HAEi Jakobsweg Walk 2018 – information for all pilgrims

Buen Camino, HAE pilgrims!
Thank you for signing up for the HAEi Jakobsweg Walk 2018 — we look very much forward to walking with you and the many other HAE pilgrims.

On this page, you will find answers to all the questions related to the event that we can possibly answer. If it is not here – we don’t know, really. PLEASE read to the end as we would like to make sure that you come well prepared for the HAEi Jakobsweg Walk.

Now there are 170 of us
Counting our guide from Austria we are now 170 participants from 22 countries: United States (56), Brazil (15), Argentina (14), Austria (13), Denmark (11), Canada (10), Australia (8), Italy (7), Mexico (7),  Spain (4), United Kingdom (4), Switzerland (3), Venezuela (3), Belgium (2), Germany (2), New Zealand (2), Norway (2), Peru (2), Romania (2), South Africa (2), Chile (1), Ireland (1), and United Arab Emirates (1).

We expect to have around 95 HAE pilgrims for Stage 1, approx. 120 for Stage 2, slightly more for Stage 3, and then around 120 for Stage 4. With so many people coming in from all over the world there is a risk of last minute cancellations due to delayed flights etc. but we hope and pray that all 170 HAE pilgrims can make it to Vienna and take part in the stage(s) they have planned for.

The four stages
The HAEi Jakobsweg Walk 2018 consists of four stages. You will find a description of the basic information in the following — and then more on how to get there.

Note: To get to Schwechat go to the train station Wien Mitte and at 08:27 take train S1, arrival 08:41, remember to buy your own ticket (2,40 EUR).

  • STAGE 1 — 16 May
    • Section: Jakobskirche Schwechat to Basilika Kaisermühlen
    • Distance: 14,8 km = approx. 3 hours
    • Expected number of HAE pilgrims: 95
    • Departure Jakobskirche Schwechat: 09:00 (PLEASE NOTE: We start 30 minutes earlier than mentioned in the first newsletter)
    • Arrival Basilika Kaisermühlen: Around 12:00
  • STAGE 2 — 16 May
    • Section: Basilika Kaisermühlen (Schüttauplatz) to Stephansdom
    • Distance: 5,1 km = approx. 1 hour
    • Expected number of HAE pilgrims: 120
    • Departure Basilika Kaisermühlen: 12:30
    • Arrival Stephansdom: No later than 14:00
  • STAGE 3 — 16 May
    • Section: Stephansdom to Schloss Schönbrunn
    • Distance: 5,5 km = approx. 1 hour 30 minutes
    • Expected number of HAE pilgrims: 121
    • Departure Stephansdom (Stephansplatz 3): 15:00
    • Arrival Schloss Schönbrunn: Around 16:30
  • STAGE 4 — 17 May
    • Section: Schloss Schönbrunn to Jakobskirche Purkersdorf
    • Distance: 12,6 km = approx. 2 hours 30 minutes
    • Expected number of HAE pilgrims: 120
    • Departure Schloss Schönbrunn: 10:00
    • Arrival Jakobskirche Purkersdorf: Around 13:00

PLEASE NOTE: We do not count people before the beginning of each stage. If you are there when the walking begins you walk with us — if you are not there for whatever reason that is your choice.

How to get there

  • It is your own responsibility to get to the starting point of the stage or stages you take part in
  • You have to arrange and pay for all transport yourself
  • Remember to bring money (EUR) for transport etc.
  • We will be leaving at the scheduled times — in other words no waiting for latecomers.

It is up to you what you want to do in order to get to the starting point(s) in good time — here are the suggestions from our Jakobsweg partner in Vienna:


  • 07:45 — Meet other HAE pilgrims right outside the conference hotel Hilton Vienna
  • 08:00 — Go to the train station Wien Mitte (next to the hotel); our guide will be at the entrance from 08:00
  • Buy your ticket (2,40 EUR)
  • 08:27 — Take train S1
  • 08:41 — Arrive in Schwechat; the guide will take the group to the starting point
  • 09:00 — We start walking from Schwechat.


