebook group of theirs sharing my first hikes there. Not long in I joined the ranks of writers for the site, adding more content for hikers that are less offspring of mountain goats :P. Not much into “Berg” (= mountains) myself but more into hills (but “Bahn zu Hügel” does not sound as fancy…) as my constitution and knees are not yet ready for steep slopes and rough terrain and I am terrible scared of heights too.

So if you also want to leave your car at home or do not even own one or if you are traveling to Austria and do not want to rent an expensive car but want to go for some hiking nevertheless, you should check out the website and get some inspiration on what can be done. The site is in German only but I am sure that Google translate will work just fine as German-English translations are mostly okay nowadays. You’ll find GPX tracks for downloading to your devices as well as information on which train or bus to use, how long it takes and what the highlights of the tour are. All tours have been tried and tested by the authors themselves – we all walk the talk so to say.

Check it out, give it a try and happy hiking!

City Hiking Path #8 – Sophienalpe

My hubby and I are making progress in hiking all city hiking trails. This time we decided to hike #8 which starts in an area that looks more like being somewhere in Lower Austria than in a city of 1,9 million inhabitants. The trail starts in Kasgraben and can easily be found once you step of the bus. The path starts pretty steep, so we were trotting along slowly but surely. As soon as we reached the Franz-Karl-Viewpoint however, all effort was quickly forgotten as the view is amazing. The trail between the viewpoint and Sophienalpe was pretty frequented especially with a lot of bikers and people with kids – quite difficult to keep safe distance in the current troubled times. It was a little bit cloudy and starting to rain, so we decided to take a little break at Sophienalpe.

This decision proved to be the right one as right after Sophienalpe the trail steeply goes down a gravel slope that can be quite tricky when wet. Afterwards it was an easy hike through the woods where we were mostly alone – seems everyone else took a different way down again then we did. We also came across a nature playground of the nature kids kindergarden which reminded me a little bit of my youth playing outside in the woods next to my home. We really should have more of those.

Close to the end of the trail we stumbled over two historic sites where we took some time to check them out. First was the “Türkensteine” which have been transferred here by field marshal Gideon Ernst von Loudon after the taking of Belgrad in 1789. It’s quite an interesting read! Next was the tomb of Gideon Ernst von Loudon himself which is pretty amazing with it’s carved details and the statue of a warrior in mourning. It’s fascinating that you are actually hiking through the garden of his palace!

After that it was just a short path next to the Mauerbach until we were back at the bus station again. We were lucky that we had only a couple minutes to wait – the intervals are pretty terrible out there.

Overall it was a nice and easy hike which had interesting and historically fascinating spots that have not been known by me until then.

Want to hike it too? The tour and GPX data can be found here at my komoot account:

Wienerwald hiking – Rodaun to Kaltenleutgeben

My hubby and I decided that we needed some more training for our vacations where we will be hiking in the mountains. Therefore this weeks hiking trip was planned with some more changes in altitude.

We had set our alarm as we wanted to start early in the morning but we were woken to the sound of heavy raining. I was totally frustrated as the weather forecast had been talking about clouds and sun the days before. We decided to not give up easily and got ready with a relaxing and slow breakfast. After about an hour the rain had stopped completely and we picked up our gear and headed out.

We started of in Rodaun – one of 8 parts of the 23rd district of Vienna that is right next to the huge woodland Wienerwald. It’s really nice there as you can drop around any corner and start hiking. However it’s uphill all the time and hell, was I huffing and puffing! I guess I need to find mountains that are very very small for our vacation 😛

First stop was at the nature reserve of the European ground squirrel (Spermophilus citellus) in the “Perchtoldsdorfer Heide”. The core part is secured heavily in order not to disturb this endangered species by hikers and their dogs. I was looking forward to seeing them because I had spent a lot of time studying a different population during my studies of biology and just love those little fur babies. But sadly they were late sticking their noses out of their lair. So we just enjoyed the great view and visited the sheep population that they let graze there.

