Do you know what a “Botanical Watercolour” is? Have you ever tried the fine art of “tea glass painting“? Or taken a tour with a real historic night watchman to explore a completely new city? I have, and really enjoyed my night watchman tour in the Danish city of Ribe. Let me tell you what else there is in terms of creative discoveries “right in front of our door step” here in the Lower Austrian Mostviertel district, and about our adventurous forays into the creative culture destination of the “Eisenstraße” Iron Trade Route.
At the Gaming Charterhouse, herb woman Claudia & “Botanical Watercolour” expert Barbara Schoberberger welcome us with open arms. Both are like delicate flowers worth visiting!
The two lovely ladies who we meet during our stay at the hotel Gaming Charterhouse are brought to us by hostess & general manager Cornelia Daurer, who like them shares many a creative vision. She is responsible for the historic ensemble of the Carthusian monastery as a wedding venue, creative workshop location, hotel, restaurant and – believe it or not – a private Catholic University of American exchange students! Just in time, they bounce across the courtyard happy in their Dirndl & Lederhosen dresses. Happy as can be, of course. I can relate to their happiness: It is glorious here, quiet and simply beautiful. The Gaming Charterhouse truly deserves a longer visit, last but not least because of the immensely inviting natural landscape all around. Have a look at this.
Good food is also served at the traditional “Iron Trade Route Restaurant Plappert” at Schloss Waidhofen. Together with our historic night tour, we discover this pretty little town in the Mostviertel district.
There is something special about being picked up at exactly 9.00 o’clock in the evening, and led outside from a bright, friendly evening restaurant only to face a “dark-robed figure” looking rather grim. Rainer acts more serious than he turns out to be, giving us no smile just yet, but playing with the impression that his night watchman robe has on us, consisting of a lantern, a lance and a trumpet along with a black cape and hat. Enchanted by the atmosphere that surrounds his historical character, we willingly follow him outside. In the courtyard of the castle Waidhofen, at the entrance to the magnificent Eisenstraße restaurant Plappert, he welcomes us to his night watchman tour through the medieval city Waidhofen an der Ybbs . Soon, the ice is broken and we laugh with him, listening to his fascinating stories about the Turkish siege of the city, the conquest of Waidhofen by Napoleon’s troops, the building of the many city towers and the legend about a shepherd girl. One thing is for sure: The residents of Waidhofen did not always have as much to laugh about as we do today. History has sometimes been rather harsh, as we gather during the ascent of the tower of the castle Waidhofen and its gruesome torture instruments. At the top, Rainer serves us pear and plum brandy, as if to reassure us. It has gone midnight, and I “drink to forget” the torture chambers during the long descent down, thinking soft hotel bed across the river, just 100 meters further on. Thank God I woke up in the right century!
“Oafoch kema und doa” – just come & do, is the motto of the first ever crafts market at the Burgarena Reinsberg in the Mostviertel district. Many creative artists invite us to try their crafts during our visit here!
“Oafoch kema and doa” – just come and do it. This is what people from Mostviertel are like: Welcoming, open-minded, down-to-earth and really rather clever & handy. Especially when it comes to the creative crafts that represent their traditional living culture, such as forging, shingle roofing, chopping woods, turning, scything, spinning, weaving, felting or the art of “tea glass painting”. No gain without pain, as the saying goes. And so we get to enjoy the hard work a whole community has put together for almost a year leading up to the crafts market we now visit: Congratulations to Sabine Bruckner and her team of creative craftsmen, who warmly welcome us at the Castle Arena Reinsberg, in the midst of the hilly and lush forested foothills of the Alps of the Mostviertel district. The next craft market will come for sure. By this time, I have to come back in order to pick up my hand-painted glass from the artist Gertraud Enner. And definitely try even more of the creative crafts that are offered here. Check this out!
Disclaimer: We have been invited by the Culture Park of the Iron Trade Route in order to travel into the Lower Austrian Mostviertel district. All opinions are my own.