World Heritage Trail, Wachau, Day 1

The Wachau Valley is a stretch of land along the Danube in Austria dedicated by

UNESCO as World Heritage Site. It is the land of my ancestors and here, I also was

born and raised.  For two weeks, I rediscovered it by walking through the valley on a

trail called World Heritage Trail (Welterbesteig).  It was a coming home.  Coming

home as an intimate connection with everything around, with nature, culture and

people.  I would love to share some of my experiences with you.

I started the trail close to my home village in the Benedictine monastery of Göttweig.

For hundreds of years the connection between the monastery and my ancestors was

very close. I love the thick stone walls and the silence behind them. Sometimes, I go

there for silent retreats.


West side of the Benedictine monastery of Göttweig


When I started the trek, the apricot trees were in full bloom. Apricot blossoms are

very fragile and only last  a few days. The beauty of impermanence was stunning.






Black song bird in blooming apricot tree



Pathway to Krems with wine cellars to the left






Born and raised in a village along the Danube in Austria, Traude Wild soon ventured out into the world. After a two-year program for tourism in Klesheim/Salzburg, she spent nearly a year in South Africa and Namibia. By returning back to Austria, she acquired a Master of Economics at the University of Vienna. After moving to the United States with her four children, she studied Art History at Arizona State University and stayed in the United States for fourteen years. Here, she was teaching Art History in several Universities like Webster University and University of Missouri-St. Louis. Now, she lives partially in Arizona and Vienna and works together with her husband for the University of South-Carolina, Moore School of business as Adjunct Professor organising and leading Study tours in Central Europe. She also teaches at the Sigmund Freud University in Vienna. Since 1999, she is practicing Zen meditation in the lineage of Katagiri Roshi. She loves to hike and to write and is a student of Natalie Goldberg. During her often many weeks long hikes she brings her awareness into the Here and Now, describing her experiences in an authentic way. She loves to walk pilgrimages. The longest hike so far was the 1,400 km long 88 Temple pilgrimage in Shikoku, Japan in 2016.

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  1. Dear Traude,

    I love looking at the photos. They make me homesick for Europe. I love the way you appreciate all the beauty that surrounds you. I’m envious how you keep walking all over the world. Much love, Erica

    • Dear Erica, I had the report of this hike for a long time in my draft folder and finally decided to publish it. I am very happy that you appreciate it. There is so much beauty in this world! Your message of “Keep walking, despite of all of it” on your blog is so inspiring…..
      Much love and big, warm hug, Traude


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