|Date||Wednesday 28 July 2004|
|Distance stage||25,0 km|
|Distance acum.||1865,0 km|
|Quality of signs||Very good|
|Quality of the hike||A (fantastic!): along fields and through forrests, along the Thaya and through vinyards|
At 05.30 I am on the road again.
The section that I will be hiking today is supposed to be a very special one. The weather is magnificant; clear blue sky, nice cozy sun and a gentle breeze. In the early hours I pass the small village of Riegersburg and the local castle. On the way to the town of Hardegg, still very close to the Czech border, I am questioned by two customs officers. They want to see my passport and want to know more about my whereabouts. I tell them that I am walking to Hardegg and afterwards to Retz, Mailberg, Ernstbrunn en Langenzersdorf to Vienna, they are amazed. “Will you be doing this all on foot?”, they ask suspiciously. “Oh yes,” I reply, “but not all today!”. In Hardegg I buy myself some bread and beverages at the local bakershop and I enjoy my breakfast in the local park. The view on the castle is very pretty, and behind me the river Thaya flows gently in its role as border river. The path continous along the banks of the river Thaya and crosses a very nice scenic area. The river winds in all directions. After 6 km the path leaves the river Thaya and heads southeast, towards the town of Retz. The forrests alternate with fields and meadows. Just before the town of Retz the path leaves the district Mühlviertel and enters the district Weinviertel (=Winesection). Just before entering the town of Retz I cross, descending a hill named “umbrella mountain”, a couple of vineyards with pretty views to the low country in the south. There’s even a real windmill. It looks more like a Greek than a Dutch one, but nevertheless it is surprising to find such a construction here in Austria.
After arriving in Retz I decide not to continue anymore and keep all the beauty that lies ahead of me for the next trip. I have my dinner at the local Chinese restaurant and stay for the night in the local hotel, that is situated at the big square in Retz. A very beautifull has come to an end.