September 23, 2019: Wilfersdorf to Vienna - Praha to Wien Greenway Tour (Tour 19) - 2019 🇨🇿 🇦🇹 - CycleBlaze

September 23, 2019

September 23, 2019: Wilfersdorf to Vienna

Jumping to Vienna by train

Hotel: Magdas Hotel, € 78

A LAST minute change in plans after mulling it over all night was to take the train into Vienna. Many online had done so saying that the ride through the suburbs was not grand. That, and the winds were going to be from the south or southeast - train it would be.

Not cycling into Vienna did not mean a day without cycling. The contrary. We packed things in our boxcar hotel and pulled the bikes out of the storage room. The owner of the boxcar came over and apologized profusely for the problem yesterday and offered us free capuccinos in the breakfast room. He ended up being a pretty nice guy.

We had to cycle into Mistelbach to catch the train. The route zigged and zagged unti we arrived along the tracks to a train depot where only a computer screen could be found. I booked the tickets for us and the bikes then we waited until a fellow came along who I asked if we might expect the train to have a bicycle car or might each car allow bikes. He thought the latter, but then he suggested that the train we wanted might not actually stop here but only at the main station which was about a kilometre away. It was 9:04 am and the train was due at 9:37 am. We jumped onto the bikes.... and were to the station in plenty of time. Sure enough, along came the CityJet train at 9:37 am with each car displaying a bicycle symbol. In we went, there were the spots for our bikes, and there were the seatbelts to strap the bikes in so they would not topple over. And we were off.

I caught up on emails with the on-board wifi, then watched as we passed through rolling hills a while, and then suburb after suburb as we approached Vienna. In the distance I could see St. Stephen's Cathedral and when we crossed the Danube I knew we were close. The way our ticket had been purchased, we could go to any stop in Vienna, so I decided to continue past Praterstern (nearest to our hotel) and go on to Vienna-Mitte which was right near the Stadtpark. We easily rolled off of the train, and out of the Mitte shopping plaza, then walked around with the bikes to get our bearings.

Using the free Vienna-wide wifi, we tracked our way to the Stadtpark to see the Strauss monument and just to enjoy the park before rolling toward St. Stephen's Cathedral. Being there at mid-day might not have been the wisest choice. The place was packed so moving our heavily loaded bikes through the crowds was something that I did not enjoy. We finally got out of the worst of the throngs, stopped for a quick lunch, then gps-navigated to our hotel, which was about another five to ten minutes away. The hotel is right beside the Prater Park which is pretty nice. The hotel is a former nursing home and is run by a very international staff which makes for a vibrant atmosphere. The staff were pleasant, excellent, and wanting to please. When I asked if I could bring the bikes to the room since I needed to box them, of course, they told me. When I let them know that a bike shop would be bringing boxes over they said they would have them brought up to our room right away. Excellent service. When they prepared the place, they tried to re-use as much as possible from what was available. Old cabinets were cut up and built into desks and tables. The luggage shelves in the entrance are the upper racks from old trains. And a lot of the furniture was second-hand from across the city.

After cleaning up, we went out walking and searching for a few geocaches. We searched for three and found three. Getting a bit hungry, we went in search of a restaurant I knew from a bike tour in 2011, Guesthof Schosztarich. This place used to be known as 'Austria like it used to be' as a very traditional restaurant with traditional Austrian food, full of locals, and a very pleasant atmosphere. As it turns out it was less than a ten minute walk away from our hotel. I used the gps to find it, but as we got closer I recognized it right away. When I stepped in, it looked exactly like I remembered, and there was Herr Schosztarich himself sitting at his table just like he was eight years ago. He welcomed us and invited us back to the garden outside, but after having some of our drinks, we decided to move inside because the bugs were biting.

There were a few people in the main part of the restaurant, but within a short while the place filled right up with local workers who appeared to have 'their' table. The waitress brought them drinks and their dinners, as Mr Schosztarich continued to play cards while chatting with all of his guests and looking after paying customers as they finished their meals and took the tally sheet from their table to him to pay.

While we were eating, I pulled up my photos from eight years ago to show him and let him know how pleased we were last time we were there and how much we were enjoying his place again. He was pleased, thankful and gracious the whole time. Finally, we were d0ne and ready to return to the hotel with the thought of returning for a meal tomorrow, to which Mr Schosztarich said he would welcome us back any time. I would say he is about my age, but his grace and manners are from a former era. Amazing place.

It had been a long day, so we returned to the hotel with the thought of heading out to the Prater Park to go on the big ferris wheel, but after laying down a few minutes it was lights out. Exhausted.

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Today's ride: 13 km (8 miles)
Total: 460 km (286 miles)

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