All afternoon I had longed to go for a walk
in the evening, just before sunset. The sky was a brilliant blue when I walked up the so-called Gemeindeberg to the Doll-Wiese, at the edge of the Lainz Game Preserve. I hoped to photograph a few beautiful evening scenes, with the sun setting over the city.
By the time I stepped out of the woods, the sky was turning dark from the west. There were still too many trees blocking the view of the city, so I ran towards the open meadow and began shooting the scene. A huge mass of clouds was climbing up from the valley of the Wien river, moving rapidly to cover the city from west to east. I had but a few minutes, then rain started to fall, and I had to pack my camera in and run for shelter in the woods.
On my way back home, I collected a basketful of wild garlic leaves,
the tastiest affirmation of spring I can think of.
The Doll-Wiese (Wiese meaning meadow) is less then a half hour’s walk from Empress Elizabeth's Hermes Villa, in the Lainzer Tiergarten. The “Lainzer Tiergarten” (Lainz Game Preserve) once was a hunting ground of Emperor Franz Josef. Today it is owned by the City of Vienna and serves as a nature reserve, offering the Viennese a green oasis with well-kept hiking trails and wild deer within city boundaries.
To reach the Doll-Wiese, you have to leave the Tiergarten through the Sankt Veiter Gate and then turn to your left, walking along the stone walls of the reserve until you reach the Lindwurm Inn. From there, you can already see the meadow to your right. If you are so inclined, on your way back instead of returning to the Hermes Villa, you can take Bus 55b at the “Stock im Weg” stop near the Sankt Veiter Gate, and ride a few bus stops downhill to take the U4 metro which brings you back to Karlsplatz in the city center in 20 minutes.
March 13, 2008