Afterwards it was up, up, up again – but this time through the woods. After some time we reached the Franz Ferdinand Schutzhaus which was not open yet due to a recent fire. So any break was postponed until later. We tried to reach the “Teufelsklippenstollen” though that’s situated next to it and is supposed to be a small, probably man-made cave that nobody knows anything about any more. The path was too steep and too slippery though, so we decided that looking at it from above was as much as it would get. I am very afraid of heights and am not very trusting when it comes to steep pathways as when I was little I once almost fell of a cliff while hiking with my father.

After climbing back to the main track we followed the signposts to the Kammersteinerhütte and the “Josefswarte”. It has a nice area to sit outside so we decided to take a break and got ourselves a drink. I also decided that I wanted to climb up the stairs to the top platform and even though I am afraid of heights that was really easy to do. And it was so worth the effort! The view is so great up there that you could spend hours just watching. We als met a couple from Styria there on top that was trying to shoot a selfie with a great view. As it was really looking awfully uncomfortable, I decided to step in and offered them to take the picture for them. We then started to chat a little bit and had a great laugh trying to figure out what we actually see from up there.

Afterwards it was mostly downhills – just as my mother always used to say: if you climb up, you’ll need to climb down eventually. We stumbled over a nice little spring on our way before we started a very steep descent throught the “Eisgraben”. Before our trip I read about the historic meaning of the “Eisgrabenhöhle” – an about 5 x 2 m big cave – during World War II and seeing it in person gave me the shivers. If you want to read the experience report of a young girl from this time, you can do it here (German only).

At the end of the “Eisgraben” we reached the small town Kaltenleutgeben. We could have taken the bus from there home but even though our feet were already a little bit tired, we wanted to stick with it until the end. We followed the main road until we were able to take a path into the woods again. For the last time on this trip it was a short hike uphill to pass by the “Eichkogel” – the biggest hill of the 23rd district. From there we followed part of the City hiking path 6 in the wrong direction back towards Rodaun. At that moment we were unsure if we are looking forward to tackling that hiking path as in the right direction it will be uphill for quite some time :).

When we reached the bus station we just missed our bus by an inch. We were so frustrated! And due to the fact that we had started later than planned, we now where also not able to reach the restaurant we had planned on eating at before they closed down for the day. So we decided to just take the next bus home and order something online. An hour later we sat munching burgers happily and feeling great – except for our feet that were heavily complaining about the longest trip they have taken since quite some time.

Want to hike it too? The tour and GPX data can be found here at my komoot account:

City Hiking Path #9 – Prater

The city hiking path #9 starts close to one of the major hubs of Vienna – Praterstern (train station, subway U1 or U2). Don’t let yourself be led astray by the amusement park. This time it’s all about being off into the greens and not having fun on a rollercoaster ride.

You do not follow the main avenue for long and steer to the right on to less traveled paths with a lot less runners and cyclists. It’s still a lot like hiking through a park in the beginning though until you reach the “Lusthaus”. Designed and build as a hunting lodge, it is now used as a coffee shop and restaurant. However we rather grabbed something to drink at the Gösser Bierinsel next to it as this is were you get your stamp. And you already know: if you don’t have a stamp, there’s nothing to prove that you hiked here 🙂

After the Lusthaus you are getting farther into the “wilds” – less park style, more trees, small ponds and less trotted pathways. We even stumbled over a small church right in the middle of nowhere which – as it was Sunday – was visited well (sadly from a lot of people ignoring the current corona safety rules). I didn’t even know that Maria Grün existed or that it is actually a pilgrimage church founded in 1924. I find it surprising how much I can still learn from a city that I have been living in for 25 years.

This was not the only unexpected treasure on this trail – you can also find some amazing urban art on the walls of an underpass. I am quite a fan of urban graffiti as long as it’s not only writing (which I can never read) and this one you really have to see for yourself! So much detail, the concept is Viennese transport system related and it tells a great story painted on a huge area. I would not even be able to do it on a piece of paper …

Soon after this piece of art you are coming to the end of the hiking path. But before you rush off to your well deserved rest (and some nice food on the Prater Hauptallee), be careful when crossing the railway tracks. The Liliputbahn is a miniature train that provides a full-fletched railway experience for kids with a special station and 3,9 km of tracks with crossings and signals. There are 6 different miniature locomotives with two steam engines being my absolut favorites. Sadly those are only used on days with a lot of visitors and therefore are hard to see by chance. However here we were just in time to wait for the diesel engine D3 to pass by.

