At the start of my walking activities, the sporting connection to Nordic Walking seemed to be like an adventure. Would I succeed in mastering the specific walking technique in a short time? Well, it was definitely worth a try, as I had somehow got an inkling to just do it.
I undertook small outings of an hour in the vicinity of our Weidling flat. Walkways around here were quite an extensive network with interesting variations that had to be experienced. Due to the necessity of regularly looking up offices at Klosterneuburg City Hall, as well as shops in the area of the city’s Stadtplatz, the walkways to it started along the Weidlingbach and with a left turn at the Agnesbrücke, taking you to the trail of the Red and Black Cross. The Red Cross, a memorial from red brick, a religious memorial, had been done perhaps to commemorate the bloody battles against the Turkish occupiers, while the Black Cross had been called before Gabler’s Cross, subjected to Mr Gabler’s sacrilege, striking against the image of the crucifixion, but also as a memorial to the Black Death ravaging in Europe in the 18th century. Further towards Weidling you also come across the ‘White Cross’, the third religious memorial of the memorials along this route.
The path from the ‘Red Cross’ up to the ‘Black Cross’ is quite a steep walk, especially at the second half toward the memorial, approaching from the Weidling side. At the apex, where the memorial is positioned you find two benches for resting and for enjoyment of the panoramic view across Weidling. Interesting how the cadastral settlements follow the windings of the regulated Weidlingbach. An example of careful planning to allow dwellings within the successful vineyards orientated south to southwest. To the east, the first stretch of the settlements in the stretched-out valley belong to the city of Klosterneuburg.
I took this particular road often, when the weather conditions allowed it, but looking for alternate routes towards the main square of Klosterneuburg. I finally came across a small street below the vineyards for a pleasant change. In time I found walking maps and some people I met along the road, gave me pointers and some information. The NÖ.-Nature reserve had interesting areas worthwhile a visit. Unfortunately the trail markings were missing and I found myself a bit lost having walked in a circle, but once I had passed the so called ‘300 year old oak tree, whose inside was hollow, I guessed my way forward. This tree is quite a sight and being an imposing tree worth a visit. Perhaps I should have been better off to acquire a pocket compass and not having to worry about out-of-date tree markings. However I ventured out on the trails until they became familiar and then finding my way wasn’t that difficult at all.
On one occasion, walking from the tavern, called Trat-Wiesner, between their vineyards of Weidling up to the scenic wine-road to Klosterneuburg, this had been a new experience. At an area next to a Greenfield I rested on a bench and detected interesting pebbles that reminded me of faces. I started collecting some and then stopped at various places that had small pebbles and split, found a few more I took home and I enhanced their facial features with felt pens in suitable colours. I had to think of my poet friend talking to me about the famous poet George Seferis, who also collected pebbles at the sea shore and painted them. Then he arranged them having named them, so that they began to inspire him with dialogues resulting in a play.
I have emulated this method while I resided in Ana’s writing recluse in Porto Rafti, on top of a western hill with a grandiose view of the bay and a pyramid-shaped island. It was a highlight in my artistic development. She helped me to realize my potential. Indeed. I recall that I desired Ana so strong that I felt as if she was lying under me, as the marble paved floor at the terrace warmed up by the sun, felt just like her skin. In my mind I saw her, sensed her, smelled her, and my denuded body shook like in a fever. Tragically, Ana was terminally ill and had to stay at that time in her flat in Athens. She was too weak to travel to Porto Rafti and I did the traveling to Athens to see her.
I enjoyed walking the path from the Plaka up to the Acropolis of Athens. Once we did it together the first time, two poets in love. Then I continued this walk that had become a ritual, alone, sensing that she was still at my side. From my deep sorrow awakening, I felt elevated by sensing her at my side conversing with an inner dialogue, I even heard the tone of her voice.
Another wonderful day of an Indian summer, the air being pleasantly warm, the smell of the harvested grapes wafts through the air along my walk through the wine route towards Klosterneuburg.