Finding the High Ground in Vienna

The best view of Vienna. (My students later informed me this is a park originally reserved for imperial hunting grounds…pretty cool.)

It is my most trusted theory that if you head to the highest ground in any place (or if that fails, the highest building), you will always find something amazing.  Last Sunday, I tested this philosophy once again as Chris and I trekked up the winding residential roads on the outskirts of Vienna, pursuing a speck of pasture I thought I spotted from below.

I was encouraged as each level of houses we advanced brought wider and longer views of the Vienna cityscape.  When we finally paced the highest road, I found myself more than satisfied with our hike’s supposedly final outcome.  That is, until I saw a woman and her dog slip up a dirt path into the woods above.  Upon further inspection, the trail seemed public enough, and even if it wasn’t, the intrigue was worth any slap on the hand we might have received for trespassing.

Our curiosity was duly rewarded.  The speck of pasture turned out to be much more than a speck.  Instead there was a sprawling field of long green grass dotted with tiny white flowers, which I can only hope to be edelweiss in order to fulfill all of my Sound of Music-esque fantasies.  To further indulge my whimsical ideals of Austrian pastures, I may or may not have taken a few moments to demonstrate my finest yodeling abilities.  This very liberating experience continued for a few perfect moments until interrupted by the chuckles of the (probably actually quite disturbed) hikers who had snuck up behind us.  Embarrassing as that was, the immensity of the culture-drenched city before us, combined with the friendly September sun warming our bare feet above us, made for just about the most quintessentially Austrian moment I could have wanted.

And so, my theory has been proven true once again.  Just stay tuned for my post on Slovakia’s High Tatras for further evidence.

To read more about Christopher and his “yawping” (pictured above) check out

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