Last but not least I have to say that I was quite positively surprised by this 13 km hiking path. All the time I was amazed that we were actually hiking right in the middle of the city. It’s really a fast way to stick your nose into nature if you do not have time to travel far.

Want to hike it too? The tour and GPX data can be found here at my komoot account:

City Hiking Path #7 – Laaer Berg

Sundays are hiking days now if the weather is fine – which it was with sunny 31 degrees Celsius this weekend. A friend, my hubby and I have decided to hike all the Viennese city hiking paths to collect the hiking pin you can get for successfully following all those trails. We all love some bling-bling 😉 We have done the city hiking path #9 a couple of weeks ago (I will add a blog post on that later on) so this time we decided to hike trail #7 which runs close to were another friend of ours lives.

The path starts at a pretty ugly point of Vienna (my personal opinion) – the “Verteilerkreis Favoriten” which is a big distribution circuit in the 10th district. It’s best reached by subway U1 (station: Altes Landgut) or via bus 15a if you are heading there from were I live.

In the beginning the road snakes through less traveled side streets passing by the stadium of one of the two most famous Viennese football clubs, the FK Austria Wien. Don’t wear anything dark green when passing by as you might get accidentally mistaken to be fan of their enemy football club :P.

You finally enter the fun part of the trail when you reach the “Böhmische Prater” – a miniature version of the big Prater amusement park. It takes just a couple of minutes to walk through to give you a feeling how small it really is but it also has a Ferris wheel.

After that it’s hiking through a classic pannonian dry grasland which sometimes changes to small vinyards or fields of millet, vegetables and sunflowers. The area looks rather like being somewhere out in the countryside than in the biggest city of Austria. Halfway through, after about 2h hiking, we made a little break at the stamping point “Brückenwirt” to catch our breath, get a well deserved elder flower drink and the stamp to prove we have really been there.

Continuing onwards the look and feel changes dramatically as soon as you reach the small brook Liesing. I love the natural look of this part of the brook – it’s actually a nice place to relax with smaller kids as you can be assured that nothing seriously can happen in those shallow waters. We live close to the same brook in the 23rd district but there it is less de-regulated yet and therefore less nice to hop into to cool down a little bit.

When you start to hear the cars again, you know that you are coming to the end of the hiking path. Civilization sneaks in again more and more until you are back where you started.

Last but not least I have to say that even though it’s a nice hike, it’s not one I would probably do again. With 15 km it’s the longest of the city hiking paths and it’s probably also one of the hikes with the least change in altitude. Shade is scarce, so it should be planned for a day which is less sunny than it was last Sunday. Signs are well positioned and visible, so it can be easily followed without even the smallest chance of getting lost anywhere.

Want to hike it too? The tour and GPX data can be found here at my komoot account:

I am back

Well, it’s been quite some time since my last post. Life has been a little bit like a rollercoaster and the blog got a little bit too much to handle at that time. But now I am back and promise to fill you in with news now and again 🙂

It all started out when my husband and I decided to follow one of our oldest hobbies – standard and latin dancing – again in spring 2019. We had trained up to gold star level 20 years ago and lost the drive after due to not having a dancing class offered closer to where we lived at that time. Now we started again and we were having so much fun dancing at least 2 times a week and taking the exams for bronze and silver (which we never had the guts to do before) – until Corona forced us to stop. It took away a lot of our spare time though, so my other hobbies got a little bit time limited.

However that doesn’t mean that I was not busy crafting too. I just did not have much time posting. I did a lot of beading, crocheting and I even picked up brush and paints again for some miniature painting. I tried myself on micro macrame jewelry too and am quite happy about that first result.

