2010-03-29 48 16
In the far outskirts of Wien, 22nd district, not far from the northern railway line to Bratislava.
Wien is different says a slogan used in tourism marketing.
Citizens of Wien use it quite frequently, but always in a sarcastic voice.
I was on my way to Bratislava, Slovakia, and this hash was located along the route with only a reasonable detour, and no extra cost. Google maps showed it as about 1 km from the suburban train station Hausfeldstraße, with some semi-direct track leading there.
I took the first train I could catch and went to Wien via Nürnberg. Now the problem was: Trains to Hausfeldstraße leave from the Southern Station. Trains from Germany arrive at the Western Station. The usual way to cover that distance is to either use the tram or the underground, which both were not included in my ticket. However, sometimes there are also trains which call at both stations, using a single track connecting line through the suburbs. I never was able to use one of those before, I wanted to take a look at some site along the line, and there was such a train. Anyway, this train couldn't really go to the southern station, which was kind of not surprising, since most of the southern station has been broken down to make place for some new office buildings and shopping malls, because a city obviously never can have enough of those.
So I had to leave the train again at Meidling. It was there significantly late, so my exact plans had already been rendered obsolete when getting there. I decided to go on without actually planning a new schedule, just using that one of the many possible routes which both was included on my ticket, and was a rather secure thing as there would be at least one train any half hour. This meant to take a suburban train to - well, yes, to the southern station. Actually, although having broken down the entire station building and about three quarters of the track, the station isn't fully obsolete - and two small parts are still operational, connected through a ridiculous route to walk. They even removed the footway that would usually connect them. In the end, I found the remaining leftover of the southern station, only to find that the next train would be in 27 minutes. Since I didn't actually have a choice, I waited.
Suburban train line 80 brought me to Hausfeldstraße station, where I got off. Another huge construction site greeted me from along the railway line. Probably they build a subway line there, but other sources also talk of a motorway. However, this part looked more like it's going to be a subway station.
I got off, got out the GPS and was surprised to find a distance reading of 2.00 km to the hash. As the bird flies. Shouldn't that be only about 1 km? Damn you, google maps! And here I believed that old bug with the heavily wrong scales was gone for good, but obviously it wasn't. Time check... I had 70 minutes to get there and back to catch the train I wanted take to Bratislava, on a rather straight trail, with heavy luggage. This should still be possible. Shortest and most reasonable route would be to start south of the railway line, then a little bit past halfway, cross the line on a railway level crossing which was clearly shown on all available maps.
800 m from the hash, there was the point where I should cross the railway line, and my road would bend and stop going just along the line. Now there was a problem. And this was, that there was no more any track where it used to be. Instead there was another good kilometre of building site. I considered asking the workers to be allowed through the site, but then realized that not even that would help, since it would also include significant climbing to get out of the pit on the other side. Instead I asked them, how far the blockage would spread, and where it would be possible to go north to get to those lakes (there were some shown on the maps, and they looked like a place where someone might actually want to go, so the workers would easily believe it). They finally pointed to some landmark, which I estimated to be about 500 m further, so still before the hash.
And so it was. I had to cross the railway at some surely not recommended but commonly used place, I had to find my way through underbrush and over small footpaths, also jump a small creek, but I got to the other side, and it even hardly had been a detour.
It had taken me about 30 minutes to get to the hash, I still had 40 minutes to document the point and get back. Of course I tried the route which stayed on the northern side of the railway line now, still more running than walking, and when I finally was back to the station, there were almost ten minutes left. Significantly exhausted, but I had made it, and reached Bratislava in time.