I love Vienna. But sometimes you need to get away.
I come from the Pacific Northwest, which is (in my opinion) one of the most beautiful parts of the United States. I love my home because of the year-round greenery, and easy access to beautiful places in nature. When my friend invited me to go hiking in the Wienerwald near Baden bei Wien, I was so excited. I love going on nature walks, and have been missing the fresh air and empty space, which are hard to find living in a big city.
Baden bei Wien was the chosen vacation spot for many famous Viennese, who would frequent the town due to its natural hot springs. Beethoven frequented Baden to work on his music, and actually composed most of his 9th Symphony there, using its picturesque views as inspiration. 30 minutes from Vienna, Baden bei Wien is a spa town. Baden means “bath.” I could write an entire blog post about Europe’s spa culture (and maybe I should), but as I said in my Budapest post, there is nothing quite like these bathhouses.
Perfect. First hiking, and then spa time!
For our hike, we chose an intermediate level trail. “Intermediate” in this case I think was meant to refer to the uphill climb required, but it was a fairly short and well marked trail up to some castle ruins, from where you get one of the best views overlooking the Wienerwald. The view was truly breathtaking, and well worth climbing the tower to see.
Be very careful if you decide to climb around on any of these ruins. The tower we were in was not well lit (actually not lit at all), and sure enough, I fell down the stairs. No major injuries, but just be aware that the “enter at your own risk” sign is meant to be taken seriously, and maybe keep a hand on the railing.
Following the hike, we went to a spa/bathhouse to relax for a few hours. I am so glad I thought to bring a swimsuit for my study abroad semester.
Finally, we found a delicious pizza restaurant and got dinner before going home.
So… the next time city life gets you down, just remember these three steps:
And simple as that, you are on the train back to the city, refreshed and ready to take on whatever is in store for you there.
More Blogs From This Author
My name is Isabella Daltoso, and I am a senior at Pacific Lutheran University (PLU). I am a vocal performance major and a dance minor. I love all things music and opera, and I am so happy to be spending my spring semester in Vienna as part of the IES Vienna Music Program. I love to write and am a consultant at the PLU Writing Center. I have also been a newswriter for PLU’s Marketing and Communications department. When I am not singing, studying, or writing, I love to spend time with my friends and family, especially my younger siblings.