Monday 3 May 2010

Viennese Escapes
Intermezzo at Halbturn

Wo Bäume
in den Himmel wachsen

The sky's the limit! *

Raising the maypole
on the 1st of May
is a tradition that goes back
all the way to Germanic Paganism.
This one has been erected on the
village green of Halbturn

Heavy cloud ships were
moving about, threatening
to release their freight over the vineyards
at any moment

We found refuge
at a most desirable place
under such circumstances:
Safe shelter from the rain,
comforted by good local food!

From the region's bounty:
Wels fish from its Lake Neusiedl,
fresh asparagus from its sandy soils,
accompanied by fried arugula
for good measure

Saturday afternoon
1 May 2010
around Halbturn
50 miles
southeast of Vienna
© by Merisi


"Bäume wachsen nicht in den Himmel"
- literally, trees do not grow as high as the sky -
is a German idiom, meaning that
there is indeed a limit to everything.
I turned that phrase around,
by insisting that the tree at the top
of the maypole does not know a limit


  1. ...or if you want to go even earlier, to the Roman Floralia. But all from same source. Lovely pix, Merisi.

  2. Incredibly beautiful! You know, I've never had fried arugula! Since I like arugula any way, shape and form, I must try it. Once, at Maxim's in Paris, they served fried parsley beside my salmon and it was wonderful!!

  3. .

    you are right, that was slipshod research, I should have dug deeper in time! Thank you! :-)

    Viennese like to fry parsley too,
    and I love to eat it, but have never tried it myself.

    Do any of you know if the French call the return key of a computer keyboard still "retour chariot"? (That word always evokes memories of hitting the return carriage of antique Underwood typewriters.)

  4. Merisi--I didn't mean it that way (critical:(

    and about the retour chariot...I don't know off-hand but Kristin Espinasse at French-Word-A-Day would know...maybe she has something on her site about it.


  5. I love the allusion to "cloud ships" - so evocative and much more romantic than cumulonimbus :-)

  6. .

    don't worry, I did not see it as critical and
    my answer was more tongue-in-cheek than contrite!

    Never worry, I am grateful indeed for any suggestions, corrections, etc. - how else would I learn something new?

  7. Wandring Star,
    cloud ships don't break my tongue,
    the way cumulonimbus does. ;-)

  8. Anonymous03 May, 2010

    Cloud ships, such a wonderful vision. I like where you took refuge, what better way!

  9. Wonderful clouds sweeping in! And the food, as always, looks divine!

  10. Merisi: It is neat to see the different things that are done to welcome Way.

  11. Lovely visit and your meal looks so yummy~

  12. that is one wonderful place!

  13. We used to do the Maypole thing back in the early sixties, when I was in grade school, but the tradition faded away here. Sad.

  14. That maypole looks very different tothe maypoles of my childhood.

  15. Thank you!

    There would be lots of stories to tell about the Maypole celebrations and customs in Austria: In the village were I grew up, the night before the Maypole is guarded carefully, there are always some groups who plan on stealing it for ransom. In some regions, Walpurgis Night (the night before May 1st), everything that was not in its right place was subject to be moved to some public location by some naughty lads: Imagine the embarrassment of discovering your plough (plow) planted on the church's roof when you went to mass early in the morning, there for everybody to see. Would you ever leave it out in the field again after that? (That story is true, my mother witnessed the event, also about an outhouse carried to the village square.)


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