File this one under, “We should have read the trail description better.”

The Wachau Valley is a picturesque region along the Danube about an hour west of Vienna, noted for its rolling vineyard hills and exceptional scenery from spring (when the apricot trees are blossoming) to early autumn. A couple of weeks ago Tony and I, and our wily Foxhound decided to hike one of those rolling “hills,” but we did not pay much notice to the trail description of the 280m ascent at the start of the hike; and since the difficulty of this 5.2km trail was rated, “Easy,” so how hard could it be? After almost six years in Austria, one might think we would know better…

From the village of Aggsbach the hike began, up into the birch forest. The view from the summit was worth the 11% grade and the 39 flights of stairs climbed (according to my iHealth app).

Dried duck filet strips as a thank you to our guide. And of course, Pommes to follow.

The lunch, at a favorite wine tavern in the pretty little village of St. Michael’s, well earned. Next time, we told ourselves, we will read the hike description a little more thoroughly.

On the way home we picked up several smoked mackerel (Steckerl, or “Stick fish” as they are called), a popular treat offered by vendors along the Danube, for dinner.

By now we have lost count of the delightful days spent in the Wachau Valley, and that is fine by us.