My home town Krems an der Donau and the neighboring town of Dürnstein are some very old, beautiful towns at the Danube in the Wachau valley. When you think about these towns you probably think of medieval houses, churches, a lot of tourists, Heurigen and wine - but almost nobody would think of woods, pastures, cattle and horses.
But that's exactly what you'll see when you walk from Egelsee, the most northern part of Krems to the "Weiglwarte", a lookout tower in the most northern part of Dürnstein. Egelsee is about 400 meters above sea level and about 200 meters above the Danube.
This hike starts in Egelsee. At the end of the village that belongs to the municipality of Krems, you can find a big playground with sufficient parking space. Then you just continue walking the street you came from.
Right after the border of the two towns you can find the "Jägerbergkreuz", a wayside shrine.
And you see the first highland cattle grazing in the pasture.
The "Rosengrundkreuz" is the next remarkable landmark you'll see. Near this wayside shrine a road branches off to Senftenberg. This road also passes the Hiesbergwarte, a lookout platform I described in this story.
The "Pummerkreuz" is the third wayside shrine you pass.
Some meters later you can see the Danube from far above for the very first time. This farmhouse is already about 530 meters above sea level.
About half an hour later you reach another farmhouse, the "Sandlbauer", named after the mountain "Sandl" on that the farm and the lookout tower are located.
Here you have to pay the entrance fee (currently 1 Euro per person) and get the key for the lookout tower.
Now, you just have to cross this pasture. Sounds easy, because it's just 300 meters to go, but this pasture is really steep - you have to cover another 60 meters height difference!
Some meters through the wood and you have reached your destination! Now it's time to take the key, unlock the door and walk up the narrow iron staircase…
and enjoy a wonderful view to Dürnstein in the east…
or to Weißenkirchen in the west.
The photos before were taken in September, but here's also a photo I took in October on a day with low stratus clouds. It has been cold and cloudy in the valley, but the Weiglwarte was above the cloud and it was sunny and warm and looking down on the clouds was really a wonderful experience.
The Weiglwarte has been built in 1901 and is named after Augustin Weigl, a manager of an envelope factory in Krems that did a lot to develop and promote tourism in Wachau valley.
You can now walk back to Egelsee like I did, but you can also extend your hike and walk down to Dürnstein.
The whole hike as described is around 11 km long and I needed around 3 hours, but you can also shorten this hike since you can drive the whole way from Egelsee to the Sandlbauer by car. There are also bus stations on the way.
All in all, it's a nice and not to exhausting hike that offers not only great views but also shows you parts of Krems and Dürnstein that not many people know and that you probably would not have expected.
A detailled German description including even more images and a detailled map is available on my weblog schmatz.blog!
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