I had been in both places many years ago during my work as a photo marketer and I thought I knew them quite well. But venturing this time through the narrow streets of these river communities, I delighted in the beauty of the historic buildings, the cobble stone streets, the ancient steps leading up to the old stone church and the sleepy vibe draping the roofs and gardens of these quaint river towns. Back in 1981, when I was rushing in and out of the grade and middle school with a stack of photo packages under my arm, I didn’t notice any of this beauty around. It’s quite amazing to realize how little one notices when one’s mind is occupied with other things. When we sat down in one of the many outdoor cafés in Mauthausen, sipping ice coffee and watching the river roll by, cyclers waved and hikers smiled while a sleek river boat hurried downstream. The popular Danube Biking Trail runs through this little community as well as the Danube Hiking Trail originating in Bavaria. Something other than natural beauty attracts visitors to Mauthausen. The largest Nazi concentration camp. I have never visited that place and have no desire to do so. It turns my stomach inside out just thinking of such horrific crimes against mankind. I am sure glad American troops liberated that place in 1945 and put a stop to the madness.