Apr 29, 2014

Behind the Image: Wallfahrtskirche Mariaort, Germany

“I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.” ~ Susan Sontag

On our last trip to Europe we mastered a long journey from Linz, Austria to Amsterdam, Netherlands. It turned out to be a grueling long drive but came with one of the greatest and most memorable adventures on our entire 3 country Europe tour. 

The total driving distance from Linz to Amsterdam is about 950 km or about 625 miles or 10 hours. Linz is the capital of Upper Austria and the Danube flows right through the middle of it. It's a beautiful lively city with a scenic old town and main square. 

About 2 hours into the drive near lunchtime we passed the Danube for the tenth time when I spotted a beautiful viaduct bridge. At that moment I decided to get off the Autobahn and told my wife that we would be looking for a beer garden next to the river. She laughed and said let's do it. I don't think she thought I was for real. The next exit was for Sinzing and once we left the Autobahn we made a few left turns that steered us into a tiny scenic village with even tinier streets. I believe it is called Pettendorf but I might be wrong. We followed the road driving under the viaduct bridge where shortly after we ended up at a beautiful church, Wallfahrtskirche Mariaort, and a parking lot next to a protected wildlife area. A bicycle and pedestrian bridge was spanning the river Naab and not far from there this river flows into the Danube. Although a scenic Bavarian sight in front of us, no signs of a beer garden at all; bummer! Well, of course we got out of the car to stretch our legs and explore the area. We walked towards the bridge and you might guess what happened came next. Yes, there was a small informational sign for the bikers and underneath it stated: Biergarten – 500 meter. My wife couldn’t believe it, neither could I. Excited as we were we made our way over the bridge, turned right on the bicycle path, walked the 3rd of a mile and there it was: Heaven on Earth, Hotel & Gasthaus Krieger. A hidden gem with pebble stone grounds, sunshine all around and next to the river Naab! We ordered Schnitzel with Pomme Fritten, roasted liver with Bratkartoffen that both came with delicious salads on the side. Everything was sumptuous and about 2 hours later it was time to head back, jump into the car and hit the road again.


Good light and happy photo making! Juergen

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