Wednesday, July 17, 2019


There's a quirk in the German language that allows you to create new composite words out of existing ones. That's why there exist words like Schadenfreude. It also means you occasionally come across a new word that you haven't heard before even if it's your native tongue, so when Martin asked me if I was a "Rotlichtläufer" ("red light runner") it took me a bit to process that. Not only was the word new, after 16 years in Ireland the entire concept was alien - are you the kind of runner that crosses a road despite the traffic light being red? Well, duh, obviously. Everyone in Ireland is!

I've obviously been away for long enough to lose the Austrian rigidity when it comes to committing minor offences.

Anyway, there are a few things in Austria that are different to Ireland.

Summer is a lot warmer. We actually missed the brutal heatwave and even had a couple of days of intermittent rain but it still got to 28 degrees.

There are quite a few public water spots, though they can be hidden away, a few meters off the road, and if you don't know them you don't see them. When the temperatures are getting close to 30 degrees, you do need them! I got to use one during my long-ish run on Sunday but I still suffered by the end.

The infrastructure is just so much better than in Dublin, from public transport to cycle paths to running paths, to higher quality housing (at a much more affordable price too), to better roads, even significantly better restaurants and I could go on. I can't actually explain why that is, the local politicians are just as inept, corrupt and self-serving as they are here, so I have no idea why the whole government stuff just works better. Oh, the train ticket from the airport to the city centre cost 11 Euro. For the 6 of us! And almost all the museums were free for the kids, up to the age of 18.

There are a lot more cyclists, and since the cycle paths I saw were actually separated from the road, as opposed to someone painting a white line and calling it a cycle path, there is much less animosity between drivers and cyclists. Which is the way it should be, obviously.

There are also a lot more runners. The Prater especially was full of them.

Shop assistants are just as unfriendly ad they used to be. Which is just baffling, even more so now that I work in sales myself, and I do wonder how on Earth they get away with their behavior.

Viennese drivers are dicks. Probably even more so than Dublin ones.

People complain like mad about anything and everything. Wait! That's the same here!

I got to run about 70 miles, same as I would have done in Ireland, though on nicer paths but in sweltering conditions at times. I was completely exhausted after a couple of runs but I attribute that more to the condition there, plus me being on my feet much more during the day, than to a problem with my running. I guess I'll quickly see how thing go now that I'm back home.

Thanks to Martin for showing me some of South-Eastern Vienna on Monday, the one part I am much less familiar with than the rest. I was tempted to explore a bit more on Tuesday on my own but did not want to get hopelessly lost on my last day.

The general agreement was that it was one of our best family holidays ever. The fact that it was only for one week may have helped!


The Halo Third Man Riesenrad

The road to infinity. Especially at mile 20 in the marathon!





Belvedere Gardens

Neufelder See

The kept the gay traffic lights that were installed as a show of tolerance! Too bad the conservatives are blocking any law reforms that would actually put that into reality. Utterly disgraceful!


  1. What can you tell us about the Prater in Vienna where the next sub-2 challenge will be held?

    1. You can see it on my photo that is captioned "the road to infinity". It is totally flat, totally straight and over 4 km long each way. The road surface is excellent and it is shaded by trees on each side. And all within a mile of the city centre.