Tuesday 17 April 2012

Vienna - Austria

The final stop in Austria was the capital, Vienna. Surprisingly the weather was much warmer here, despite being only an hour away on the train.

Vienna Museum of Fine Arts
Vienna has some of the grandest architecture I have seen anywhere, so any run is pretty much guaranteed to be interesting.

My hotel here was in a really busy area, the main shopping district, located just south west of the city hub on Mariahilferstasse - a huge amount of traffic and lots of pedestrian crossing, so not ideal for a run. With that said I decided to actually have a look the night before at ways around it.

The best solution I found was head away from the city towards Schoenbrunn Palace, a world famous landmark where there is a heavy pedestrain zone, making for a smoother run with less stopping and starting crossing roads.

The route towards the palace was pretty monotonous,  a relatively straight road for 4.3km, solely on a paved sidewalk. I reached a small recreational park and beared left to be greeted by a stunning view of the Palace.

One of the truly great buildings, especially on a day with such fine weather. The Palace is set in grand gardens, which are completely symmetrical on either side, consisting of a huge hedged maze, a dramatic fountain, sculptures, and even an operational zoo!

The grounds of the Palace mean you can make you aas long or short as you wish and there is also a variety of terrain, with large areas of grass divided up by gravel walkways.
The view from Gloriette of the Palace and city
At around the 5.2km mark, I had reached the rear of the Palace building, where the gardens begin. I headed towards the highest point of the grounds to beautiful building called the Gloriette (pictured above - sorry about the dodgy iPhone quality pic!).

600 metres up a what seemed to be vertical gravel path through a wooded area was brutal on my quads, but the the view I was greeted with was truly spectacular (see above).

I allowed myself a minute to take in the panoramic views of this beautiful city (and to catch my breath!!) before heading back down the hill through the woods, back out of the Palace grounds, along Mariahilferstrasse and to my hotel for a very much needed ice bath!

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Start - Zoom Kinder Museum, Museums Quartier
Journey - 4.3km south west along Mariahilferstrasse to Schonbrunn Palace, then your chosen route around the gardens. Then head back through Auer-Welsbach-Park along Mariahilferstrasse.
Finish - MC Shark Multimedia, Getreidemarkt

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