I have to admit that I just don’t get enough exercise and spend too much time in the company of my computer. Thus when the sun is shining, on a warm Vienna evening or at weekends, I have little in the way of argument to ward off R’s ‘suggestions’ that we take a stroll. So in the spirit of ‘health and happiness’ I drag my ever complaining body into action for the greater good.
But wait. Is this the whole picture? Is ‘healthy walking’ around the Vienna Woods and the local area really so onerous?
Well actually if you put a smile on your face and ‘embrace’ the whole idea with enthusiasm there are many opportunities to turn such exercise into truly enjoyable excursions into relaxation and enjoyment. Last night’s evening stroll, for example, took us up over the hill into the 16th District and initially to the heuriger Leitner. Located next to vineyards overlooking the city, the heuriger provided us with a pleasant red wine as we took a break in our journey and enjoyed the surroundings. The food also looked appealing but unfortunately all the tables where pre-booked, however this gave me the excuse to suggest that we head for the Am Predigstuhl.
The Am Predigstuhl is an absolute gem of a small restaurant. As you walk along the Oberwiedenstrasse it’s possible to miss the entrance to the restaurant, which looks very similar to the private house on either side – though for those more alert than myself the sign painted on the wall next to the gate is a bit of a giveaway. The menu provides a more varied choice than you find in many small places and the food that arrives at your table is excellent. The atmosphere is relaxing with friendly and helpful staff. To accompany your meal the Am Predigstuhl has a very good selection of Austrian wines, with the need to choose providing the only moment of ‘stress’.
As the spring turns to summer and we take more and more of these ‘healthy walks’ I am discovering new stopping off points. Only last week as we walked over the hill in the direction of the 18th District, we dropped into the Schutzhaus am Schafberg which provided another lovely venue for an evening meal.
Even turning a stroll in the local area into a full blown walk in the Vienna Woods provides many opportunities to enhance the genuine enjoyment of the woodland – though you do have to keep one eye on the more over enthusiastic mountain bikers and joggers. As you walk through the woods you are never far from a coffeehouse, restaurant, or heurigen with all their delights for the taste buds.
All in all this walking business is definitely contributing to a rather nicely ‘balanced’ Vienna lifestyle.