Monday, October 13, 2014

Medieval Festival and Falconry at Rosenburg

Having a tattoo that still needs some time to get healed properly currently prevents us from mountaineering (and even climbing). No heavy backpacks allowed. However, as the last post showed, we discovered archery instead. And the last weekend, there was a medieval festival at the Rosenburg castle near the Wachau in Lower Austria, not far from Krems. We took the chance and went there watching well trained knights in full-contact fights, tournaments on horses and of course medieval falconry - the Rosenburg is well-known for its falconry.

You can click on any of the pictures to see the full gallery.

...ever caught a falcon in flight?

Archery - First Steps with the Bow

Although I was always interested in archery and, after crafting my first flatbow at the age of 14, I somehow always wanted to try it again, it never really happened. Until recently, when Bernhard and I went to Kirchschlag near Linz where you have three 3D courses and where they have rental equipment, introductory courses and so on. I have to say, it really got me. Archery is a very nice combination of being outdoors, enjoying nature, walking - not hiking that much - in moderate pace, interrupted by moments of full concentration and body awareness. Not surprising that the Japanese Kyudo bow tradition is a form of Zen meditation rather than a shooting experience. I really want to try this form of mediation one day, although I know it takes months before you even hit a target 2 meters in front of you. It takes a lot of mastery until one can shoot an arrow with a Japanese bow...

It does not take so long for a modern recurve bow, in fact, you pretty much achieve a satisfactory level of precision and feel for the bow within a few hours. Although I'm still very far away from being a good archer. ;) I have to add, I do not like the link of archery and hunting a lot, and this olympic archery is also not what I'm seeking. Therefore, I am fascinated by the most traditional form of archery which uses longbows made completely out of wood, or at least mostly out of wood with some fiber-glass compound material. Anyway, this is something for the future - for now, I'm happy not to loose my arrows and to hit the target.

...Did I mention I love my tattoo? ;)