Through a ravine, a path formed by rainwater and hundreds of years of use by
wagons and people, I walked by vineyards and apricot orchards to the city of
Mautern. In the vineyards, the dandelions started to turn into seeds. The wind was
blowing the cherry blossoms to the ground and it started to rain.
The view from the village of Rossatz to Dürnstein was gorgeous. Before I continued
my hike, I watched the festival for St. Florian, the patron saint of the firemen. The
local wind ensemble marched together with women wearing Dirndl and Goldhaube
(national costume with golden hat) through the village and then to the church.
A sweet smell of lilac and other spring flowers filled the space of the little church in
Hofarnsdorf. The decoration was done for the Maiandacht, a celebration in honor of
Virgin Mary. It reminded me of my childhood, when we village children brought the
most beautiful flowers from our gardens in order to make the chapel for the May
devotion as beautiful as possible.
From the Carthusian monastery Aggsbach, I walked up into the area of the
Dunkelsteinerwald (dark stone wood). It is a huge forest area where one can get lost.
In the meadows and along the trail, lots of different plants were growing.
I remembered my grandmother explaining the plants to us when we went for a walk
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.
When leaving Aggsbach Markt, an old lady with snow white hair
looked out of her window and started to chat with me. Soon another
woman stopped on her way to the grocery store. They were full of stories from the past.
The area around Maria Laach is farmland and especially used for cultivating
Christmas trees. Winters are cold and even in the summer, nights stay cool –
a good condition for growing fir trees. The meadows in the summer are often covered
with gorgeous flowers. Here, life has a slower pace than in the valley.