Dawn breaks early here. It is light by 5:30am...and stays light till past 8:30pm. It appears that I am allergic to something in the air (possibly from the corn fields). I suffer from watery and itchy eyes and vow to seek antihistamine but the nearest pharmacy is in Bad Gleichberg and we will not get there again until tomorrow. Something much more important will occupy our time today.
We have planned a day of sightseeing with Mrs. Weinhandl (she wants to show off their local attractions), but instead my father asks her to drive around the local villages looking for clues to the mysteries:
--Where did my father sleep while in the labor camp?
--After sneaking out of camp, which route did he take while searching for food?
--Which houses did he visit?
I feel like we've become detectives from a TV series. We drive along a road, which leads from St. Anna directly to a small village called Risola. Then Plesch, also Klapping Then another small village, Aigen. Four small clumps of houses, all in a row, all next to each other. The township of St. Anna am Aigen is actually made up of these smaller villages. Taken together, the population is less than 2,000.
My father recognizes these places. He was here. This is the route he traveled looking for food. This was where he found kind-hearted people. We pass a house along the road where we are told that the woman of the house used to leave little loaves of bread on her windowsill for the laborers to find.
In the car, my father begins to remember more. One memory triggers another. He begins to describe a unique style of architecture that he remembers from one of the villages. Sure enough, when we get to Aigen, there are houses in that style.