So where's the snow?

Muddling through in Austria; God, life and a small black dog


Leave a comment

Niedermohr – a place without culture

View from Guest house window

Niedermohr, the village we stayed in, I found fascinating and found out what all I could. The whole area is very low-lying and is obviously drained water meadows with thick black soil.  Yet at the top od the hills, the land is red, like in Devon, and I found they think it is full of sand, copper and iron. 

The houses I soon noticed had their cellar windows above ground and asked the Landlady if this was right.  She said the area is prone to flooding and where they are converting an old house, the earth cellar is constantly wet and they have to lag it.

She herself offered the idea that this area is without culture.  They local population was wiped out by every plague that has swept Europe, with only a resurgence in the 16/17th century before another bout of illness.  It’s not surprising with the low lying, swampy nature of the land. There  was a couple of battles there in the 18th century and a couple of castles still survive.  Farming is decline apart from growing Maize for heating fuel. So how do you attract people to an area where there is no culture?  Is this an attraction in itself?  The village looked just like a commuter belt place, no shop, just the station and many old farmhouses either abandoned or converted into flats. Most of the income in the area is generated by working for or coming from the USA airbase.There is the attraction of miles and miles of unlimited riding or walking.  But this would have to be marketed, with maybe a marked path such as the Niedermohr route if you see what I mean.  The couple who run the Guest house where we stayed have just built extra flats, and maybe they can bring the riders in if they create a riding centre – but the buildings at the Riding school require a bit of investment to get up to licensed standard, at the moment it’s just half livery,maybe if someone needs to invest in a whole new centre! Yet I feel they are on the right way, maybe Niedermohr will just have a horsey culture of its own!

Maybe you could visit to for a ride!

www.husarenhof.com


Leave a comment

Travelling to EAGALA at Niedermohr

Could be pretty in summer!

The journey took twelve hours in all,both there and back and was a major trek.  One thing I learnt, is that whatever you may find on the Internet on the Austrian railway site about tickets, http://fahrplan.oebb.at , it pays to actually go into a ticket office and see what deals are on.  At Salzburg we were directed to the German railways desk http://www.bahn.de/p/view/index.shtml  , we found out that while we couldn’t get a discount for the day we travelled, on our return in four days, travelling together, we got a 100 Euro discount each, not bad and with a couple more Euros we booked seats.

We travelled from Tamsweg by bus and then train for about 5 hours to Mannheim, then to Kaiserslautern, and then a local train to Niedermohr.  No one checked passports either way, though a drug seeking dog did hurtle past us on its way to the Buffet!  

I love travelling by train and I’m like a Garfield transfixed to the window. Sleeping is also great as you sink into a semi consciousness and are rocked,  trouble is I also want to people and landscape watch. The mountains soon disappeared around Munich and the land was alternatively flat where you could see for miles and miles, or close valleys with loads of tunnels.  It made me realise how closed in we are here in Lungau with our surrounding mountains.  Once past Stuttgart,which at least has vineyards,  I think we were in what must be the most ugly part of Germany although of course by train you are going through the least pretty parts of any area, and also this time of the year is drab and brown. Scrubby pines, wet boggy land, industrial areas – a lot abandoned, graffiti everywhere, just yuck.  It had me longing for home on the way back!  Niedermohr is on the edge of this, and while it is mostly watermeadows, it has hills and beechwoods and apparently miles and miles and miles of bridleways – one guy said he takes off regularly with a pack-horse and never sees a soul.

Meanwhile, at Kaiserslautern, we had a delay and arrived late for our connection.  As we piled off the train in a rush, someone shouted and pointed at a train saying Niedermohr, but when we got on, we were in totally the wrong direction! We got off at the next station and a nice lad showed us the bus stop and we got on one leading us back to the railway station.  The driver was helpful, but we nearly forgot Edith’s bag, then after ten minutes walk and having to ask directions, we arrived with twenty minutes for the next train.  What fun…. We arrived at our Hotel, completely flaked out but relieved.  We met the other guys who were on our course, had supper then conked out!