World Heritage Trail, Wachau, Day 9

In Emmersdorf, I met my high school friend Heidi.  It was pure coincidence.

She took part in the village festival of the 1st of May celebration. At this festival,

a May tree was erected on the village square by the local fire department.  The local

wind ensemble (Blasmusik) was playing folks music.  The women of the village wore

the traditional Dirndl, which is the national costume of the area. In the past, young

men tried to climb up the slippery barkless tree in order to touch the wreath and win

a prize. Fire departments and the Blasmusik (like marching band in the US) are

community building institutions. Nearly all young men are part of at least of one of

these groups.  Women also join now and even children are admitted.



Firemen erecting the May Tree
Firemen erecting the May Tree




 Blasmusik with French horn
Blasmusik with French horn


Heidi hiked with me to the city of Melk, where we met her friend Andrea.  In the

monastery garden, Andrea created an herb garden according to the writings of the

medieval herbalist Walahfrid Strabo. She explained the garden to us. The monastery

in Melk is famous for its incredible library, the imperial rooms and the church.




Heidi and myself
Heidi and myself



Benedictine Abbey of Melk
Benedictine Abbey of Melk


The herb garden consisted of 22 little sections, each with its own theme.  In former

times, monasteries were famous for their sophisticated herb gardens.






Part of the monastery herb garden
Part of the monastery herb garden


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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