The next stage on the designated route was 23 km, which is at least 7 km more than I can manage (this section includes many steep climbs and descents). So I decided a bus section was in order, and that put me at the mercy of the bus schedule.
As I was nosing about Kastl, I discovered it was a holiday; a Holy Day type holiday actually, complete with open air Mass on the Market Square. This was a festival Mass: incense, bells, organ, acolytes, etc. There was procession afterwards with firemen in uniform, banners from community organizations, the priest carrying a monstrance with a cloth of gold canopy overhead, and several hundred townspeople trailing along behind. And a while later the saluting battery carried on. I am often asked why I walk in Europe, and I think this morning’s experience is one good answer. Walking affords me the opportunity to be a participant in Europe and not just a spectator.
Afterwards I waited at the bus shelter for several hours, but indeed there was no bus service due to the holiday. It was a lovely, peaceful, place to sit and watch the world go by for a while. Not that I was opposed to a rest day, mind you; I just had not envisioned an enforced one. This brings to mind the classic saying,”Tourists make demands, but pilgrims give thanks.” Since the bus stop is immediately adjacent my last night’s lodgings, I went back for another night.
Dinner was a wonderfully tender roast beef with wild mushroom sauce and spaetzle, and something that wasn’t quite cranberries but close.