Now with everything still quite restricted (no cinema yet, no going out with friends for a nice chat over some cocktails, …) and with a lot of home office and little to nothing daily activity, my hubby and I decided to pull out another of my long lost hobbies: Hiking. When I was a kid my father did a lot of hiking and we kids were forced to be part of it. I partly loved and hated it. I learned a lot from my father about plants and animals that way and how to navigate and survive in the “wild”. We even sneaked in those little visits to the local wine taverns now and again without my mother knowing – she would have disapproved heavily wasting money there but it was always our little secret. Maybe the reason why I picked up hiking again is also that my father passed away in December last year and I keep thinking a lot about him and the fun we had together. So be warned: starting from now you will also read quite a lot about hiking trips around Austria here 🙂

Recipe: Rustic bratwurst hot dog NY style

Here’s another fast and furious but delicious recipe that is hubby tried and approved. If you are similar to me and hate those floppy, flavourless buns and are not too keen on that plain sausage either, then this version might change your mind on hot dogs.

What you need for 2 people:

for the sautéd onions:

  • slice 2 onions and sauté them with some olive oil – don’t fry them, they should be still be soft
  • add 1/4 of a teaspoon cinnemon and chili powder each
  • add a pinch of cayenne pepper and stir everything shortly – don’t stir too long or the chili will get bitter
  • add about 2 – 2 1/2 tablespoons of ketchup
  • add some water and stir everything so that the onions are well covered with the sauce (beware not to add too much water – about 100ml should be more than enough)
  • set the onions aside for the moment and clean the pan


  • brown 2 bratwurst
  • slice open 2 whole wheat buns
  • put in some pickled cabbage – fill the buns half way leaving some space for the rest of the incrediences
  • add one bratwurst to each bun
  • drap the onions over the bratwurst
  • add some sweet mustard

Now the only thing you need to figure out is how you get this really big hot dog into your mouth 😛 Enjoy!

Things to do in Vienna: SherLockd

Welcome to my new blog category “Things to do in Vienna” where I would like to introduce places to go and other stuff to do in my hometown Vienna.

Last Saturday we have been invited by our friends to one of the escape room games that are currently sprouting all around the city. We picked SherLockd as my hubby loves Sherlock Holmes and also because it has a lot of good reviews.



The game is located in the 14th district pretty close to the subway station Hütteldorfer Strasse. Therefore it is easily reachable with the orange line U3. The rooms are build into the cellar of one of the residential houses and you actually have to know what you are looking for or you just walk by. But as soon as you enter you step into the world of Sherlock Holmes and are greeted by the correct detective equipment.


We received a great introduction on what is allowed and what not (like picking up or drinking the room fragrance ;)). As well we were shown the different types of locks so that we would not need to figure out how they were supposed to work during the short period. We were confident that with the intro we received, we would make it for sure.


We picked Holmes I where Watson receives a message from Holmes writing that he has set up a bunch of riddles so that Watson is not bored during his absence. So poor Watson is all on his own in a room and needs to escape in 1 hour.  Easy you would think? Think twice! The beginning was pretty straight forward but the puzzles got more challenging. I was really surprise on the amount of different puzzle types that make up the whole game: Cryptographic algorithms, combination puzzles, puzzles using UV light or hot water, puzzles you could figure out on your own and those you need two or more at the same time, puzzle where you need finesse and some you could plunder into, … We really had a lot of fun trying to figure it all out and our brains were on fire.

Overall summary:

If you are in Vienna with some friends or family members and have one hour to spare than go for it! Book a slot at SherLockd and maybe, just maybe you are able to escape! We made it to 75% (sadly due to the fact that one lock was hard to open and we wasted way to much time on it) but we will definitely be back for another run with another challenge.

January Recap

 Well, February has started so it’s time to look back at January and the goals I have set myself for 2019:

1 big tatting project finished – 0/1

Nope, nothing there so far – have not even thought about the design yet.

2 quilting projects finished – 0/2

Nothing here either. I didn’t even take them out to have a look. I guess I might pick up the table set in February so that they are ready when the warm weather hopefully kicks in soon. I would love to eat breakfast on my balcony using those but it’s still freezing cold, so no pressure 😂

3 sewing projects finished – 0/3

Now it gets embarrassing – nothing there either. At least I cleaned the sewing table and have distributed almost all Christmas presents that have been cluttering up the table. I still need to deliver the final one but my hubby’s stepmother was always busy, so I just had no chance to hand it to her.

