I am almost hesitant to write that perhaps Vienna has shaken its sub-freezing shroud for sunshine and warm temperatures, though perfectly timed for when I needed a day not only to clear my head but also to break in new hiking shoes.

“Stadtwanderweg 9” is the city’s 13km loop through Prater, Vienna’s “Green Heart.” The park was officially dedicated a public space in 1766, and is nearly twice the size of Central Park in NYC. One half of the park is green space; the other is home to the Würstelprater, the city’s amusement park.

Small matter that the chestnut trees lining the Hauptallee, the main avenue of the park are nowhere close to bloom, or that the ponds are frozen over; the more one walked along, the more restorative the fresh air and occasional waft of spring soil  became.

 

Rail crossing for the Liliputbahn, the seasonal narrow-gauge railway that transports summer visitors around the park.

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A slightly larger train, the Straßenbahn Line 1 has its terminus at Prater. The old trams are so elegant, I think.

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The Prater is not fully open for the season, though the Reisenrad was turning, and I did spot one lonely person on the swings.

Sausage, Information, and the WC. What more does a park-goer need?

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One, if not the only, restaurant open in the park. Vienna generally prohibits outdoor tables from 1 November to 30 March, so I was surprised at this sight. I deplore this rule; I think it’s rather obnoxious for the government to tell restaurant and cafe goers when they can, or cannot, sit outside to enjoy their meal. It appears that others agree with me, for there have been faint stirrings of dissent in the short time we have lived here suggesting, perhaps, that change is in the air. We shall see.

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There are altogether 9 walks around Vienna; with this one I have completed 7 and am eligible for a, “Golden City Trail” pin or something like that. I forgot to take my little notebook with me to be stamped, so I guess I’ll just have to complete the other 2. 🙂

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