World Heritage Trail, Wachau, Day 3

When I left Dürnstein, the sound of church bells filled the valley.  Each church bell in

the villages sounds differently, yet they are tuned to each other.  From the bakery, the

smell of fresh bread surrounded me.  This bread is famous in the valley and is called

Wachauer Laberl.

On the stone walls of the hundreds of years old terraces, plants grow under difficult

conditions.  These plants are survivors. I had forgotten how much I loved this

vegetation.  The stone walls are home for many animals.  One of them is the green

lizard.  In German, it is called a Smaragdeidechse.  The best wine of the Wachau is

named after it.

Green lizard (Emerald lizard is the German translation)
Green lizard (Emerald lizard is the German translation)


Because of the difficult access to the terraces and the tiny fields, all of the work in the

vineyards has to be done by hand. As a child, I worked in the vineyards too.  Every

season, work has to be done.  Even in winter, the farmer has little rest. At this time,

the vines have to be cut.

In the evening, I arrived at the city of Weißenkirchen.


Green lizard (Emerald lizard is the German translation)
Green lizard (Emerald lizard is the German translation)


 Field worker with handspray
Field worker with handspray



 Field worker with handspray
Field worker with handspray



 Gothic church of Weißenkirchen
Gothic church of Weißenkirchen


In Weißenkirchen, I visited the Raffelsbergerhof, once the home of a Schiffsmeister

(shipowner). A Schiffsmeister had the right to own ships on the Danube. My

ancestors were also Schiffsmeisters. Before the steam motor was invented, these

ships were barges which had to be pulled upstream by horses. Until the 19th century,

there existed a law that those who wanted to work on a barge were not allowed to

know how to swim. In case of a shipwreck, everybody would try to save the barge at

all cost. Barges were more worth than human life. In the 18th century, this lead to a

disaster for my family and the village I am from. Two of my male ancestors and half

of the men of the village drowned in the Danube.


Raffelsbergerhof, Renaissancebuilding, 16th century
Raffelsbergerhof, Renaissancebuilding, 16th century


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.

Related Stories



Camino Primitivo, Day 20

 LIRES – MUXIA   Until the evening, heavy mist covered the coastline to Muxia. I was...

Camino Primitivo, Day 19

FISTERRE –LIRES   It was hard to leave the albergue this morning. I was very tempted...

Camino Primitivo, Day 18

 SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA – FISTERRE   In Celtic times and even before, Cape Finisterre was considered...

Camino Primitivo, Day 16 /17

 MONTE DO GOZO – SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA   The history of Santiago de Compostela is closely...

Camino Primitivo, Day 15

 RAS – MONTE DEL GOZO   Although my knee wanted a rest, I did not want...

Camino Primitivo, Day 14

 MELIDE – RAS   Already in early morning, masses of pilgrims where pushing forward toward Santiago....

Popular Categories



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Discover more from Simply.Just.Walking

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading