Mariazell Weg, Day 4

It was raining when I left the Hotel in Wegscheid, but it did not bother me. I was well equipped. After I left the village, each step brought me into a more serene landscape with neither road nor a house in sight. The lush vegetation and the fast streaming water of the Kamp river together with the warm and soft rainfall seemed nearly unreal.



Kamp River




Somebody’s art project


The path beside the river and up to the remote ruin of Schauenstein was lined with tasteful posters of local plants combined sometimes with poems. I enjoyed each of them.



Poster of the dandelion with the Latin name combined with the saying “Wherever you are going, go with your full heart.”



Although the walk up to the Schauenstein ruin was a detour, I was curious about it. The ruin is considered to be one of the oldest castles of the Kamp valley and was started in the 10th century as a fortification against invaders from Bohemia. Located over 1 800 feet above the Kamptal, it promised a good view over the valley.



Castle tower of Schauenstein


The former castle was considered a gem in the Kamptal and was besieged several times. It probably was destroyed during the 30 year war (1618 – 1648) by Swedish forces.



The ruin is now home for beautiful flowers, like the mullein. (I like the German name  “Königskerze” much better – candle of the king)






Entrance gate to Schauenstein



The view down into the Kamp Valley was mysterious and magical.


On a very slippery path, I walked down into the valley and continued trough a jungle of high grasses and bushes.


Legs and feet got soaking wet. Also, tics were landing on arms, head and legs. Those tiny creatures carry dangerous sicknesses and I constantly removed them from my body.



The path often was blocked by uprooted and fallen trees. Past rains made the soil too soft to hold the roots.



Snails loved the wet ground


The path leads up to a rock pulpit with a gorgeous view down to the Kamp valley. A statue of St. Nepomuk, the protector of bridges, stands near the vertical cliffs. This statue was intriguing – with incredible tenderness he holds the cross, overgrown by thick moss. Moss also is growing on his shoulders and hands. It reminded me of statues of Bodhisvattas and Jizu I had seen in Japan.





St. Nepomuk


Walking down into the valley brought me again to the Kamp River with flowers blooming in abundance.






A perfect resting place under a blooming Linden tree and protected from the rain







The purple flower is called stone Elke, one of my favourite flowers. It loves dry and barren soil



When I reached Rosenburg, one of the most beautiful castles of Austria, I still had to walk about 5 miles to the village Tautendorf, where I planned to stay overnight.



Castle Rosenburg seen from the Kamp Valley






I reached the village of Tautendorf in the evening. I had walked over 22 miles taking more than 57 000 steps. No wonder my legs were hurting and I felt really tired.

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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