Herzogenburg to Krems an der Donau, 25Km
Guesthouse Lurger 67 euros
The weather has been quite hot and humid so far but the rain has come and it’s cooled down. I paid a little extra for breakfast at the hotel which was worthwhile because I loaded up a bread roll with lots of ham, cheese, tomato and cucumber and that became a fine picnic lunch on one of the many tables and benches to be found along this Camino. I don’t think there’s a house without a fine carved bench outside.
Off I went over the rolling hills following the yellow arrows at every twist and turn. You must admire the effort that’s gone into organising this Camino, all just for me, so it seems. And all along the way there are little religious grottoes to draw your thoughts. There was even a tiny Maria Ellend chapel in immaculate condition.
The highlight of the day was the 11th century Benedictine monastery of Stift Göttweig which was perched on a hill and like all good Abbeys it dominated the surrounding landscape. I popped into the church just as the Mass finished, the candle was extinguished and I was left alone for a moment. And then the vikings arrived, a hundred of them sailing up the Danube on a Viking River Cruises cultural tour. They were from America so I had the benefit of a detailed presentation of the church in English. You always learn something and now I know that the colour of the Virgin Mary is blue.
I also learned that every monk was buried in the vaults of the Abbey until the 19th century when they permanently closed it and started a cemetery outside. I’m not sure if I’d rather be the last one in the vault or the first in the cemetery. You might ask, what does it matter after you’re dead? But supposing it does. I reflected on this conundrum as I walked away from the Abbey, remembering a séance I attended in the 1970s