  • If you are signed up to start from Stage 2 you can take metro U1 to Vienna International Center and walk <1 km to Basilika Kaisermühlen
  • 12:30 — We start walking from Basilika Kaisermühlen
  • PLEASE NOTE: If your walk starts with Stage 2 you are welcome to contact your fellow HAEi pilgrim Tamsin van Vlaanderen at dejonghtc@hotmail.com in order to make travel arrangements to Basilika Kaisermühlen together.


  • If you are signed up to start from Stage 3 there is a short walk (approx. 500 meters) from Hilton Vienna to Stephansplatz 3
  • 14:00 — If you are walking Stage 1, Stage 2 or Stage 3 please join us for the Welcome Reception at the Vienna Archdiocese, Stephansplatz 3 (see later)
  • 15:00 — We walk from Stephansdom (Stephansplatz 3)
  • If you are walking Stage 3 you can take the metro U4 back to Hilton Vienna (approx. 12 minutes) — we will try to form one or more groups so no-one needs to go back on their own.
  • PLEASE NOTE: If your walk starts with Stage 3 you are welcome to contact your fellow HAE pilgrim Trine Balle Boysen at tbb@haescan.org in order to make travel arrangements to Stephansplatz 3 together.


  • 08:45 — Meet other HAE pilgrims right outside the conference hotel Hilton Vienna
  • 09:00 — Go to the train station Wien Mitte (next to the hotel); the guide will at the entrance from 09:00
  • Buy your ticket (2,40 EUR)
  • Take metro U4 (approx. 12 minutes)
  • 10:00 — We start walking from Schloss Schönbrunn
  • From Purkersdorf there is a train connection back to central Vienna — we will try to form one or more groups so no-one needs to go back on their own.

Blessing from the Bishop
Between Stage 2 and Stage 3, there will be a welcome event at the Vienna Archdiocese, Stephansplatz 3 — next to Stephansdom (St. Stephen’s Cathedral). Here Bishop Franz Scharl will speak to and bless the HAE pilgrims before the walk. This event will also include finger food and drinks — and everyone walking one or more stages of the HAEi Jakobsweg Walk 2018 is welcome to attend. The event starts at 14:00 and we leave for Stage 3 at 15:00.

Get your HAEi Pilgrim’s Pass
Every pilgrim gets an HAEi Pilgrim’s Pass with basic information on the stages and how to get to the starting points. It also includes space for stamps that you might collect along the route through Vienna.

You can get you HAEi Pilgrim’s Pass

(1) When picking up your T-shirt before the walk (see below)

(2) From the HAEi representative Steen Bjerre who will be joining you on all of the walks – go talk to him before the start of the stage where you join the HAEi Jakobsweg Walk. This is the guy:

What is included in the price?
The 30 EUR for participation in the walk (regardless if you walk one, more or all stages) have been paid by the HAE pilgrims already. The fee covers the planning of the event as well as a T-shirt (provided that you didn’t sign up later than 26 April 2018). PLEASE NOTE: The fee does not include meals, drinks or any kind of transportation.

What about accommodation before and after the event?
You will have to make arrangements yourself for your stay before the beginning of the walk — and after we get back.

Advice about footwear
You can use athletic shoes that have a relatively thick sole and that should be about a half size bigger than your normal size, and better if they are wide because the walking, heat, etc. causes your feet to swell. If using boots, mid-cut or backpacking boots will suffice. Boots shouldn’t be too high because they can get to be uncomfortable.

It is very important to break in shoes or boots — you should not use footwear for the first time on the HAEi Jakobsweg Walk.

A spare pair of hiking shoes or boots is not necessary; the most important thing, when you finish walking, is to have something dry to put on (sneakers or other light shoes). If it is raining during the walk, there is no point in changing shoes; if the weather clears, the walking itself will end up drying your footwear.

What about physical fitness?
It is advisable to adequately train prior to departure. A good way to do this is to go out walking once or twice a week. We advise that you carry a backpack on these walks to get your body used to it. If you are not accustomed to walking, you should begin training with short steps, which will gradually be lengthened until you can go the distance of the HAEi Jakobsweg Walk stage(s) you will be doing. If you are not able to train before starting our walk, the best training is on the route itself — but you should begin gently and gradually increase the pace.

