Some how I did not take any photographs of this magical place… but there are many by others and they are BEAUTIFUL!
The journey to Mottinger Amt (a.k.a.) MoA in Waldviertel was a mixture of picturesque rolling hills and cycle paths past corn fields, idyllic looking villages and the sun setting on the Czech mountains behind us. It then became much cooler and eerier during dusk as we entered the 10km long military zone, only passable after 4pm each evening when target practice was over. There was reason to feel the comfort in not crossing this barren strip alone, at night, as some discovered later. One mammoth hill later, greeted at the top by some sympathetic scouts who had left sugary treats next to the now closed gas station, I think we all felt very relieved when we finally arrived in the darkness, guided by torch light from the open fire that awaited us. It was a much appreciated welcome, along with the delicious meal prepared as a surprise by our hosts, their neighbours and two biketour people who re-joined us again via train from Prague. As though the arrival could not get any better, our hosts guided us to the choice of sleeping places in barns and garden… and I sunk down happily in the top barn, with the stars shining through the opening in the unfinished windows, and the first mattress of the tour.
The following days at the farm were filled with rest, and work on one of the barns that was being erected as a stage/ storage area. In the afternoon some of us visited the neighbour’s permaculture garden, where we learnt about the many tasty and nutritious surprises that we pass on a daily basis, including grasses that taste like mushroom, and how to ward off snails from your vegetables.
We also enjoyed a swim in a small lake at the bottom of her garden, and sampled home made cordials, then cycled back to the farm following a path between the poppy and hemp fields…
That evening it was the birthday of someone from the biketour and one of the hosts. The food team took full advantage of an oven and baked three incredible vegan cakes, decorated with foraged fruits and edible flowers… pictures and recipes to follow!