Sunday, 13 May 2012

Along the Austro- Czech border


The next couple of days took us through yet more superb countryside. There is a good network of marked riding routes in this part of Austria, and you can just see the bridleway sign with direction arrow on the post that Zorbee is tied to below......

 

A couple of Haflingers.  These flaxen maned ponies are a traditional Austrian breed - tough, sturdy and surefooted for climbing the Austrian hills and mountains.

In Rainbach we stayed with Tomas and Ilona at their Stoeglehner stables  http://www.stoeglehner.com/  .  Tomas provided loose boxes for the horses and gave us a large sack of oats.  Here he is with Mike and me.  I know one shrinks as one gets older but am I really such a dwarf?


The ride from here to Unterafiesl took me north along the Austrian border with the Czech republic and over 1000 metres above sea level -  there were still patches of snow lingering......


 I was just about to take the wrong path in the middle of the forest when I fortuitously came upon the very first riders I have met out riding in the EU - Dora, her sister and a couple of men friends.  They had actually taken the wrong track themselves and were having to retrace their hoofsteps. Even more happily they were from my destination of Unterafiesel, so they were able to accompany me for part of the way and set me on the right track.  Their horses were a rather impatient bunch and this was the nearest we could get to an organised photo line-up ....


 At times we were able to ride right along the Austro-Czech border with its rather meaningless opposing border warning signs - ACHTUNG in German on the left, and POZLOR in Hungarian on the right.
Austria is a very neat and ordered country where the word 'Verboten' is a common word on signposts, but it appears that even the grass has been trained to grow in an orderly fashion!..........


Zorbee with public spirited Unterafiesl resident Jasmin .....


.......who kindly invited us in to use the shower in her house, while husband Gregor plied us with beers.  We were also visited by enthusiastic trail rider Josef with his two delightful daughters, who discovered we were in town and came to give us advice on routes.

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