I like surprises, and today I unexpectedly find myself some 60km from Wien, on a whistlestop tour of Wieselburg. I’m here for just two short hours, so I’ve got a lot to cram in. Getting here has been an experience. The journey starts with a short 5 minute trip to Wien Hauptbahnhof on one of the old Marchegg single-engine diesel units. These are so retro that I love them. From the old, it waits 25 minutes until I board a modern Railjet to Munich. I’m not heading to München, instead, I get off at St. Pölten, a Personal favourite place of mine and subject to its own wander in the future. At St. Pölten I cross the platform for the Amstetten train. Here it’s very much old fashioned, complete with your own cabin. 25 minutes later, it’s off again at Pöchlarn and into my final train, the regional train to Sriebbs calling at Wieselburg/Erlauf. To my surprise I find myself back in the old-style diesel I started the journey on. The final leg turns decidedly quaint and rural and reminds me very much of the old Valleys lines back in Wales. A mere one hour forty since I got on the first train, I’m here. Let’s get cracking.
Wieselburg is famous for one thing, the awesome Wieselburger bier. I pass the brewery on the way into the station and it’s a big operation. There’s no time to waste though as the clock is ticking. Today, I’m trying something new. The DSLR that accompanies me on these trips is having a day off. Instead, I’m carrying a fairly modern compact camera. The compact camera has many advantages. For one, It can slip into my pocket easily. It also has a much higher pixel count than its big sister the Nikon D70s. With 20 million pixels I should manage to capture more detail. The other advantage is that the compact Nikon is much less noticeable than the DSLR, allowing me the chance to capture a candid shot. Dressed all in black I’m usually particularly noticeable, so the lower profile camera could be a bit of a bonus. I’ll see the results when I get home though.
From the station, I follow the signs for the Stadtzentrum. I’ve had little time to plan so signs help. The Zentrum isn’t that far as it happens, no more than a few hundred meters. A large mall greets me. The mall is called the city Centre and t contains all the usual suspects. Leaving the mall to its own devices I spot the main high street and the Rathaus. The Rathaus has a fantastic clock painted on it. It’ll need photographing that’s for sure. Along the street, I spot a lone soldier statute across the street. He’s dressed in WW1 garb. As I’ve noted before, it’s easy to forget that Austria lost many during the Great War. Everyone fights with the belief their doing the right thing for their country. No one wins, however. Funnily enough, at Hauptbahnhof this morning I saw an advert for a museum that states ‘wars belong in a museum’. It’s not wrong.
As time is short, I choose a path to my right and head that way. Not a wise choice as it happens. The road leads me in no short a time to the edge of Wieselburg. Oops. I do find something interesting though. In addition to Wieselburg the brewery town, Wieselburg is home to a farming livestock market. The market sits at the edge of the town and is impressively modern. It s joined by the Messe Wieselburg centre that hosts all kinds of conferences and trade shows.
For me, the whole area is interesting because of the cute bridge that crosses the river. There are ducks. I love ducks. As I photograph the ducks though, I feel something deeply unfamiliar. Rain. It’s just a few spots but I’m not happy about it.
Beating a fairly hasty retreat, I make for the town. The spitting rain is holding off for now, but I fear my time is going to be cut shorter than I’d like. Stubbornly I push on and with just a few spots causing issues I head left from where I chose right and find a gorgeous view across the river
A few snaps later and I’m climbing a hill to the church I’ve just spotted on a hill. The church is old with plaques from the 1700s adorning its walls. There are a few memorials up here two including a Jewish memorial. The rain is starting to get worse.
I head back downhill and spot a few cool artworks across the road on the wall of a butcher. It’s pretty nice stuff if your, not a pig. The butchers even have their own cafe to try the goods.
I turn back to the Stadt Zentrum as the spots of rain become a little more frequent. Along the river, the view is undeniably pretty, despite the various bridges. I spot a few statues at a local park that are just begging for a picture. It’s the last picture I take, as a raindrop falls directly on the lens.
It’s getting more heavy and the picking rain is now becoming just standard rain. It’s all over.
My two hours are cut to just one and I seek shelter in the nearest cafe. In the end, I end up in the Brauhaus Wieselburg. Two Wieselburger Biers help smooth my sorrows as the rain falls heavily outside. The Brauhaus is stunningly modern and I lament the crappy spar sandwich I ate on the train.
All too soon it’s time to head home. Wieselburg is a nice place and I’d like to come back and bring a big DSLR with me. I haven’t enjoyed using the compact camera that much. I prefer my trusty iPhone for the candid stuff and the DSLR for the bigger pics. So with that, I guess I’ll come back at some point.
Getting to Wieselburg isn’t that easy from Vienna. A train to Sankt Pölten, Then change onto the Amstetten service. This will lead you to Pochlarn where you can change to make your final connection to Wieselburg. Journey time is around 1 hour 35.
If you’d like to learn more about Wieselburg, check out the links below.