Yesterday was the final day of the first half of our trip to Austria. The sky opened up all day and the rain gave our Lake Area tour a first hand account that allowed us an insight into what the mountains and lakes were like 700 years ago. Few tourists and the lakes and forest looked like they had been there “forever.”
Our tour guide took Libby and I and and another couple for nearly 5 hours to the beautiful and sometimes eerie area.
One of my favorite books which I have read several times, “The Name of the Rose” by Umberto Eco unexpectedly popped up as we walked through the village of Monsee. The now famous Basilica of Monsee was the site of where the wedding scene in “Sound of Music” was filmed. Due to the weather and the time of the year, the Church was all of ours. Next door, was the now defunct Abby of Monsee…now a hotel…that was the home abbey of the voice telling the story of the “The Name of the Rose” novel.
When this was mentioned by our guide, the story of heresy, murder and politics of the 1327 Franciscan Abbey jumped into my mind and gave the area a all new view. I could see the desperately poor peasants, the life of the monks that kept the light of education with writing and reading alive in a cruel world.
It was a day that we will never forget due to the unexpected knowledge of our guide Vera. This day re-enforced what we have found in our travel, “The things you cherish the most when you travel are not what you have planned but the unexpected.”