After yesterday’s trip to where the well heeled live, today I’m heading out to the edge of the city. I’m at the end of the line, tram lines 30 and 31 to be precise. I’ve wandered to Stammersdorf.
I don’t know Stammersdorf at all. In all my travels to Vienna and since moving here, Stammersdorf is a bit of an enigma. Fresh from the tram I find a retired little train Engine. A shunter I think? It’s cute, but I’m next to the main road out of town to Gerasdorf and the shopping mall beyond. It’s noisy and not what I expected. I figure the best way to get away from it all is to put the road to my back and start walking. Josef Flandorfer Straße takes me away from it all and within minutes, the sounds of the main road fall away and birdsong fills the air. Vienna dissapears. The street I’m on is full of single story homes. It feels old. It’s nice. Even where a newer build social housing block sprouts up, it’s modern, clean and sympathetic to the surroundings. As my stroll continues, the post man passes me on an electric scooter. It’s so quiet, it’s perfect for the area.
Then all of a sudden, I’m in the middle of nowhere. The buildings fall away and I’m facing a field of wheat or corn. For a moment I’m tempted to be naughty and run though it, but that’s for prime ministers, not me. Instead I look back at the city skyline.
From the field, I head right onto a side street. I can see a very nice looking church ahead. I pass a lovely looking school (I think it’s a school) before I reach the end of the road. I thought I’d find the church sitting waiting for me. Instead I find myself 100 years in the past, At least that’s what it feels like. The road splits and in the centre sits a world war 1 memorial. It’s easy to forget sometimes that both sides lost people, and even the losing side gets to mourn the lost.
Behind the memorial is what seems to be a bar. If you’re looking for whiskey, this seems to be the place. The Windows all contain old whiskey bottles and packaging. In front of that is a beautiful little park area with five statues, they’re white marble gleaming in the sun. This is a perfect place to take a break, so I do. I could sit here all day. Time seems to pass slowly here and the peace and quiet fills the air like a soft, fluffy quilt.
After my rest, I follow the road through the village. A common theme forms around me. Wine. This is a wine village. Now I’m not talking large vineyard stretching for miles. No these are tiny, family run vineyards. Each one, and there are several to choose from, offers a very unique wine experience. There are the wineries, which I think specialise in local wines. Then there are the Heuriger’s, where the wine is so fresh, it’s often still on the vines around you. The wine and food in any of these places is very traditionally Austrian and delicious. In the autumn when the wines are ready, Stammersdorf is going to be the place to come a sample the wares.
I reach the end of the village and find a folk in the road. There’s a pretty little seating area that over looks the road that may be a little over grown, but it makes for a nice spot to picnic. At the front is a depiction of the crusifixion. One thing I’ve learnt living in Austria is that you’re never to far from a crucifixion depitction. The country is 75% Roman Catholic.
I leave Jesus to his spot at the side of the road and follow the street ahead. It leads to the edge of town and another gorgous view back to the city. I turn around and head back to town in need of a cold drink. Along the way I find a figure of a Monk placed in a wall. It’s cute and worth a picture.
I pass back through the little village green and eventually I come across the Cafe Ofner. It’s a small place full of character. I get a Radler and a Seat by a window where a cooling breeze passes by. The place is run by a husband and wife team. They’re really friendly and I we tried with my very broken Deutsch to have a chat. I need to get on with learning Deutsch.
Lunch is calling me, so I head back to the five statues and enjoy my lunch in good company. I’m getting tired and the heat is really starting to build. I finish lunch and head off in search of the church. I somehow missed the little street that takes me to the grounds of Stammersdorf Catholic Church. Like many churches here, it’s old and very pretty.
There’s no good spot to fit the whole thing in a picture, so I settle for the best shot I’ve got. A little further away, I find the church’s cemetery. I wander through the small area and marvel at the age of the some of the burials. Some plots date back to the mid 1800’s and have several following dates of the departed added to the stones. I slip out of the graveyard and onto a tiny country lane. I’m really tired now so I figure it’s time to call it quits. I walk down the lane, find a charming abandoned cottage before I pass a small vineyard with a small pressraum attached (yeah it’s that fresh!), pass the church and head home to city. I loved Stammersdorf, and it’s on my ‘must visit’ list. The call of good wine and great food should never be ignored.
Stammersdorf has a rich history dating back to 1100 AD.
It only became part of Vienna in the 1930’s.
The remains of several anti aircraft emplacements can still be found in the old hills .
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