Day 8 – Vikings in Göttweig Abbey

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

Rolling hills today
Typical Austrian Camino artefacts
Hare family
Information board and religious thing
The small Maria Ellend chapel…
… but it looks bigger inside
Today’s picnic lunch spot
Impressive church of Göttweig Abbey
Krems an der Donau
Today’s Maypole in Krems an der Donau

10 comments on “Day 8 – Vikings in Göttweig Abbey

  1. Interesting day!
    Now I’d like to hear more about the seance too!😂

    • Hi Dawn, Austria is surprisingly different to the rest of Europe in many ways except maybe Germany. I guess I’ll get used to it.

  2. Roger Clarkson

    I’m waiting for you to get on to Jägertee and gluhwein though wondering whether thy are just winter drinks I remember from skiing holidays?

    • I did try a Kaiser spritzer but I think I’ll stick to the beer!

  3. Tassie Kaz

    Happy to be back in the daily routine of following your daily exploits dear Tim.🤗
    The scenery is taking me straight back to King Ludwig’s Way (which makes perfect sense, the regions border each other) but the ‘Austrian Situation’ is hurtling me back to St Olav’s Way in Norway! 😫
    As you know, winging it isn’t my style so I wouldn’t be at all comfy with no certainty of a roof or food. Perhaps it’s ‘me of little faith’…as long distance walkers know, ‘the trail provides’ so I hope it continues to do so for you.
    Oh…is that a new pack I spy?

    • Well spotted! It’s the same model as my first two walks and fits much better than my last one. I’m very happy with it.

  4. Rebecca

    Hi Tim. I love your adeptness at surprise. I was expecting despairing remarks about the American Vikings. Instead, you treated us to the banality of the tour itself.

    • I guess the day will come when I have to choose between a Viking cruise down the Danube or re-reading my blogs. Or better still Japan with Robert…

  5. Love the hares 😍 i’ve always had a thing about them. We have lots of Peter Cottontails around here but I’ve never seen a hare.

    • There are so many hares on this walk I hardly notice them anymore. This is the place to come to see them. We don’t have many in England

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