One of many things that make living in Vienna so convenient is the fact that it takes you less than 2 hours to get to the mountains. And I mean mountains, not rolling hills. Real mountains to hike, climb and ski. Over the years, Rax has evolved as the favourite mountain of choice for a relaxing day trip.
On Saturday we packed our daypacks, loaded two friends into the car and drove off. It was a sunny day and the parking lot at Preiner Gscheid reflected exactly that. Fortunately, people tend to disperse as there are so many ways to reach the top (and enough huts on the way) so it never gets crowded.
We geared up (i.e. changed into our hiking shoes) and set off: Up the ski field, then right towards Waxriegelhaus. From there we climbed Waxriegelsteig first through dense forest, then lower mountain pines until we’d crossed the tree line.
This time of the year there are always plenty of Edelweiss at the tree line on Waxriegelsteig and soon Mr A pointed the first one out to me.
I always get excited at the sight of Edelweiss.
They make me feel like I’m actually climbing a real mountain which probably makes me feel accomplished or something.
Once we reached the plateau and started to walk along it towards Karl-Ludwig-Haus, the wind picked up considerably and made us reach for our windproof layer.
Soon we arrived at Karl-Ludwig-Haus, a recently renovated hut that – drumroll, please! – serves vegan food.
Yes, a hut on a mountain where you can actually get plant-based food! How cool is this?!
Needless to say I had to give it a go, even though I usually bring my own lunch on day walks out of convenience, and wasn’t disappointed: The chili sin carne (con a lot of beans) was delicious and so was the apple crumble.
Sated, we descended Schlangenweg and the ski field below until we were back at the car park, where we stretched and snacked on some fruit and nuts before returning to Vienna.