Walking techniques
For those not used to walking, and of course depending on factors like age, body weight, and backpack, we advise that you begin slowly. When picking up speed, take regular, continuous steps and, as far as possible, at an even, rhythmic pace.

Before beginning to walk, it is also good to do some stretches, especially of the legs, by placing the hands on a wall and gradually bending over with the soles of the feet placed firmly on the ground until you note some tension behind the knees.

While walking, you should always keep up a pace that is comfortable for you and that allows you to hold a conversation without having to catch your breath. Walking should be as natural as breathing. On flat terrain, you should take normal steps — neither too long nor too short; uphill you should take shorter steps and go slower, placing the foot with the whole sole on the ground to prevent excessive strain on certain parts of the body. Going downhill, and whenever the ground so permits, steps should be longer and faster, digging in the heels.

You will end up taking thousands of steps, but you should not be careless with a single one and you should always look where you are walking; a misstep could require you to give up. Therefore, especially on rough, uneven terrain with loose stones or pebbles, you should always be careful where you step.

If you are with people who walk faster, you should not try to keep up their pace because you could end up exhausted. Therefore, it is advisable that the best walkers stay at the back and not set the pace for the rest.

It is advisable to use a staff when going both uphill and downhill; this also makes walking less monotonous.

What if I cannot walk?
Everyone signing up must be ready and able to participate in and finish the walk. However, if someone is unable to participate due to HAE attack, injury or exhaustion they are obviously free to drop out or not show up.


  • If you drop out you will be on your own as the other pilgrims (including the guide and people from HAEi) will continue the walk.
  • Unlike for the Camino walks in Spain in 2016 and 2017 there will be no accompanying bus.
  • There will be no refund if you decide to drop out or not show up.

Weather report

We will be at the end of springtime — one of the best periods to visit Vienna. The weather is getting summery and the warmest days the temperature reaches 20+ degrees C. However, it can still be pretty cool during evening and night hours. There are usually a number of May days with rain so come prepared.

Is there a T-shirt?
There is an official HAEi Jakobsweg Walk 2018 T-shirt (provided that you have signed up before 26 April 2018). Keep it as a memory of your participation or wear it during the walk — that is all up to you. There are two ways to get your T-shirt:

(1) Tuesday 15 May 2018 between 17:00 and 20:00 — Pick up the T-shirt at the HAEi registration desk at Hilton Vienna

(2) After Tuesday: Pick up the T-shirt at the registration desk at Hilton Vienna when you register for the HAE Global Conference 2018.

PLEASE NOTE: You will not be able to pick up the T-shirt before leaving for the first stage Wednesday morning as the registration desk is not manned at that time.

Bring a light backpack
It is a good idea to bring a light backpack with these basic contents:

  • Water bottle/canteen
  • Hat/cap
  • Scarf for the neck
  • Pilgrim’s staff or walking stick(s)
  • Slicker/raincoat
  • Small towel
  • Trekking shorts, T-shirt, sweatshirt or tracksuit
  • Sneakers/other light shoes (for relaxation)
  • Small first-aid kit with aspirin, sunscreen, band-aids, iodized antiseptic, Vaseline, etc.
  • Sunglasses
  • Personal documents (ID card, health insurance card, credit card)
  • Money — both coins and notes (for transportation, food, water etc.)
  • Small pocket knife
  • Mobile phone and charger.

Tell the media at home
As the HAEi Jakobsweg Walk 2018 is very much about spreading awareness we suggest that you tell your local media that you will participate in the walk. If you need background information onHAE, HAEi and/or the HAEi Jakobsweg Walk 2018 feel free to send an e-mail to s.bjerre@haei.org.

What about food?
Food is the daily fuel to be able to complete the walks. A good breakfast is important (tea or coffee, dairy products, toast, fruit or juice, etc.), and during the walk it is advisable to regularly drink water and have a snack but never to walk on a full stomach. There are places to buy food and water along the route but we recommend that you bring supplies before the start of the stage. The currency in Austria is Euro (EUR) — remember to bring both coins and notes for transportation, food, water etc.

Social media
Please help us spread the news about the HAEi Jakobsweg Walk 2018 on social media — feel free to use the official hashtag #haeijakobsweg. Also, you can follow the walk on a number of social media:

Share your pictures
If you take pictures during the event please feel free to send them by email to s.bjerre@haei.org. Then HAEi will make sure to share pictures with your fellow Jakobsweg pilgrims as well as the global HAE family in general.

