The sun has dropped behind the mountains. The valley is silent and most of the world is bathed in shades of sundown blue. Most of the world, except the illuminated church with the onion spire next door to the hotel. It glows golden in the dusky light. The colours are not incompatible.

Church in St Agatha, Austria

I have a plate of smoked venison in front of me and a ruby coloured glass of wine in my hand. Two long flights followed by a two hour drive across an unfamiliar country are now consigned to the past.

We have the hotel’s tiny dining room all to ourselves.

We clink glasses, salut, take a long sip of wine and turn our attention to the food.

The venison tastes smoky and rich, a fitting partner for the fruity, smooth wine.

I sit back in the little booth and idly watch the deepening velvet hues outside the window. A new world to explore.

I feel completely relaxed, as if submerged in a warm bath whose water temperature is not too hot, nor too cold.

It is an invigorating sensation… arrival.


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