Verfasst von Nathalie Binder
Heavily packed with things like rubber boots, sunglasses, laptop and sleeping bag I arrived at the campsite in Eckartsau, a tiny village in the heart of the Danube National Park. The sun was shining and when we (taxi driver and me) picked up the participants from the train station everybody was happy to be welcomed by the shining sun.
At the beginning we are still a bit cautious with each other, but after some ice breaker games the atmosphere is more relaxed and the foundations for the next two weeks are laid. At the campfire we get to know each other, chat and exchange our experiences.
Our first working day starts off with an introduction of our partners from the National Park Donau-Auen and then we finally hop on our bikes and cycle to our working destination. The bikes were our main means of locomotion those two weeks – we drove to the working spots, but also used them for excursions to nearby villages. Only for the trip to Bratislave we took a bus 😉
The work in the woods was exciting and meditating at the same time. We worked together, helped out each other and experienced nature in its purest form. While some wandered around the woods to look for animals like deer or turtles others enjoyed nature while having a nap in the grass. The cooperation with the foresters, nationalpark rangers and the staff from the Park and the forestry agency was based on an equal level and sympathy.
Also we were lucky to work in the mating season of the deer!! This means that you hear the majestic bellowing of the stags (“shouting of the mal deer”) everywhere in the Nationalpark.
After the two weeks on the bikes and a pretty impressive increase of velocity some of us, who were complaining about them in the beginning were now quite sad to leave them behind and go by bus. Who needs a motorized vehicle when you have two functioning legs?