One hundred years ago this month, Schloss Eckartsau was the setting for the final act of the Hapsburg monarchy: it was the hunting lodge from where the last Austro-Hungarian Emperor Charles I, and his wife Empress Zita departed for exile to Switzerland in late March 1919.

The palace itself does not open for touring until April; but we had occasion to visit three years years ago for a Christmas market. Antlers on the walls, naturally; though for being an Imperial hunting lodge Eckartsau’s interior was otherwise humble. The grounds on which the palace sits are part of a national park with numerous trails, and it is to where Tony and I spent Sunday on a 10K wander.

You read the correctly. Tony and I, no Foxhound. We are allowed to wander without our hound every once in a while.

Shades of green and brown mixed with occasional blue skies. Not much of a change from the Thursday wander, but that’s okay. There are worse ways to spend a Sunday.

The first Bärlauch of the season, I think. Bärlauch is a cousin to chives and so named because bears (Bären) like to dig it up to eat, and because it has a strong garlic (Lauch) aroma. The seasonal plant can be harvested and enjoyed in many recipes, with one important caveat on that first activity, harvesting.  Bärlauch has a similar-in-appearance poisonous cousin. Thus, I prefer to harvest my Bärlauch from the market.

Snowdrop carpet.

One of the reasons we did not tell CTF we were going wandering is because I was hoping to spot a migrating Seeadler (I love my birds of prey!) given our proximity to the Donau; and having a Foxhound darting back and forth is a sure-fire deterrent to any form of quiet observation. Alas, no eagles. Instead, COWS!  Fluffy Scottish Highlander cows! But for the electrified fence, you know I would have tried for an up-closer snap.

Fluffy CALVES, too!

And just when I thought the scene could not possibly become more adorable this ball of fluff scampered across the pasture.

The remainder of the wander was obviously non-plussing because, cows! Lunch was not Schnitzel; and no, neither of us were tempted to begin the meal with the Fish Organ Soup with Baked Carp Spawn, either.