Leaving the town of Melk, the path took me over meadows, fields and forests down
to the Danube. Heavy fortification walls protected the castle of Schönbühel.
I have always loved this place. In the distance, dark clouds were approaching.
Slowly, it started to rain.
Heavy mist slowly covered the valley. The rain made everything fresh and clean.
In the forest, snails and fire salamander came out of their hiding places. The fire
salamander got it‘s name from the superstitious belief that the secretion of the fire
salamander extinguishes fire. In order to stop a fire in the past, these animals were
thrown into it.
I stayed overnight opposite a former Carthusian monastery. The first monastery of
this orders started in Chartreuse, France in the 12th century. Carthusian monks are
mostly hermits and dedicated to silence. In the 18th century, Emperor Josef II
dissolved all contemplative order, so this monastery was dissolved. The church with
the cloistered courtyard still exists. I loved the simplicity of the buildings. I still
could feel the energy of hundreds of years long contemplation and silence.
No wind disturbed the water of the fishpond. It provided a perfect mirror image of
the surroundings. The long, narrow single nave with the cross rib vaults gave me a
feeling of serenity and peace.