Log book day 2. #BloggerPilgern … still going strong. The fellowship of Tanja, Monika, Oliver, Hubert and I literally manage to go out of our way: After almost 50 kilometres walking, pestered by countless blisters on our feet, we are still happy laughing out loud! The five of us form a union that thanks to this pilgrimage is a unique appearance in the travel blogosphere – at least that is what we believe in. All that we already shared, talked about and lived has the power to transform and connect us forever.
“I can only take you to the gate at the Araburg ruin … you will have to walk up the rest for yourselves in order to reach its top!”, our happy taxi driver tells us on the morning of the second day of our pilgrimage. He is to take us to our first section on the Via Sacra. Only a few metres into the trail, I can already feel the burning pain of my blisters kicking back in .. What was it that Monika said about mental willpower, forcing the pain away? “Besides the actual pain, just make sure you focus on everything else that is there, like the feeling of your limbs, the sun on your skin, etc.: It is a technique to actually encourage you to become distracted.”
The landscape here is very pretty. Forest-clad hillsides, green lush meadows, the sky a radiant blue …
… and yes, for just a little while the soles of my feet are actually far far away! This section of our pilgrimage, starting with the Araburg ruin in the Lower Austrian Mostviertel district, is a true delight. South-west, we face the rising foothills of the Alps, whereas North-west our view is dominated by meadows, wheat fields, farms, cattle, forests and countless little settlements. Beautiful Austrian countryside it is. And just so quiet, if it weren’t for us talking. Once we do stop, we are even able to listen to the faint noise of a woodpecker, watch a small snake race past and meet many a happily munching cows out in the fields.
The path to revelation leads Monika, Tanja, Oliver & me past … a stop at the pharmacy, some Kneipp water-treading cures, iced coffee & two taxi rides. I want to be honest with you – and myself!
“Being intelligent means to listen out for your very needs and act upon the awareness your body creates”, is what I have come to believe arriving in Hainfeld, the first section goal on this second day of our pilgrimage. Oh, dear. Walking down, I suddenly feel so tired and worn out by my blistered feet that I almost stumble upon Monika calling out, “They have a water-treading Kneipp basin here!” And a pharmacy. As well as a café. Yesss! We suddenly love (again) the pleasures of everyday life, regaining “clarity” thanks to iced coffee, lots of blister plasters as well as some cool, cool water in the Kneipp water-treading basin. Thank God … 🙂
It is the taxi that finally carries us all the way on to Wiesenfeld, where the friendly team of Gasthaus Löffler invites us to sample local delicacies such as pear cider as well as Dirndl schnapps … It does become clear right then & there that #BloggerPilgern always entails an element of cordial hospitality – at least in Austria or the Mostviertel district! This too is what this pilgrimage is all about: A shared spirit, happiness and laughter, meeting new friends, living in the moment and listening to what your body tells you, allowing the soul to find peace and your mind to relax.
The final eight kilometres to reach Lilienfeld Abbey are easy to manage walking alongside the Traisental cycling trail that joins the Via Sacra here. Arriving in Lilienfeld, I first join Tanja on a trip to buy some flip flops: “If worst comes to worst, I’ll just wear them on the next day …!” We then walk over to the abbey, where we are welcomed as true pilgrims for the night, staying in the traditional convent but with the comfort of a modern hotel! There is even a really nice restaurant called “Kellerstüberl” here, serving yummy seasonal meals. Finally, I feel we have arrived. After 50 incredible kilometres, and with just as many still ahead of us … let me introduce, therefore, my very own heroes for the day:
Check out some more photos & impressions of our pilgrimage trip here:
Disclaimer: We have been invited by Mostviertel Tourismus to go on this pilgrimage along the Via Sacra to Mariazell. All opinions are my own.