A WARM GREETING FROM PHILOMENA

Hello, my name is Philomena. You can also call me Fili, as have always done my parents and my big brother. I am fairly proud of my name, for it has a special meaning...

“Phílos” means “friend” and “ménos” stands for “courage”. Consequently, the name means approximately “Friend of Courage”. Saint Philomena lived hundreds of years ago. She is the patron saint of children, babies and expectant women. Isn’t it a marvellous name?

I will be your companion here in the “Wilder Kaiser” mountains and I will always look after you during your adventures and exploration tours, wherever you are. I grew up on the shore of the glittering “Hintersteiner See” lake and always lived here with my family. Would you like to join us here?

My big brother Maximilian, nicknamed Maxi, is looking after the cattle. He milks the cows every day and brings the cattle safely back to the valley in autumn. Our farm is home to hens, pigs, goats, cats and dogs. You are welcome to visit our farm. My brother and our animals are looking forward to meeting you.

Maximilian is particularly knowledgeable about the mountains. He knows the best ski slopes and the most delightful walks, can predict the weather of the coming days. And when the chamois behave in an agitated manner, he becomes aware that there is danger ahead, such as avalanches or stonefall. He also knows all plants and animals that live in the mountains of the Alps … People say that he has inherited his talents and the love for the mountains from his grandfather Alois. I agree with them. Maxi actually resembles his grandpa strikingly!

I have magic powers, too. That’s true … I can make appear and disappear water and I am a real “herbal girl”. Some years ago, I conjured up the lake in front of the Kaiserlodge. This is, however, a longer story which I will recount you later, if you are interested.

And what about the herbs? Well, one morning, when my parents and my brother were still sleeping, I woke up and felt immediately that something was wrong. I looked first into my parents’ room and then into my brother’s room. They had actually caught a flu overnight and had high fever. It was indeed an awfully cold winter.

My mother told me to make a herbal tea for them. You need to drink a lot, when you have a flu. I went to the old cupboard of my great-grandmother Magdalena, where I found all kinds of herbs, such as sage, dried stinging nettle, thyme, cranberry, mint, lemon balm, pine, Arolla pine, fir and dwarf pine preserved in big mugs. I helped myself to various cans and took a little bit from this and that…

I mixed all herbs and brewed a herbal potion from the blend. Then I waited for three hours wrapped in a woollen blanket in front of the fireplace. Finally, I gave the potion to my brother and my parents. After a little while, they were all much better off. Later my Mum joined me, gave me a great kiss and told me that my great-grandmother had possessed special healing skills, which she apparently had passed on to me.

Since then I have created natural remedies. Sometimes, I help our cook Ela in the “Kaiser” kitchen to make the dishes even more delightful with exquisite seasonings. I have also planted shrubs with delicious berries everywhere in the village of Scheffau. I will gladly tell you everything about the healing powers of the plants and accompany you for a herb walk. I always strive to protect rare shrubs and plants. To find special leaves, I walk to the most forlorn and remote places… 

I would like to invite you to join my brother and me for an adventurous exploration tour through the “Wilder Kaiser” mountains overlooking the village of Scheffau. Discover with us the hills and lakes, the “Edelweiß” and other wildflowers. With us you can also learn a lot of interesting things, for example, why certain animals hibernate, what is a winter coat, why the foliage of the deciduous trees changes the colour in autumn, how to brew wholesome teas, what is a Kneipp therapy and how to create a mini garden, among many other exciting things.

We look very much forward spending time with you! 

Fili