So I’ll admit, I was pretty surprised to hear that the international student body of Vienna was organizing a trip to a local vineyard, its not exactly the sort of place I’d imagined to find on the edge of Vienna. But I didn’t have anything to do and one thing I really enjoy is pretending that I’m not a student, so a trip to a vineyard sounding pretty appealing to me.
I started the day off outside a train station on the edge of the city. It was a pretty small group that I found myself in and I was disappointed to see that not many people had showed up. Turned out though that we were at the wrong meeting point and when we arrived we were greeted by a group of almost 100 students.
The walk then commenced with a stroll through the outskirts of Vienna, past the lovely expensive houses and into a peaceful park which presented us with some stunning views over Austria and the foothills of the Alps. This was the first time I’d ever seen a part of Austria that wasn’t in Vienna and the view didn’t disappoint me in the slightest.
Our first stop was the incredible Kirche am Steinhof, also known as the the Church of St Leopold, a Roman Catholic oratory constructed at the beginning of the 20th century by the Viennese architect Otto Wagner. Due to its decorative style, it’s considered one of the most important Art Nouveau style buildings in the world.
Next, we headed to Schloss Wilhelminenberg, an imperial palace also built in the early 20th century. But it wasn’t the palace that we had come to observe, but rather the extensive vineyards situated in its backyard.
Stalls flowing with Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay were lined up along a circular route which I could describe only as a wine crawl. And with wine being served at only 1.50 euros you can bet that there was a lot of drinking. In addition, the vineyards offered us extensive views of Vienna itself, unfortunately it was incredibly hazy, and though we were able to make out many notable features, they just don’t show up as well on the camera.
In all, it was a nice and relaxing way to end what had been a pretty frightening week for me. It was lovely just to sit back among the vines, in the sun, and talk to other international students, which also helped to allay some of my own fears about this move to Vienna.
Just goes to show the student life doesn’t always have to be a struggle.
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