Mariazellerweg, Day 2/3

Despite the work she had to do in the stable, my hostess took time to drive me back to Großschönau, from where I continued the hike. I often walked through dense vegetation and passed former mills along the Zwettl river.

 

 

 

 

Zwettl river

 

 

I did not have a phone connection most of the morning. At one point, I heard a “ding” in my phone -it was my cousin Renate asking me to call her back. She was already in the town Zwettl and wanted to walk towards me. However, the path was badly marked and we surely would have missed each other. So we decided to meet somewhere on the country road with her driving the car. With the help of locals, we managed to meet and drove to the nearby palace of Rosenau.

 

 

Baroque palace of Rosenau, now a museum of the order of the Free Masons.

 

 

 

Original ritual room where the Free Masons celebrated their secret brotherhood.

 

After the visit, we walked to Zwettl and left the car in the parking lot in Rosenau.

 

 

My cousin Renate.

 

 

We both love nature and often were in awe of the beauty we saw. At one point, we past a hundreds of year old oak tree standing alone in a wide meadow.

 

 

Designated natural monument, the oak tree

 

 

 

 

 

Zwettl is a picturesque town with many well renovated houses. The two fountains and the gazebo were created by the Austrian artist Hundertwasser.

 

We stayed overnight in the Hamerling Hotel and were advised to park the car the next day on a parking place close to lake Ottenstein. It was off my route, but we decided to walk partly around the lake and return to the car in the evening.

 

 

Lake Ottenstein is an artificial lake created in 1954 by damming up the Kamp river.

 

 

 

People use the lake for boating and swimming. Motor boats are not allowed, which keeps the area very quiet.

 

During the 12th century, many castles were built in this area to protect the population against invaders from Bohemia. Most of the castles are now in ruins. A few, however, remain intact – like the castle Ottenstein.

 

 

Castle Ottenstein

 

 

The castle is used as a hotel and a place for weddings. Because of the Corona Virus, everything was closed.

 

 

In the evening, Renate drove me to the town Wegscheid (place where the road splits) and left for home. I stayed in the only hotel of this tiny village and continued my pilgrimage the next day.

 

 

At the end of the day, after a long hike, I always love to drink a glass of beer.

gwwien
gwwienhttps://simplyjustwalking.com
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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    • This tree was the largest oak tree I ever have seen – and so healthy. I thought it would be over 1000 years old and we asked a couple who lived nearby. They said several hundred of years, but did not really know. It might be 1000 years – an incredible being!

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