Today we woke up in Melk, Austria. Again the weather was foggy/cloudyl somewhat warmer but still very damp. We were only in Melk for half a day and there was no time to shop but wait until tonight, more on that later. Our visit to Melk was to see the Benedictine monastery. Melk was the home of the Babenberg family and since 1089 the monastery has been here. Today about 29 monks continue the monastery with about two thirds of them acting as parish priests in nearby communities. The monastery also has a school, private 70 Euro a month but the students do not live in. Currently they have around 930 students enrolled at the school.
The monks live according to St. Benedict's rules of "stabilitasloci" or stability in your local community meaning take an active rule for the betterment of the place your are living. Rule 2 “oboedientia” or obey the rules of God and life meaning set an example for other by how you live. Rule 2 “conversation morum” meaning live with God’s morals not explanation needed.
The monastery has been destroyed and rebuilt several times with major restorations taking place from 1978 until 1998 which is what we saw today.
The style of the monastery is in Baroque and was beautiful. Ron had never seen anything like it and he was amazed but also understood the frustration Martin Luther must have felt about the Catholic Church, all that money being spent on impractical but beautiful things.
After we completed our visit to the monastery we walked back down to the ship and by lunchtime we were headed towards Vienna. Yes tonight ladies and gentlemen Ron and I will be strolling the streets of historic Vienna, actually more like the Christmas Market in Vienna but still Vienna.
This afternoon we cruised through the Wachau Valley and it was beautiful, except for the low clouds. The landscape was picturesque with many castles and vineyards along the river. This would be an area I would definitely like to return to in the warmer months because right now it’s gorgeous but it looks like Michigan does right now, grey/brown and dead so I would love to see it with spring blossoms or fall colors.
Anyhow, tomorrow we’ll get a tour of the city of Vienna and in the afternoon we are headed to Schonbrunn Palace so maybe tomorrow or Wednesday I’ll have some more really good blog stuff but for now,
Luv to all,
Ron and Ann