4 new recipes tried – 1/4

It is not baking but I did the Beef Fajitas with Guacamole and Pico de Gallo. Does this count – I decided it does 🙂

5 WIPs finished – 1/5

I finished the Grinda Shawl beginning of January and I am really loving it. As I was sick of waiting for the correct Sheepjes yarn which has been out of stock for months, I just used a yarn from Wolloase. It’s lovely soft and snuggly.

Additionally I am working on my summer shawl. Picking it up after such a long time was terrible and then it happened: I dropped a stitch and it went all the way it could go (which was VERY far). The pattern was a lace one and I was not able to figure out how to pull up that stitch again. I was devastated. But, no regrets – I unravelled the whole thing as I was never really happy with the pattern anyway and just restarted it as a Hopscotch scarf. I am halfway done with it now and am really happy about my decision. I think I will be able to finish it in February.

My Havana I just finished the body and started the border. I got confused with the number of stitches needed however and am undecided if I should redo what little I already did there. But if then only after doing my math 😉

6 new beading projects finished – 0/6

No beading this month – I bought the beads for my friend’s birthday present though and will start working on it soon. As well some additional beading project might have jumped into my shopping cart all by itself ….

8 miniatures painted – 0/8

No miniature finished but I based my Confrontation Wolfen Asgarh, Alpha-Wolfen that is almost finished, so it only needs some brush strokes on his weapons and his moon banner clued on. As well I build the limited edition Warhammer Age of Sigmar Nighthaunt Darrakar, Guardian of Souls, so that it is now ready for painting. I love the details and can’t wait to get started.

9 times hand lettering practiced – 0/9

No handlettering yet but I plan on designing a card for the Tatting around the World tatted hearts exchange this weekend.

10 language session each month – 3/10

Lazy me – just did three sessions. They did not go badly but I just could not force myself to continue. Knitting was just too interesting…

11 training runs each month – 5/11

I was just able to get 5 runs in this month due to the cold (it was freezing -10 degrees o.O) last week and getting a throatache this week. Those 5 runs though have been promising as they were at a faster pace than I ran last year. So I am confident that as soon as I am feeling well again, I will be able to continue with training of my personal best until April. I also signed us up for another race in April – the Love run that has to be finished together as a couple. It’s only a 5k but I believe that I can do a personal best there too with the help of my hubby.

12 books read and review written – 1/12

Yes, January book “Witchmark” read and reviewed – check. Even started already with my February read “Good Omens”.

52 pictures taken and post-processed – 0/52

Nope – not even one yet. I still need to get the pics from my vacation in New Zealand off my camera, before I can seriously start working with it for my blog pics… At least I am playing around with my daylight lamp to get better pictures.

Additional things done – 3

Ups, I did it again – some small projects sneaked in while nobody was looking.

First I did the little added gift from the latest Molly Makes magazine. It’s a small banner that will look nicely in my crafting room.

As well I finished my celtic tatting earrings (Euro coun added in pic for size comparison). It was the first time I tried this technique and I am loving it. I messed up the finish however and really do not like the final result that much. I have already ideas how to redo them and as they do not take a lot of time, I can squeeze them in easily.

Last but not least I participated in the Tatting around the World tatted hearts exchange from the facebook group Just Tatting. I decided to give Heart’s Desire by Georgia Seitz & Susan Fuller a try. It was pretty challenging to connect everything correctly but I am pretty proud of the final result. I added a tail and a small clover at the end, so that it can be used as a bookmark as the recipient loves to read.

Now I am off to work on my February task – and I can at least tell you already that there will be some unexpected things coming your way again 😉

Book review: Witchmark


  • written by:  C. L. Polk
  • ISBN: 9781250162687
  • published by:  Tor
  • Language: English
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Rating: 4/5
  • German version: “Witchmark: Die Spur der Toten”


Miles Singer works as a psychiatrist especially for veterans of the war between Laneer and Aeland. This per se is already quite a challenging task as the war leaves veterans with a dark mark on their souls that only Miles can see and that makes them all talk about nightmares of a killer inside them. Then things come thick and fast when a male witch dies in his arms and claims that he has been murdered. All evidences though disappear and Miles finds himself the only one that is willing to solve the case.  Together with the Amaranthian Tristan Hunter who was sent to earth to find the reason for the disappearance of souls, Miles sets off to find the murderer bringing himself in danger’s way. How is this connected with the terrible murders committed by veterans from the war and how is Miles’ real family involved from whom he tries to hide?

