Bunches of little obligations have recently kept me from doing the activities I prefer to do, though I have still found time to go in search of autumn.

A week or so ago along a 6km walk through the vineyards. Not much autumn color, but some of the other nature stepped it up for my snaps.

Along a familiar route, but this little notation on a trail marker never ceases to amuse me.

A new scene to amuse me, a lawn-mowing Roomba in the vineyards!

The autumn scene was similar at Schloss Schönbrunn a few days later, but there is never really a bad time for a walk through palace gardens.

“My” park, Türkenschanzpark, is squeaking into autumn ever so slowly, too.

This past weekend Tony and I were in the valley of the Czech Republic’s Western Carpathians. Through little towns where “horsepower” means exactly that; the little village of Louka, where the elderly village women preserve the art of folk painting, and then to a Burčák festival in a palace.

The palace was a waypoint on the Czech equivalent of the “Top Weekend Tip”  Wien Weinwandertag, except it really wasn’t. Whereas the Weinwandtertag in Vienna emphasizes the “wine,” the Czech version emphasizes the “wander.”  There were but 7 Burčák points along the 44km route(!), which explained why wanderers were carrying liters of the fizzy fermented grape juice with them.

To end, our most recent attempt at finding autumn was Sunday, with a glorious hike into the local woods. For many kilometers we wandered and snapped, and basked in what is probably warm weather’s last hurrah, with Clayton Theodore as our wily guide.

This being an official Hiking and Schnitzeling outing, I had investigated the scene for a place at which to enjoy said Schnitzel. At the 8km point near the Heuriger of choice our route took us up the aptly named Eselstiege. “Esel” is the German word for “Ass;” and “Stiege” is the word for “Steps.” Let me write that after 8km on a 25º day, these uphill Stiege nearly kicked our Esel.

But no matter. Schnitzel with a View was near!

Except, it wasn’t. The Schnitzel, that is.  In typical fashion the posted opening hours of this Heuriger were only suggestions, and it was locked down tighter than an Austrian grocery store on Sunday. Down we were, but not out.  A sign nearby offered a little Gasthof “3 Minuten zu Fuß” that promised to be open. Some “3 minutes on foot” later, we sat in the warm autumn sun and shared not Schnitzel, but quite good Backhendl. Still counts as Hiking and Schnitzeling, though.

Our guide, of course, had Pommes.


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