Saturday, September 27, 2014

Lindkogel-Strecke mit sturm

Climbing is quite big in Austria, or at least we haven’t found a sport shop that wouldn’t sell climbing gear. But even more popular is mountain biking. Wienerwald is filled with steep trails, but the problem is that we don’t know where they are.

We have tried to find some kind of guidebook about trails, but there isn’t any. All trails in the forest are illegal so no-one can put up a guidebook. It would be like making a guidebook for banned climbing areas.

Luckily, I have found some downhill videos in Youtube. The trick is to look closely the last seconds when they ride out of the woods, and then try to locate the place. Once you find the end of the trail, you just hike up to the top to find out where the starting point is. 

Anyway, as we are good citizens, we searched also for legal trails around Mödling and found Lindkogel-strecke close to Baden. It’s about 30 km long trail with a 600 meter height difference. But if you bike there from Mödling, it will become about 50 km long and 1000 meters of ascent altogether. Good training for our skinny legs.

Mödling & Anninger. Anninger doesn’t look too big compared to the mountains in the background, but it offers 5 km of downhill trails with 400m descent. I had to google a bit if that’s a lot or not. In Austria it’s not, but in Finland it would be one of the biggest. It’s twice as big as Ruka or Tahko (both 200 m), and almost the size of Ylläs (463 m), the biggest ski resort in Finland.

 The shortest way to Baden goes on asphalt, but it’s downhill almost all the way and surrounded by wine fields

 There was some kind of a wine festival. Now it’s the time for the first sets of “sturm”, young wine. It is also known as federweißer or federroter (depending if it's done from white or red grapes).

 They closed half of the road and turned it into a 10 km long parking lot.

I have never tasted sturm before. This was made from red grapes and tasted very weird. Not bad, but definitely not what I expected. It was sparkling, sweet and quite strong, 4-10% of alcohol. Yet another Austrian drink for drinking too much.

 Mandatory stop in Baden. For Swedes at least.

Back to mountainbiking. Badass downhill right in the beginning

This is where Lindkogel-strecke actually begins, a neverending uphill..

 Sometimes a bit too steep to pedal


 Anu on the trail

 Finally at the top of Lindkogel! A well-earned descent ahead of us.

 But first things first...there happens to be a restaurant at the top of Lindkogel.

 Mandatory beer & apple juice (which actually was some kind of apple wine) -photo

 Finally downhill!

More hard core riding

 Anu enjoying Lindkogels smooth trail.

 It offers also some trickier parts. Nothing too hard, but hard enough to break my chain-guide.

 The track is marked as “black”, but it's 99% like this.

 Very doable for a hardtail bike.

 In the end the trail got wider and rockier

Sun & trees

 Back in Baden, where to next?

 Wine fields are always a safe bet

 The party was still going on…

 More sturm, this time from white grapes. This was so much better than the red stuff. A bit like Finnish lonkero.

 We also got some local food, small "knödel"s and some stuff I think was made of blood

 Few hours later lost in another wine field

 We bought a two-liter bottle of sturm from the very last wine producer before Mödling 

At home we found out that there was no cork in the bottle! Luckily I didn’t spill it more. Actually, this was the reason why I never had drunk sturm before. With traditional methods it’s not possible to store sturm and therefore you can't buy it from Finland or Sweden. I think it's available only around wine growing areas from early September to late October.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Renting an apartment in Austria

Renting an apartment in Austria was trickier than we expected. There are a plenty of free apartments in Vienna and Mödling, but it’s hard to decide where exactly to live.

How far from the work? How far from climbing? If we move close to Wienerwald forest we could train on the hills. Or maybe we should live close to the freeway, we are probably going to drive somewhere a few times a week and on weekends…But there is also climbing in Mödling, should we live in that part of the town? After all, it would be pretty cool just to walk to sport climbing!

How about indoor climbing? Close to a climbing gym is always a safe bet, but close to which gym? It’s hard to know where we are going to train, or where our future friends will be training. On the other hand it’s possible to free climb year around here. So are we going to use a climbing gym as much as we did in Umeå? Probably not.

It’s difficult to choose, but what makes it even harder, is the Austrian law that says that whichever apartment we rent, we have to stay there for at least one year + 3 months notice time. And a two-months' provision plus three months' deposit (= 4000 €) makes sure you will actually stay in the apartment.

 Wine fields

Anu & corn fields, Wienerwald in the background

 A road

Hiking somewhere in Höllental. When you have a guidebook in German and cannot really read German… the approach can become a bit longer.

 Views from the road to Semmering

 More serpentine roads

 Aperol spritz is a popular drink here. It’s surprisingly bitter (and strong). Easy to drink too much.

 And we finally got an apartment. It’s in Mödling, right next to Wienerwald. The closest crag and gym are both 2 km from the apartment.

I found my inner hipster and decided to make some chili-walnut-protein-bread.

 More hipster stuff. I started to grow some herbs.


 Pepperoni. Sadly not a strong one.

 A lemon tree

 Husarentempel and a view to Vienna. This is on Föhrenberge in Wienerwald. 

 Naschmarkt in Vienna

 Findings from the market

 When you find a 3 kg tomato, it’s good to remember that also Arnold Schwarzenegger comes from Austria.

 A rainy day at crags. I guess there is a point in living close to gyms.

 Kletterhalle Wien. This hall is 1200 m2 and 16 meters high. There are 2000 m2 climbing surface and 400 m2 bouldering surface. 16 meters doesn’t sound too high, but as the wall overhangs more than 10’s enough.

 They also have slab walls

 This is probably the best solution for a climbing wall structure I’ve seen

 Austrian way of belaying

 A small wall and a lowline for kids

 The outdoor part of Kletterhalle Wien. 3000 m2 area and 200 m2 bouldering surface

 150 m2 bouldering surface on real boulders. Looks like someone forgot a baby here.

A slackline