Every participant may take part in one of five excursions. Below you will find short descriptions of the planned excursions. Your are free to choose the most appealing option! Be aware of the fact that you will need proper shoes and clothing for the hiking options and that in case of bad wheather their destinations may change as given in the description. The costs of the wohle trip are covered by the conference fee (except for trip 4: Dachstein).
Viennas splendid historical face is made up of grand imperial palaces and bombastic baroque interiors, museums flanking magnificent squares and, above all, the Hofburg – where the Habsburg rulers lived, loved and married into empires. Thus the captial city of Austria is also listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Just as compelling as the old Habsburg stand-bys are the wonderful Jugendstil and early Modernist buildings, products of the era of Freud, Klimt, Schiele, Mahler and Schönberg, when the city's famous coffeehouses were filled with intellectuals from every corner of the empire. Vienna also holds one of the world's greatest art collections in the Kunsthistorisches Museum.
Our tour will guide you through the 'old town', with the Stephansdom at the center of a bullseye. Then we will explore the Ringstraße (Ring Road), a grand boulevard constructed along the old city walls, whereas many famous buildings, including the City Hall, the Austrian Parliament, the Hofburg Palace, and the State Opera House can be found. In the afternoon you will have the possibility to visit one of the following museums:
The Bärenschütz gorge is one of the most impressive water-bearing cliff gorges in Austria. A hiking trail takes you up to the gorge whereupon most parts of the trail head directly through the gorge via wooden stairs and bridges that have been installed between the cliffs, allowing you to take a look at the cliffs that reach up to 300 meters. The whole ascend takes about 2.5 hours and we will than countinue further on using a rather flat trail to reach the Teichalm, a mountain meadow including a lake, where the bus will pick us up again.
The hiking trail through the gorge is easily accessible with no need for special hiking skills, instead of a minimum of physical condition and a pair of proper shoes. Furthermore, one should have no fear of heights.
This trip will take you into the southeastern region of styria where you can taste choclate and wine and have a look over the vineyards and valleys from an old castle.
The more than 850-year-old Riegersburg is situated on the rock of a volcanic mountain and offers a marvellous view over the gentle valleys and splendid vineyards of South-East Styria. The bulwark itself has never been conquered in the centuries of its history and the ascent to the castle follows three kilometres of defence walls with loopholes, seven archways and eleven bastions.
In the Zotter chocolate manufactory a range of 150 different handmade chocolates is made, which are organic and fair trade. The tour will provide an insight into the production of chocolate whereas you walk over paths of glass through the factory. Furthermore you can satisfy your chocolate appetite at several nibble-stations such as the Running Chocolate Bar.
Finally we will take a short walk through the vineyards of the region and you will get the possibility to taste a few vines that are made here, commented by a professional sommelier.
The Dachstein is the highest mountain in Styria reaching almost 3000 meters. Parts of the strongly karstic mountain massif are covered by glaciers. We will start by ascending the mountain using a cable car that takes us up to 2700 meters. At the mountain station the so called Sky Walk, an observation platform, offers a great panoramic view with hundreds of mountain peaks in good weather. We will then continue further on, over a prepared glacier path to the highest shelter lodge of the Dachstein at 2741 meters with marvelous views to the southern cliff wall of the Dachstein.
The mountain tour is rather simple however, you should bear in mind to be prepared for the glacier walk i.e. warm clothes and good hiking shoes. Again, one should have no fear of heights. Due to the high costs of the cable car tickets everyone willing to participate in this trip will have to pay an extra fee (about € 10).
Take a day off at a swimming lake. Just bring a towel and your bathing suits!