The wind in Vienna can be really fierce, and at times, like last night, when we have a wintery weather front blowing through, it can sound pretty intimidating up here. We’re up on the 6th floor (counting in the US way, where the ground floor is the first floor) and our west-facing windows are pretty well unobstructed by buildings or trees, so when the wind that whips down out of the Alps sweeps down across the Austrian lowlands and over Vienna, we get feel it very strongly. Blustery doesn’t begin to cover it — it feels like the whole top floor is going to blow right off the building.
Our windows rattle and the wind tears through any less than perfect seals (which seems to be most of them). The sound of the wind moaning and howling is enough to wake the kids and unsettle an adult. There’s a German word that I love, raunen, that means the moaning sound that the wind makes. It’s perfect for what we experience up here on a chilly, late-autumn evening with the wind whistling through the cracks and blowing leaves up to our windows (and into our terrace) from the courtyard over 50 feet below us.
Vienna doesn’t mess around with the wind, and it doesn’t mess around with winter. Things have been mild so far this autumn, but it is changing, right now. We went from a high around 15 C yesterday (about 60 F) to a low of -1 C (about 30 F) tonight.
So, we close up all the windows, crank up the radiators, snuggle under a blanket and listen to the raunen of the wind. It’s just a part of getting ready for winter in Vienna.