2022

Day 13 – Meat from the Forest

Stephanshart to Saint Pantaleon, 33Km

Landgasthof Winklehner, 42 euros plus breakfast

Last night’s inn in Stephanshart was another good one. The owner woke from his nap and prepared me a fine dinner of meat from the forest with antlers, dumplings, vegetables and red cabbage. Apart from myself, the place was empty.

Today started with a typical Austrian breakfast (see photo) but no cereal, at 7am. Trying to digest cheese and ham at that time of day certainly wakes you up and I was soon following the Austrian Camino over the fields and hills.

The main offering today was a ‘U’ shaped walk to Zeillern and then Wallsee before my planned stop in Strengberg. By the time I reached Wallsee I had walked 15Km instead of a more direct 10Km along the top of the ‘U’. I sat down at the inn and the owner brought me a cappuccino and a decent slice of her own chocolate cake which rivalled anything in Vienna.

I knew something was wrong and I got to the bottom of it while eating that cake. The Austrian Camino was designed by a committee in 1997. A proper Camino such as the Camino Frances in Spain follows the most direct route to its destination. Towns and services develop alongside it. Pilgrims are not interested in the scenic route. I can imagine what happened in Austria. Someone said we must avoid tarmac at all costs and so the first draft of the plan has a path which wriggles all over the place to avoid a short stretch of road. And then the local councils are approached for funding for the signs etc.. Now the route must be changed to bring it through their communities to boost tourism revenues. By the time the poor pilgrims arrive, they are led on a wild goose chase all over the country before they are allowed to leave.

I therefore headed back to the Danube and had a delightful walk all the way to St Pantaleon, which would have been tomorrow’s destination if I’d followed the Camino. I’m in another superb inn with more meat from the forest for dinner. The couple who own the place were thrilled that I was walking and they told me that they do get walkers every few days but I’m the first ever British walker. “What is wrong with Mr Johnson?”, they wanted to know.

A typical Austrian breakfast but no cereal
The day started a little bit cool as I headed for the hills
At the bottom of the’U’ is Zeillern, famous for its honey.
A Horse with No Name
Wellsee where I came to my senses while eating one of the finest slices of chocolate cake in all Austria
Everyone is burning wood but this farmer is getting into solar
A welcome return to the Danube. It’s not all cruising. This barge has accommodation at the back and the family car parked above it
The Meat from the Forest

8 comments on “Day 13 – Meat from the Forest

  1. Well Tim, looking at all the food you are consuming, it is just as well you are walking it off! I am envious about the chocolate cake. I am very much like the mole in the book ‘The boy, the mole, the fox and the horse’. I am a firm believer that a good slice of cake can make a huge difference to morale. Hmm … a cake eating walk around Austria would be fun!

    • Generally only eat as little as you need except in Austria where you should overdose on chocolate cake, apple strudel, dumplings…..

  2. Well done Tim. Oh, and you can offer comfort by informing them that Mr Johnson is currently busy spending a much greater proportion of our GDP than many of their neighbours trying to stop Russian pilgrims following in your footsteps….

    • He is comforted. Mr Johnson is much admired here and Austria will be the first to vote for annexation to the GB. “We have a long history of fighting the Russians”, he said

  3. Tassie Kaz

    Oh Tim…you do insist on making me relive the little traumas of my Norwegian foray! 🤣

    What are the pattie shaped things on the LHS of your meat plate?…potato? Looks a bit grey… 🤔

    Also what do you think of costs overall? Are they what you expected?…or has the current global inflation spike raised ‘sticker shock’? If so, then brace yourself for Switzerland… 😯

    • Dumplings! Austria is cheaper than I was expecting especially accommodation, compared to GB. When I first traveled in Switzerland in 1972 there were more than 4 francs to the pound. When you keep that number in your head, it’s bearable

  4. Roger Clarkson

    Not meat from the jungle at least. But looked tasty. What range of animals do you get in Austrian forests?

    • I think they mean deer which are common and eaten. But you could get hare easily enough, squirrels, wild boar, brown bear on a good day

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