St Florian to Wels, 33Km
Best Western Plaza Hotel Wels, 77euro
At 3.15am I woke in pitch darkness in the monastery, couldn’t see a thing. I felt along the walls hoping to locate a light switch or at least my iPhone but to no avail. The en-suite wasn’t where I remembered it. I thought about Anton Bruckner lying in his coffin next door, clutching the last movement of his ninth and I thought about the other skulls down below. One of the best things about walking in England was the Premier Inn chain. You never had to panic about where you were, let alone where the light switch was. It was always where it belongs, just by your bed. I was wide awake by the time I located it and it then took me an hour to return to my restless sleep.
I ate breakfast alone. I don’t think anyone else was staying in the monastery but I couldn’t find anyone to pay for my stay. I begged the breakfast girl to take my key and 62 euros but she wasn’t allowed to check me out. Only Caroline can take the money but there was no sign of her. “Caroline is a catastrophe”, she said in German. I agreed but I was thinking of a different Caroline back in 1976.
In the end, Caroline arrived, I paid the bill and off I went, following the Anton Bruckner Symphony Wanderweg through the woods and over the fields to Ansfelden where he was born, just a few kilometers away. At regular intervals one of his symphonies was featured on an information board (indecipherable black ink on black wood, only in German). One of the better boards was sponsored by McDonalds in Ansfelden. There were no cafes in Ansfelden except for McDonalds, outside town so I stopped there and enjoyed a US style Cappuccino with one of the monastery’s doughnuts which found its way into my pack.
It was then a long hot walk down the River Traun to Wels and the Best Western. It’s cheapish, has few redeeming features but has a light switch by the bed and no coffins in the basement.