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: https://www.komoot.de/tour/240384130