Vienna Love

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Vogelsangberg (516m), one of my favorite hills in Vienna

First of all, I’m sorry you have to read another english post. My recent posting about relocation has been somewhat sober, according to a great friend. At current times I have troubles to be emotional in my native language. To be honest: I missed Vienna just a couple of months after moving to Salzburg two years ago. Each trip to Vienna since then felt like holiday, like balm for the soul, with great encounters and profound conversations. Back in Salzburg I was constantly annoyed about the sparse bus intervals at main station, prolonged waiting with egoistic smokers prompting me to change position every minute. The bus was often crowded and I always had to go a few more minutes by foot, along too narrow pavements being slippery during winter as winter services usually clear the main roads but not the side roads (Overall there are only 40 men in the winter services responsible for entire Salzburg!). 30 minutes by bus, 10 minutes taking the taxi. So in the end I didn’t like to come back, neither from Vienna trips nor from any hiking tours. It was always a pain in the ass.

Recently the (female) bus driver touched the curb three times within only two kilometres. I received a reprimand doing so during my driving test only once. “If you do that again, you’re out!” A few weeks ago I twittered: “Saying goodbye I will spit in one of the bus lines of my choice.” The bus drivers are used to stop and go jerkily causing nausea, in addition to the plenty potholed streets. I never experienced it so gross in Vienna. The day routine has been, as long as I stayed in Salzburg, rather monotonous: Working, watching Netflix, sleeping, working, watching Netflix, interrupted by some Gaisberg hiking tours. I mainly used them to become tired ahead of the next early shift (4.30 utc) and between single days off. Since the shifts themselves had a duration of 12 hours, I was way too exhausted to do anything meaningful in the time before or after. Shopping, washing clothes, appointments, emptying the bin or having an extended breakfast, that’s all I’ve been able to do. When I moved to Salzburg, I was a little bit too enthusiastic about the possibilities around but “afterwork hiking tours” were never among them.

Given several days off, I could plan hiking tours with longer journeys. Many ideas have never been realised since I had to get up too early to use the railway connections.  Public transport in Salzburg is just hell. The first railway connections in the morning are nearly impossible to reach by bus. I would have been forced to walk to the main station or use a disproportionately early connection. When I get up so early in the morning, I’m not hungry enough to have breakfast. Walking without breakfast even before tour start, that’s not what I have in mind to start a day off. In fact, many ideas for tours in the Tennengebirge or along the Enns Valley or in the Hohe Tauern remained ideas until the end.

sbg
all hiking tours (2004-2019), green: public transport starting at Salzburg; red: public transport starting at Innsbruck (2004-2010) and Vienna (2010-2016), blue: as a co-driver

Most hiking tours started alongside bus line 150 to Bad Ischl, often crowded by Asian tourists on the way to Hallstatt, a small town in the Salzkammergut, which was completely rebuilt in China as a tourist attraction but Chinese people prefer to visit the original model, though. A few tours led me into the northern Osterhorngruppe and the eastern Chiemgau Alps. Very few into the Salzburg Schieferalpen but none into the Hohe Tauern. That’s quite odd. It is possible to look at the uppermost part of the Großglockner, the highest mountain in Austria (3798m), from the top of the Gaisberg, the mountain closest to Salzburg (distance about 100 kilometres). The problem is that large differences in altitude and long hiking distances demand very early departure resulting in the problem mentioned above. Having a car would have made things much easier for such ambitious tours, or at least having a partner to come along as a co-driver. Now during winter the risk of avalanches is high for many possible tours and it is way too much snow for snowshoe hiking tours alone. Due to the intense snow amounts in the first half of January, the less risky tours in the forest are impaired by lots of broken trees. So very few possibilities – without having a car – remain and I’m limited to Gaisberg tours most of the time.

After my relocation, my most important hiking friend and I were overconfident we could meet halfway between Salzburg and Vienna. In fact, we realised it only three times: twice to the Mühlviertel (a hilly region north of Linz) and once to the Strudengau (a canyon-like part of the Danube Valley), always associated with a certain thrill due to unexpected delays and missed connections.

I needed years to establish durable friendships and contacts for hikings. The potential partner should respect my (special) needs. I’m used to stop for pictures, I like to stop for a bite to eat or drink, I don’t like exposed traverses with crushed rock or ridges exposed on both sides. I enjoy when we both keep silent but I also like profound conversations. I have already written about Türöffnermenschen (door opener people, i.e., people playing a decisive role enabling me to do or to get things) and I hardly found new ones in Salzburg.

It has been impossible for me to let my friends go, to give them up like you’re giving old clothes to clothes recycling. I know it from my studies and my first job that other people are much more comfortable to think of colleagues as temporary but not for me. Moreover, Salzburg city happens to be a place with zero percentage of singles. I knew mostly family people where you’re always second priority. I couldn’t do the neurotypical way to get to know people, like fitness center, join a club or team sport, especially being exhausted after intense days at work. I had the need to go to a quiet place instead of the crowded city. I also didn’t want to start fresh with new encounters, explaining myself why I do things my own way due to my different perception.

As written in the previous post I always tried to badmouth the current place of living and to sugarcoat the upcoming place – a harsh but effective strategy to loose the bonds, to be prepared for the change. Change is never easy for autistic people, even it is one you are looking forward to. For the first time in my life, however, I’m going back to a place. So I already know people and locations where I’ll be living soon. It makes things quite easier than any change before.

… between badmouthing and whitewashing ….

Salzburg city

Disadvantages …

  • neighbors often too noisy, smell of barbecue 5 times/week in summer
  • troublesome and and uncomfortable shopping
  • shitty public transport within the city (intervals, changing stations)
  • no bus early in the morning to work (only per pedes and bike)
  • mass tourism in the historic center, around Berchtesgaden/Bad Reichenhall, in the Salzkammergut region, as a result: much traffic
  • neither a fan of bathing nor skiing (tours), no benefit of the lakes and high mountains around
  • socially isolated for weeks
  • mostly too challenging mountains throughout the year, especially alone
  • unsettled weather, sometimes for several days in a row with plenty of rain
  • few options for hiking tours when precipitation comes from the north

Advantages

  • Short drive to work with the bike
  • Gaisberg for close drive and descent by bus if necessary, even possible during rainy weather and icy conditions.
  • Lots of snow during wintertime
  • Lots of thunderstorms, cooling down in summer, especially during the night
  • Lots of cats encounters (on the way to Gaisberg and near the street where I live)

 

Vienna

Disadvantages

  • more traffic noise
  • partly longer drive to the mountains, especially the high ones
  • longer drive to work (30 minutes by train/bus/urban railway)

Advantages

  • well-defined public transport system
  • large circle of friends and support service
  • better alpine club service (guided hiking tours)
  • much more comfortable shopping without a car
  • more options to go for a meal (including fast food which I need sometimes after hiking tours)
  • more breakfast restaurants and coffee houses
  • more options with unsettled weather (e.g. Wachau, Slovakia, Waldviertel, Wienerwald, Mürz Valley south of Semmering pass)
  • much more options for unrisky hiking tours throughout the year, less risky snowshoe tours, long distance hikes
  • less crowded in nearby hiking regions
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2 thoughts on “Vienna Love

  1. Chevalrapunzel 15. March 2019 / 15:04

    Yeah, every journey is like balm for the soul. Have you been to Mozart house in Salzburg?

    Like

    • Forscher 15. March 2019 / 15:06

      No i hate Mozart.

      Like

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