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Preparation for the European Peace Walk


Organizing the guide book

Organizing the guide “book”.

I printed out the guide “book” each PeaceWalker received via email.  And then went through all the various updates I’ve received by email, making annotations as needed.  Believing that I was saving on weight, I printed the guide at 50% normal size.

The conversation went like this:

My Back: Hey, your pack is going to be heavy.  How’z about you print that half size?

My Ego: Good idea. All your ideas are so great.

My Eyes: Um…problem here guys.  We can’t really read that.

My Ego: Yes you can.  No problem with the eyes.  You see it just fine. Your eyes are like hawk eyes.

European Peace Walk Banner

European Peace Walk Banner

My Eyes: Well, actually, we have to squint really hard. It hurts. And it’s blurry.

My Ego: Blurry but you can still read it!  No problems.  You’re not nearly that age when you need glasses!  You are vital and wonderful.

My Back: Thanks guys.

My Eyes: Does this say when I reach Bratislava I should follow the golden unicorn into the hunter’s lodge?

Ego won, but I’ll be damned if I can read it.  No time to print it full size anyway.

My scallop shell from the Camino

My scallop shell from the Camino


In honor of those who donated to my European Peace Walk Fund, my mother helped me make a ribbon banner with the names of those who contributed plus I added a few names of those who have inspired and helped me over the years.  I will carry this the length of the journey.  It is ready to go.


I packed my bag, desperately trying to carry only essentials but alas I believe now, after merely carrying it airports, that I have failed miserably.  It weighs roughly 13 kilos (28 pounds).  Technology is the heaviest culprit – computer, cords, videocamera, phone, batteries etc…  I thought technology was supposed to make our lives simpler.

My bag is topped with the scallop shell which accompanied me throughout the Camino de Santiago.  It’s fun to be taking it on another long walk.

Ready for the road?

Ready for the road?

My packing list will follow so you can see how you would do it better.


As far as training goes, I have done none.  Which is likely not intelligent.  I weigh 30 pounds more than I did on the Camino and I’m two years older so we’ll see how that works out.  I’m fairly certain I will pay for my folly.  In fact, I’m sure of it.  But for study purposes, I am entering into this adventure as your average middle-aged couch potato.



  1. I’m not seeing your packing list, so I can’t comment on it. But I agree, you’ll be in for some trouble with that much weight. Couldn’t you have managed with an iPhone and a GoPro?

    Can you comment on how well (or not) the preparatory materials (“Guide book” + updates) met your needs? Are you staying in one of the EPW-recommended lodgings? You obviously chose the hostel – was there also a hotel recommendation? Where are these places – near the Stefensdom and Altstadt or further out?

    Gute Reise!

    • I need more than an iPhone and a GoPro because I am trying to document this experience for you, dear reader. I can’t comment on the quality of the guide because I have not set out yet. It is mostly directions. I chose the hostel recommended by the EPW. The name is MEININGER Hotel Wien Downtown Franz and here there are budget rooms and hostel beds. Close by is the MEININGER Hotel Wien Downtown Sissi which I understand to be of higher quality and more expensive although I have not checked personally. These are the two places recommended by EPW. They are within easy walking distance of Stefensdom in “a second district of Leopoldstadt between Augarten and the Danube canal”.

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