Vienna Vineyard Walk

Too much concrete and asphalt gets to me. I'm a country girl at heart and like to get closer to nature. The ship was offering a "Vineyards of Vienna" hike and I signed up as did some of the other Road Scholars.


Housing projects

But first we had to get out of town.

I had seen several buildings on our bus transits that had plaques identifying them as Gemeindebau or "Social Houses" with dates ranging from the 1920s to the 1950s. Vienna's housing revolution dates back to the years after WWI. The link gives an extensive history.

This particular complex, which seemed to go on for blocks, was one of the complexes that originated in this movement. It was built in the 1950s. Our guide told us that older apartments such as these are no longer as desirable because of their small size, but nowhere have the complexes become the deteriorating poverty and crime ghettos that we have seen in US cities.


Old house

Our destination was the former village, now suburb, of Grinzing. It dates back to the 12th century and there were numerous old dwellings still in use.

The ancient mural of Mary treading on a snake has been preserved as this dwelling was restored.


Vines

Our guide said that the village had been the low-cost residence of vintners and laborers, but that in recent years it has become gentrified.

At this point, however, I was getting concerned that we were about to have another slow-paced tour of an urban area, however picturesque.


Vineyards

Not to worry; we were soon headed out of town.


Grinzing Vineyards

And into the vineyards. The weather was threatening, but rain held off and we had a nice vigorous walk. Grinzing is on the edge of the famed Vienna Woods and I was glad we would at least get to the edge of the forest.

Our hike would take us to the base of the hill barely seen to the left and then back almost to our starting point.


More vineyards

A popular local wine is Wiener Gemischter Satz, which is wine produced from at least three varietals planted together in the same vineyard. The grapes are harvested together and processed together to produce the resulting wine. This differs from the cuvée system in which the varietals are harvested and processed separately before being blended. Common varietals used are Grüner Veltliner, Weißburgunder, Müller-Thurgau and others.


Vienna Woods

We did get as far as the woods, which have many trails through them. Unfortunately the wet and muddy conditions forced us to stay on paved roadways.

This occasioned a bit of anxiety later on. We deviated from the standard route and our guide discovered that her cell phone was out of juice so she couldn't call the bus driver to apprise him of the new pickup point. A couple of us had phones, but the necessary number was programmed into her phone and was inaccessible.

Never mind, we soldiered on and had faith that we wouldn't have to walk all the way back to Vienna. Actually we had an appointment at one of the local Heurigen for some wine and a snack, so as long as we got that far we were happy.


Road Scholars

Our intrepid band included (L-R) Susan (underneath multiple layers of clothes), Art, Bill, Kathy and our guide, whose name I think was Martina.


Area map

The area has instituted an annual fall wine trail. Our guide said that she and her husband really enjoyed it the first few years, but that it has gotten so popular and crowded that they don't participate any more.


Looking back

Looking back across the vineyards to the village where we started.


Vienna Overview

It is hard to believe that we really are so close to the Vienna city center until we check out this view (very hazy and it's getting dark). The Danube can be seen running through the city. Our ship is docked somewhere between the two tall buildings, both of which were visible from our mooring.


Beethoven

Finally we reached a restaurant where our guide could plug in her phone to charge and we could all benefit from a much-needed bio-break.

The restaurant is known as Mayer am Pfarrplatz and it was one of Beethoven's summer residences. After our business was attended to and the bus driver was contacted, we made a short tour.


Settled in at last

After a little more anxiety occasioned by the bus driver not quite understanding where to pick us up, we finally made it to our appointment for wine & food. It wasn't the first time that I was glad we had Crystal Cruises logo buses because it made it easy to see the bus as it drove past us going the wrong direction! The guide was able to call the driver again and we eventually connected.

I'm sorry that I didn't get the name of this restaurant, because the food was delicious (like we needed more food) as was the wine, which was Weiner Gemischte. I'd like to give it a good TripAdvisor review.

(L-R): Guide, Kathy, Art, Susan & Bill.

It was a wonderful afternoon in the country!


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