Last Sunday was brisk but sunny, and a perfect day for a drive out to one of the “top” holiday markets from the list that the Niederösterreich tourism folks kindly compile each season. Our market of choice was at Schloss Rosenburg, a Renaissance Schloss towering above the River Kamp from atop a cliff. The setting alone is worth the short drive.
A stealth approach is necessary when we plan for Clayton Theodore to accompany us on a day outing. Even the slightest sound of his travel water bowl or leash being gathered turns him into an insufferable beast. He paces at our heels and whines. He whines and paces at our heels. He repeats said actions. Until we are out the door. Sometimes, even when he is settled in the wagon, he continues to “sing” his happiness.
Saturday’s weather was cool, and just perfect for tromping about Lower Austria with our crazy Foxhound. Our first destination was Burgruine Dobra, a small ruin but with impressive sightseeing.
This past Thursday was Eid al-Fitr, a celebration of the end of Ramadan, and a UN Holiday for Tony. With ideal weather in the forecast, and the need for Anna Grace to break-in her new hiking shoes before Austrian Scout Camp later this month, our day plan was set. Continue reading “Hiking and Schnitzeling. “No Man’s Land””
Continue reading “Into the Waldviertel: Say, "Cheese!"”
We are, of course, supposed to be in Brittany this week. But we’re not, and so Tony grudgingly returned to the office and Anna Grace and I have been amusing ourselves until we decide whether to plan another holiday. Yesterday’s amusement was a drive to visit rescued brown bears thankfully now living the good life in a sanctuary in the beautiful Waldviertel, the northwestern quarter of Lower Austria and part of the Voralpen.
|Thank you, Internet, for the photo|
From the Entrance Hall we moved to the monastic library, where, interestingly, no photos were permitted. Then it was on to the church via the Sacristy “locker room.”
If anything, the airiness of the church and lack of ornamentation made the altar stand out spectacularly.
We ended the tour back where we started, with everyone looking a bit less wilted than we began. Lunch in a shaded garden restaurant followed, and by the time we returned home the children had finished their laundry, walked Clayton Theodore, and were opening up the house to let the late afternoon breeze cool the rooms. Perfect.
Tucked into a corner was this beautiful spiral staircase, the banister and walls cool to the touch.
From the arcade at the top of the stairs, a view of the courtyard and its murals. A breeze was floating through, and we could have perched ourselves on chairs for the entire afternoon.
The bridge connecting the castle to the church, to allow the Lords and Ladies a private entrance.
…through countless villages that all looked pretty much like this one, give or take the dried May Pole.
Soon enough the luscious green hills of the Wachau peeked out.
The Wachau is beautiful in all seasons, and even on hazy and humid summer days. We found a shaded Gasthof along the Danube, sat for a most delicious local lunch (and wine, of course), and toasted having escaped the heat of Vienna. This could become a habit.
The schloss is not the picture-perfect of so many that we have seen, but its slightly shabby state only added to its fun character.
Faded lions guard the drawbridge entrance, the moat no longer in use.
Odd little men with spears serve as the second level of defense.
Inside, we trod upon creaking wood floors and stairwells filled with antlers. By far, the most curious of palaces we have visited. The character of the palace had all the historical hints of a great place to party, our conclusion exclusively.
In the main courtyard the stately dragon sits. Once upon a time the dragon was a key component of the whimsical palace garden, but damage from vandals now forces the dragon into the secure courtyard. “Tis a shame.
As with the dragon, vandals caused enough problems that all of the stone dwarves were moved inside to one of the former gardening rooms. We named this one, “Missionary Dwarf.”