If you guessed it from the title – congratulations!
Somehow I managed to get from Türnitz to Mariazell in one day. It’s about 34,5 km, so no small thing to do … but let’s start at the beginning: in the morning :)
I started at 7.10 in the morning, and decided to take it easy. If I’d manage to get to Mariazell all by foot, great. If not, I’d take the bus. Period.
One break was in Annaberg, the next “big” village. 13.5 km – and a rather large part of that going uphill rather steeply. As a reward, I sat down for half an hour, and even had a nice chat with 3 gentlemen from UK. I even saw them again later … lovely :)
In Josefsberg (yep, it’s on a mountain. just like Annaberg and Joachimsberg.), I decided to have coffee and homemade Apfelstrudel. Also, I found a cache (nothing special, and dripping wet). Unfortunately, that was the only cache of the day as at the next location the GPS signal kept changing in a range of 30 ft and more.
Somewhere I of course missed a turn and walked along the Bundesstraße again. And just before St. Sebastian, the gentlemen from UK passed me on the motor bikes :) They even remembered me and waved – that’s a nice piece of motivation!
Did I just say St. Sebastian? Check the map! It’s the last village on the way to Mariazell. I seriously did it. The moment when I realized this was amazing. I started laughing like a madman.
The village itself is as touristy as I imagined. Prices in Pensions and Hotels are of course crazy. Couchsurfers are non-existent. After checking out one Pension (and not liking the room at all: there’s huge demand for rooms, so providers can ask pretty much any price for anything), I found a room at a lovely Gasthaus. If you ever go to Mariazell, let me know. I’ll tell you where I stayed :)
Just this much: the rooms are nothing special, but the owner was incredibly lovely. He reminded me of my Grandfather (who died last year in September) big time. In the evening, friends of his occupied the dining room – and we had a blast. Age ranged from about 19 (yep, I wasn’t the youngest there) to 74 (the owner). There was a lot of live music and singing, a lot of laughing and even some food :)
Although I was up all day, walking for 8 hours straight (about 10 including all the breaks), I still managed to stay up until nearly midnight.