I took the shuttle to St. Jakob’s am Thurn this morning. I love visiting different churches and hadn’t had a chance to see the village yet. I was delighted to discover they were celebrating something–I don’t know what–but who doesn’t love a celebration? I noticed the unique wrought iron crosses in the churchyard cemetery. Another hotel guest explained that these crosses are typical of grave markers in Austrian villages–rather than stone. He said the churches are the center of activity in the villages and family members have ample opportunities to remember their ancestors–the graves were all brimming with flowers. Sadly, cemeteries in Vienna, for example, where he lives, are on the outskirts of the city. Birth and death are part of life, he said, and should be oft remembered. What a beautiful sentiment.
The parade commenced! The rousing band was followed by city officials, men in uniform, and what looked like Boy Scouts. After assembling in the church, I was surprised that the once enthusiastic band played such moving music to accompany the service. At one point everyone laughed. I asked my friend what was said. The Father had thanked the Porsche family for not only making good cars but also good schools! Evidently the community has a school for disabled children that is possible because of the Porsche family’s financial contributions.
I returned to the hotel for my spa treatment: salt scrub, seaweed wrap, whirlpool, and massage. The seaweed wrap was smelly, but once I was wrapped in plastic and the massage table magically transformed into a water bed I didn’t notice! I was anxious for the whirlpool bath but alas, it was also seaweed enhanced. Is there sound medical research confirming that seaweed detoxifies the body?!? If not, I would prefer a lavender whirlpool. But the services were sublime.
I was ready for an Alpine walk. It was memorable. Around every corner was a scenic vista that inspired me. An abundance of chalets and woods and fat, happy cows.
Tomorrow, another adventure! A friend fortuitously mentioned Hallstatt is her favorite place on earth, so I’m going there!