Our partner
The association Jakobsweg Vienna (Verein Jakobsweg Wien) is our partner helping to plan and carry out the HAEi Jakobsweg Walk 2018. The Chairman of the association, Stephan Aigner, will be our guide both days and we expect that a number of pilgrims from Vienna and maybe other parts of Austria will join us for one or more of the stages.

Travel insurance
You have to take care of all travel insurance yourself — there is no collective insurance included in the walk.

The background
After the successful HAEi/AEDAF Camino Walk on the Camino de Santiago in northwestern Spain in May 2016 and May 2017, we are organizing yet another walk. In order to raise awareness, we bring together HAE friends — patients, relatives, caregivers, doctors, nurses, and industry — for the HAEi Jakobsweg Walk 2018. Just as for the previous walks this is a mutual experience in honor of the global hae day :-) and this time we will be walking part of the pilgrimage route Jakobsweg Wien (The Way of St. James) through Vienna, Austria.

Camino de Santiago, Way of St. James, and Jakobsweg are names in different languages for the same thing: A huge network of pilgrims’ ways leading to the shrine of the apostle St. James the Great in the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Galicia in northwestern Spain, where tradition has it that the remains of the saint are buried. Many follow its routes as a form of spiritual path or retreat for their spiritual growth. Traditionally, as with most pilgrimages, the Way of St. James began at one’s home and ended at the pilgrimage site, often following highly traveled routes through Europe. One of these traditional routes goes right through Vienna — and that is the one we will be walking for the HAEi Jakobsweg Walk 2018.

Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela began around the year 950 but the ancient roads through Vienna are far older as Roman roads were already present when the pilgrimage began. One of these Roman roads connected the garrison cities Aquincum (Budapest), Brigetio (Komaron) and Carnuntum (Altenburg) with Vindobona (Vienna). The Way of St. James, which starts in Budapest, also takes this route. Indeed, the Romans knew how to build very durable roads.

Remember to dress accordingly
Please remember that the Jakobsweg deserves respect, regardless of your religious belief. Therefore you should dress with decorum although not at the expense of comfort. Above all you should be respectful when entering churches and chapels and be careful with your attire and composure. We should be as clean and tidy as possible — and refrain from bringing radios and other noisy devices on the Jakobsweg.

Signposting on the Jakobsweg
There are signposts with the St. James’s scallop along all of the Jakobsweg through Vienna. Also, we will provide you with a description of the route when we are closer to the event dates. The first signposts were mounted in 2017 and are now all along the walk through Vienna.

Design for the walk
The British graphic designer Leo Griffin of KONXION/leogriffin.dk was so very kind as to donate a logo for the first Camino Walk in 2016. We used the same logo in 2017 — and with a change to the text, we use it this year as well. Feel free to use the logo in your social media postings and other information on your participation in the event.

The HAEi Global Walk 2018
HAEi is once again arranging the HAEi Global Walk. You can participate wherever you are. All you need to do is:

(1) Walk any distance you like wherever you like — on your own or together with others,

(2) Go to the campaign website at www.haeday.org, and

(3) Enter your walk.

HAEi will then add your steps to those of all the people doing the HAEi Jakobsweg Walk 2018.

The campaign is open until 31 May 2018 — and you are free to enter as many walks as you like. A small walk alone around your block, a weekend stroll with friends, an event with many participants or indeed your preparations for the HAEi Jakobsweg Walk 2018 — it’s all up to you. Every step counts.

If you have questions before we meet in Vienna please contact the HAEi Jakobsweg Walk 2018 team:

Should you have questions regarding the HAEi Jakobsweg Walk when you are in Vienna these will be the people to contact:

  • Steen Bjerre: +45 22 20 46 01
  • Nevena Tsarovska: +45 25 94 02 80

However, please first consult the information above — you should be able to find answers to your questions there.

See you 16-17 May in Vienna, Austria for the HAEi Jakobsweg Walk 2o18

Buen Camino!

2018-05-15T15:33:33+02:00May 8, 2018|HAEi News|