2022

Day 6 – Into the Vienna Woods

Purkersdorf to Würmla, 34Km

Gerhard Guest House

I waved goodbye to St Stephen’s Cathedral and jumped on the metro and then a bus to Purkersdorf this morning. All the advice is not to walk out of Vienna but you can if you really want to. The “Austrian Camino” actually starts in Purkersdorf at the entrance to the Vienna Woods which is where the hills start.

Purkersdorf is a lovely suburb of Vienna. There are some nice hotels for people taking the air and everything is very clean and orderly. I visited the church of St James and inspected the Camino information boards outside, hoping they would shed some light on the accommodations along the way. I usually rely on one or other of the apps to book my bed but none of them offer any clues about where to sleep on the Austrian Camino. The information boards show a bed at certain villages indicating a guest house or other pilgrim accommodation but no addresses are given. The website describes lots of guest houses, pilgrim accommodations and regular accommodations but also fails to provide addresses. I imagined these places were run on a simple cash basis but I set off with a sense of unease, not because they might be full of jolly walkers but because they might not exist.

It was a nice walk up through deciduous woodland. I even saw a hare. There are many footpaths and there’re all signed and the trees are painted to mark the way. It’s not just the Camino; there’s a network of paths in every direction. But it was a lonely day. I didn’t see a living soul. The few villages were neat and tidy and silent but there wasn’t a hint of a bed for the night.

In the end I took a bus to Würmla because it was late and I was tired. There’s meant to be a lot of guest houses here but there is only one and it was closed. I asked a man in the street if there might be a hotel and he kindly called the guest house and they agreed to open up. I couldn’t even find a telephone number. It’s a bed but there’s no dinner, no bar, no soap, no Wi-Fi. The owner says it gets better farther on but it all seems rather vague.

It’s all very well putting yellow arrows everywhere but if there aren’t any beds you shouldn’t really call it a Camino. Let’s hope things improve otherwise I’ll find another country.

Purkersdorf with its Maypole
Church of St James in Purkersdorf
Lots of signposts in the Vienna Woods
This way for sure
Every village has its Maypole

18 comments on “Day 6 – Into the Vienna Woods

  1. boss42553

    Tim, you are a truly remarkable man to take on these unknown paths. I look to your future posts as always trying to discover new paths to follow.

    • Hi David how nice to hear from you. At least there are no mosquitoes here! I shall never forget the Po Valley…

  2. Hi Tim – You can download a list of rooms etc from this website https://www.jakobsweg-weinviertel.at/en/rooms

    • Hi Dave it’s very kind of you to find this list and it’s exactly what you’d expect on any walking route. Sadly I’m not on this pilgrimage route. I’m on the Austrian Camino or The way of St James in Austria depending on how you translate it. It’s running from Vienna to Salzburg then Innsbruck and west. I have accommodation lists in Switzerland. I think it will mostly get easier as it passes more sizeable towns and there is a Pilgrims Hospice at the Herzogenburg Monastery tomorrow!

  3. Jane Sherratt

    Hello Tim, we look forward to reading your posts every evening. Vienna looked amazing, I’ve never been. Everyone says hello.

    • Hi Jane and everyone Vienna is amazing and there’s so many things to see there. Well worth a visit!

  4. Hi Tim

    Great to see you on the road again. You’ve got a very long way to go. I’m a little jealous right now. Unfortunately, my knees are no longer up to it. That’s why I’m doing a very similar route to yours in August/September but in the other direction, from home to Vienna – and this by bike. My brother lives in the Austrian capital for about 25 years.

    Hopefully your Schengen visa will get you to Switzerland, or more precisely to the Bern region, and you won’t have to break off before then. The Swiss Camino passes very close to our house. That means: a stop at our house will be a must! And a stop means: B&B and of course including dinner. With a rest day or two if you like. Can you already estimate when that will be, so that I’ll actually be home. I look forward to hearing from you.

    Best regards, Ruedi (from 2018)

    • That’s extremely kind of you, Ruedi, and I look forward to seeing you again. I have no plans for this walk or where I will finish so I’ll let you know when it becomes clearer. The bike route is very popular. Cheers

  5. Vicky Williamson

    Kia ora, Tim, Congratulations on setting out with just a vague plan. That takes courage and resilience. I’m impressed that you are willing to get up and go despite not knowing where you’ll lay your head that night. I had a few days like that on the VF as I walked but I was also willing to ask anyone for a bed and it worked. Great photos and I enjoy your writing too. What a great mate you have in Ruedi. Kia kaha, Vicky

    • We rarely booked ahead on the VF but I much prefer to know where I’m sleeping before I start each day. So far, so good

  6. I’m sure a bit of fasting and rough sleeping is good practice for modern Pilgrims 🙂

  7. If all else fails there’s always Airbnb😀

    • Thanks for that tip, Nick. I have an account but never think about Airbnb. You can’t have too many last resorts

  8. Walkmag

    Hope the difficulty of bed finding improves very soon

    • Thanks and I think it will. That stage is particularly remote

  9. Philippa T

    I see that signs aren’t the problem ☹️. Hope you meet more fellow walkers soon, and Camino angels to help with finding food as well as beds!

    • Apparently there are pilgrims walking so I’m sure I’ll meet them soon

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