My opinion:

This little book – it has only 318 pages – is an easy read. The story does not have much depth but the characters are quite nice. The mystery behind the murder and the involvement of Miles’ family evolves really nicely and leaves place for speculations until the end. I also like the same sex relationship the author is bringing into the book without being too blunt in her writing. It’s a nice and refreshing twist. I only regret that the steampunky environment was not described a little bit more in depth. Overall I would recommend the book as a light read in between more complex books.

Coming up next: Good Omens by Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett

Upcycled storage boxes

I love small boxes to store little things and could collect tons of them. That’s why I was really happy, when a very good friend gifted me such a little storage system for Christmas. It so called tea storage to me when I unpacked it and I fell in love immediately. It had only one flaw – somehow it got smudged a little bit and those smudges could not be removed from the wood no matter what. So I decided to pimp it up a little bit.

What I used:

    some sanding paper
    two small bottles of colours for wooden surfaces in white and lilac that I found at Sostrene Grene
    a medium paint brush

I sanded down all drawers a little bit so that the colour would adhere to the surface better and to get rid of some surface dirt. Then I added several layers of colour on all four sides waiting in between for the colour to dry. And that’s it – very simple but a great result. Now the little boxes look gorgeous on my white shelf in my living room and the rag stores six different types of tea easily accessible. The side even holds my new teabag holders that I bought in Berlin. I love my new tea storage ❤️.

Recipe: Beef Fajitas with Guacamole and Pico de Gallo

I love baking no matter how long it takes but I hate cooking for hours. Therefore I am always aiming for fast recipes that are still healthy without too many calories (I still need to shed lots of kilos). Tex Mex is something both my hubby and I love, so I made Beef Fajitas with Guacamole and Pico de Gallo last Sunday.

What you need for the Fajitas:

  • cut 250g beef  in mouth sized stripes and sear them in a pan with some native olive oil
  • finely slice 1 onion and add it to the meat
  • finely cut 1 garlic and add it to the meat
  • quarter 1 zucchini and cut each part in mouth sized slices, add them to the pan
  • cut 1 red sweet pepper in slices and add them to the pan
  • cut 1 tomato in medium pieces and add to the pan
  • open a small can of corn and throw as much in as you like
  • cut some fresh hot pepper very small and add as much as you like (keep the rest for the guacamole and Pico de Gallo or leave it out if you do not like it hot)
  • season it with salt & pepper to your liking
  • add some store bought taco sauce if you prefer your fajitas juicier such as we love them
  • warm the tortillas as instructed (usually the microwave does the job well ;)), add some salad leaves and fill each with an equal amount of meat-veggie mixture
  • add some ground cheese (everything tastes great with cheese ;))

Then you add some guacamole and Pico de Gallo and roll up your tortilla – if you are still able to do it :P. I always seem to overfill them and have to struggle to get them decently covered up ;).

Now don’t go and purchase your guacamole – it’s so easy to make and tastes so much better than any store bought one!

What you need for the guacamole:

  • mash 1 avocado with a fork – it does not need to be perfect in my opinion as small pieces give it a better mouth feel (you can use a food processor if you differ ;))
  • pull of the skin of 1 small tomato and mash it with the avocado
  • add 1/2 a finely cut onion
  • crush 1 garlic and mix everything well
  • add some fresh lime juice – take it slow and mix and taste as it might get to sour easily if you just pour it in
  • add some of the finely cut fresh hot pepper you have saved before
  • you can add some fresh coriander if you like
  • season with salt & pepper to your liking

What you need for the Pico de Gallo:

  • coarsely cut up 3 tomatoes
  • add 1 finely cut onion
  • crush 1 garlic and mix everything well
  • add some fresh lime juice (optional)
  • add some of the finely cut fresh hot pepper you have saved before (or leave it out if you prefer it not hot)
  • add some fresh coriander if you like
  • season with salt & pepper to your liking

Enjoy! Drop me a line on how you liked it, if you have tried this recipe :).